Big Top Pee-Wee (1988)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Family-Oriented Comedy, Slapstick  |   Release Date - Jul 22, 1988 (USA)  |   Run Time - 86 min.  |   Countries - USA  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Paul Reubens's followup to the box-office hit Pee-wee's Big Adventure is just as outrageous and cartoonish, though not as good. This time, child-man Pee-Wee runs a colorful farm, chock full of talking animals and outsized produce. On the morning after a tornado of Wizard of Oz dimensions, Pee-Wee awakens to discover that a travelling circus has been deposited in his back yard. Befriended by circus owner Kris Kristofferson, Pee-Wee takes an acrobatic job, hoping to impress lovely trapeze artist Valeria Golino--thereby incurring the jealous rage of his hometown sweetie Penelope Ann Miller. When the circus is faced with bankruptcy, Pee-Wee comes up with a brilliant idea: why not stage a three-ring spectacular celebrating the wonders of agriculture? A partial takeoff of such earlier sawdust-trail flicks as Martin and Lewis' Three Ring Circus and Disney's Toby Tyler, Big Top Pee-wee is generally entertaining, but goes off in too many directions at once, leaving a lot of loose plot ends and underdeveloped characters. Also, Pee-Wee's overactive libido (at least in this film!) is not all that suitable for his younger fans. Even so, there are plenty of hilarious set-pieces. Big Top Pee-wee was produced and cowritten by Paul Reubens.

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Keywords

acrobatics, bankruptcy, circus, circus-performer, farm-animals, love-triangle, tornado, trapeze-artist