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 Ranch near Santa Clarita, California, USA.
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. 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 formerly demanded the very circus Pee-wee is helping to leave.