Tim Burton's first feature is all the more charming because he is called upon to solve problems through inventiveness rather than by hurling unlimited cash at the screen.
Paul Reuben's Pee Wee can be a tad grating during his extended (solo) introduction but, once he's out and interacting, the appeal of his slightly creepy man-child character is evident. Whether it's his encounter with Large Marge or his sojourn at the Alamo, the road trip format suits Pee Wee well and the movie love-in climax at Warner Bros studio is more the sort of thing you'd expect of Joe Dante (Godzilla riding in Santa's sled is hard to beat for surreal hilarity).
By the time we see the movie adaptation of his adventure, with James Brolin's stunning rendition of P W ("I know you are - but what am I?") it's clear we've been watching deranged genius at work.