Pee-wee's Big Holiday, now on Netflix, is like snacking on a bag of assorted candies without realizing -- whoops! -- you just inhaled 50 times your daily sugar requirement. The jokes are sweet, the adventure's airy, and you could definitely be consuming healthier entertainment. Whatever. Sometimes you want -- no, need -- to watch a manchild ride a balloon chair to a miniature convertible, which he drives through a neighbor's kitchen to get to work. Everything in small doses.
And Big Holiday doesn't overreach. The movie marks the return of actor Paul Reubens's gleeful alter ego, who appeared in two feature films (1985's Pee-wee's Big Adventure and 1988's Big Top Pee-wee) and was last seen onscreen in 1990's Pee-wee's Playhouse. After reviving the character in 2010 for The Pee-wee Herman Stage Show, Reubens, writer Paul Rust (co-star of Netflix's Love), and producer Judd Apatow set out to stage a fresh, whimsical Pee-wee road trip. Big Holiday maintains the eccentricity and strolling pace of Tim Burton's Big Adventure while bringing the character into the 21st century with Adult Swim-like surreality. And, importantly, this movie does everything it can to make Pee-wee timeless. Because the last thing anyone streaming it needs to do is consider the actor's recent activity in the real world.