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Big Top Pee-Wee

Big Top Pee-Wee on DVD

Pee-Wee Herman is one of those characters that you have to have grown up with in order to really enjoy.

Those who were grown-ups at the time more often than not found him annoying, and kids today are too engrossed in Pokemon and Britney Spears to even understand the appeal. But sure enough, any self-respecting child of the 80s loves Pee-Wee Herman, even though none of us can quite put our finger on why.

One day Pee-Wee is feeding his barnyard animals and working on some zany botanical experiments, when a nasty storm blows an entire circus into his backyard. There are elephants, clowns, freaks, and a beautiful trapeze artist that will surely give his fiancée a run for her money. So while Pee-Wee tries to juggle his women, he does his best to make a big splash as the newest addition to the circus.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was a great movie, and even got Tim Burton’s career off to a good start. The Saturday morning TV show was wholly entertaining in an inanely anarchistic kind of way. Big Top Pee-Wee, while it does offer quite a few giggles, isn’t quite able to capture the charm of the others. The love triangle is too Hollywood, and Randal Kleiser is no Tim Burton. What keeps the movie going is Pee-Wee Herman’s own innocence and irreverence.

If you’re one of us, and you’re feeling particularly nostalgic, Big Top Pee-Wee should at least tide you over until you can track down his Big Adventure.

This is one of those lower-caliber DVD releases that only exists in order to have the movie on DVD. The picture quality, presented in anamorphic 1.85:1 widescreen, is soft and grainy, with dull colors except for most of the reds.

The audio, despite being Dolby Digital 5.1, sounds like a mono track that’s been spread across the front channels. Surrounds do nothing, and some of the dialogue is muffled almost beyond comprehension.

As far as extras go, the disc has nothing.

Big Top Pee-Wee, from Paramount Home Entertainment
85 minutes, anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) 16x9 enhanced, Dolby Digital 5.1
Starring Pee-Wee Herman, Kris Kristofferson, Susan Tyrrell and Valeria Golino
Produced by Paul Reubens and Debra Hill
Written by Paul Reubens & George McGrath, Directed by Randal Kleiser


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