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August 9, 1985

Pee-wee's Big Adventure is a 1985 American adventure comedy film directed by Tim Burton in his feature film directing debut. It stars Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Phil Hartman and Michael Varhol. It co-stars E.G. Daily, Mark Holton, Diane Salinger, and Judd Omen. Described as a "parody" or "farce version" of the 1948 Italian classic Bicycle Thieves, it tells the story of Pee-wee's nationwide search for his stolen bicycle.

After the success of The Pee-wee Herman Show, Reubens began writing the script for Pee-wee's Big Adventure when he was hired by the Warner Bros. film studio. The producers and Reubens hired Burton to direct when they were impressed with his work on the short films Vincent and Frankenweenie. Filming took place in California and Texas.

The film was released on August 9, 1985, grossing over $40 million in North America. It became a cult film and continued to accumulate positive feedback. It was nominated for a Young Artist Award and spawned two sequels, Big Top Pee-wee and Pee-wee's Big Holiday. Its financial success, followed by the equally successful Beetlejuice in 1988, prompted Warner Bros. to hire Burton as the director for the 1989 film Batman.


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