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Big Top Pee-wee is the 1988 family comedy sequel to the 1985 film, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, and stars Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman, Penelope Ann Miller, Valeria Golino, and Kris Kristofferson. The original music score is composed by Danny Elfman. The film is marketed with the tagline "Hero. Lover. Legend."

The Paramount Pictures production was directed by Randal Kleiser and written by Paul Reubens and George McGrath. Paul Reubens also co-produced the film with Debra Hill. Filming locations include Disney's Golden Oak Ranchmarker in Newhall, California, USA and the auditorium at Hart High School. This was Kleiser's first movie for Paramount since 1978's Grease.

During a 1988 television special, Pee-wee Herman acknowledged the long hours of circus training undertaken by the film's actors and that they spent a year and a half working on the movie. He also humorously compared himself as an actor to James Cagney and Spencer Tracy and ended by saying that Big Top Pee-wee is "at least as good as Police Academy."

Overall, Big Top Pee-wee was not as successful as its predecessor, making less than half its gross revenue.



On the morning after a tornadic whirlwind, farm boy Pee-wee Herman awakens to discover that a travelling circus has been deposited in his backyard. Befriended by circus owner Mace Montana, Pee-wee is hoping to impress Gina Piccolapupula, a lovely trapeze artist; thereby incurring the jealous rage of his hometown sweetie Winnie Johnston until she meets the four Piccolapupula brothers. But then Gina leaves Pee-wee when she finds out that Winnie was his fiancee. Pee-wee wants to join the circus but all his attempts to do so fail badly. Gina then tells Pee Wee about a famous tightrope walker who suffered a fall, and that Pee Wee should try walking the tightrope in his honor. Mace comes up with a brilliant idea: to stage a three-ring spectacular saluting the American Farm. The problem is that the majority of the town's residents are disgruntled, uncaring people in their sixties who hate Pee-wee, and have been demanding the circus Pee-wee is helping leave town. The old people frame Pee Wee after a humorous run-in with a hippo which they use to claim Pee Wee ordered to attack them, forcing Mace to tear down his circus. Pee Wee saves Mace and the circus, however, when he sneaks genetically modified cocktail weenies from his "hot dog tree" to the townspeople, causing them to become children once again. Now grateful to have extra years of life, the kids gladly watch Mace's circus and Pee Wee perform.


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