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Wayne White was a designer and puppeteer on Pee-wee's Playhouse who went on to create music videos for Peter Gabriel and Smashing Pumpkins; he's found a second career painting phrases like "Picasso's ass falling off" in 3D-style letters on thrift-store landscapes. An ornery, unreconstructed Southerner given to dancing while wearing an Easter Island–size LBJ mask, he is, says Matt Groening, "a little Zach Galifianakis, a little Snuffy Smith, a little Unabomber." Footage of a Nashville kiddie show for which he designed the sets gives the lie to the assumption that the sole architect of Pee-wee's world was Gary Panter. This is a rare documentary in which the camerawork and editing (and lively animation) are as dynamic as its subject. It's also indulgent, not admitting that White's new gimmick wears out its welcome, and never making the case that White deserves his own documentary.

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  Topics: Reviews , review, documentary, film
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ARTICLES BY ANN LEWINSON
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