On March 18th, Netflix released Pee-wee’s new movie, Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday. My family sat down the day of its release to be one of the first families to watch it.
Not only are my 5 year-old son and I fans of Pee-wee’s work, I was also very curious to find out if this is a kids’ movie or not.
For your convenience, I made this video that goes through every possibly offensive word and innuendo.
Here’s a quick run-down though:
The only true “cuss word” in the movie is near the end, when Pee-Wee Herman is told he is a “bad *ss”.
Pee-Wee himself uses the word “cr*ppy”, as well as two uses of the word “fudge”, as a substitute for something more intense. He also uses the phrase, “halfway to hell,” but it’s in reference to the literal hell, in a sort of Biblical sense.
And I should point out there are 8 uses of the word “stupid” and one use of the word “oh my gosh,” which I am aware are considered bad words in the world of 5 year-olds.
Like the previous two Pee-wee movies, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure in 1985 and Big Top Pee-wee in 1988, language really isn’t what keeps these movies from being a true kids’ movie- it’s the ongoing innuendoes that children likely won’t pick up on, but parents will.
As a parent, this movie will keep you wondering if things are about to get out of hand, but they tame down just in time, each time.
Here are some examples.
-While the movie contains no actual violence, Pee-Wee is held against his will on multiple accounts by people using knives, and eventually a shotgun.
-A woman straddles Pee-wee as she hijacks his car after robbing a bank.
-The 3 women who rob the bank take Pee-Wee to a motel room and tie him up to a chair, then invite male strippers who walk in wearing police uninforms but then strip down to bikini briefs; getting into a pillow fight with the women.
-Soon after Pee-Wee finds potential safety when he arrives at Farmer Brown’s house, only to learn his 9 daughters try to sneak in Pee-wee’s bedroom during the night. He escapes by jumping out of the window.
-Eventually Pee-wee takes a ride on a tour bus with 4 hairdressers, 2 of which are gender-bending men; which may be confusing to children, as was the case with my son.
-There is also a shower scene showing a man with his shirt off. Another bathing scene shows a man and a women assumingly taking a bath together in a wooden tub; though it is briefly showing afterwards the woman has a bathing suit on.
I believe it is worth noting that by the end of the movie, Pee-Herman is referred to multiple times as a boy; when he falls in a well and the story is covered by the news, the headline reads, “Boy in Well.”
So keep in mind that Pee-wee Herman is a boy (not a man, though he is played by the 63 year-old Jewish actor Paul Reubens). Therefore, the “boy” character is thrown into adult situations in which he can not be prepared for.
Also keep in mind this concept is no different than his first movie- remember in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure when he ended up at that bar and saved himself from a violent fight by entertaining the motorcycle gang by dancing?
While my wife wasn’t a fan of this movie’s content, I enjoyed watching it with my son. At age 5, he was too young to pick up on any of the inappropriate material.
He and I enjoyed the non-stop humor of this movie. It’s non-stop laughs and adventure.
It’s rated TV-PG, but I would give it a “light PG-13” rating if it were a movie in a theatre, similar to Ant-Man.
Based on my analysis and my videos, I’ll let you be the judge on whether or not Pee-Wee’s Big Holiday is suitable for your family.