Big Top Pee-wee

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Big Top Pee-wee
Big-top Pee-wee poster.jpg
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: Randal Kleiser
Produced By: Debra Hill
Paul Reubens
Richard Gilbert Abramson
Written By: Paul Reubens
George McGrath
Starring: Paul Reubens
Kris Kristofferson
Susan Tyrrell
Penelope Ann Miller
Valeria Golino
Cinematography: Steven Poster
Distributed By: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: July 22, 1988
Runtime: 85 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $20 million
Box Office: $15.1 million
Prequel: Pee-wee's Big Adventure

Big Top Pee-wee is a 1988 American comedy film. A stand-alone sequel to Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), The original music score was composed by Danny Elfman (though he also scored Pee-wee's Big Adventure, he could not use any themes from that film due to Big Top Pee-wee being produced by Paramount Pictures rather than Warner Bros.).

Bad Qualities

  1. The plot is very silly.
  2. It's a rehash of Pee-wee's Big Adventure.
  3. There are the silliest Circus designs, especially Duke The Dog-Faced Boy.
  4. The circus Performers' names are laughable. What does "Piccolapupula" actually mean, for instance?
  5. Pee-wee cheats on his girlfriend but doesn't realize it until Winnie shows up.
  6. Anachronism: There's plenty of modern and even fantastical examples of technology present, but the town Pee-wee lives near seems to have been locked in stasis since the 1910s. A possible reason for this is that since the townspeople are old, they likely grew up around that time period.
  7. Pee-wee Herman kisses Winnie in the front of the five children.
  8. There are some inappropriate scenes in this sequel for kids, like Pee-Wee Herman staring at Gina's boobs, while Pee-Wee and Gina kiss in flashbacks. There's even bikini girls mud-wrestling in a kids' film!

Good Qualities

  1. Some people will enjoy this, despite its flaws.
  2. Kris Kristofferson as Mace Montana still had solid performances, despite having trouble delivering his lines in one scene.


Upon release, the film was badly-received. It received a score of 35% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 20 reviews. Roger Ebert gave the film two stars.


  • This was the second to last film produced by Richard Abramson; he never did another film after the '80s ended.
  • Tim Burton turned down the chance to direct, as he was transitioning from completing Beetlejuice to beginning pre-production on Batman (1989).


External Links


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