Bob’s Burgers has been a long enough staple on Fox’s animated primetime line-up that it was due for a film. But is it worthy enough to make the jump from an animated sitcom to an animated theatrical movie? Well, yes and no.
The Reliable Belchers
The Belcher family in The Bob’s Burgers Movie hasn’t changed much from the show. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) is still a low-key worry-wart of his burger business and his wife Linda (John Roberts) tries to keep up his spirits. Their kids of Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal) are still oddballs with wacky dreams and perfectly-timed comedy.
The biggest difference between the show and The Bob’s Burgers Movie is that the movie Belchers are a lot more musical and nimble with fluidity. A theatrical budget will do that for an animated character. It’s surreal to watch at first with everyone’s agile moves but you get used to it.
All of their comedy hallmarks are perfectly preserved and expanded upon. We get more worry with Bob, more uncertainty with Louise, and more ridiculous romance fantasies with Tina. Everyone is very much in their element, even with a bigger plot at play.
Murders and Burgers
There are two central conflicts in the picture that overlap. The first issue is a familiar one regarding money. Bob needs some extra cash to make his loan payment but is finding that business is slow, especially with a sinkhole opening at his entrance.
The bigger conflict revolves around a murder. A dead carnie is found in the sinkhole with a bullet in his body. Who could possibly be behind such a murder?
This premise could work well for involving the whole town as suspects. Sadly, the culprits are reduced rather quickly by the kids getting involved with the investigation. If you were hoping the mystery itself would be compelling, you may be out of luck with the easy-to-read clues.
Dinner and a Show
Per the tone of the show, the film comes with a few solid musical numbers. While not exactly the catchiest of tunes, the lyrics are fun enough to groove with. This creates a musical opera at times, where exposition is given a real beat.
It was certainly an experience listening to Jon Benjamin singing in a low, droning voice as Bob. I couldn’t help but feel there should be more absurd melodies from Mirman considering his character’s dream of striking it big as a band. Schaal certainly stands out for having the most musical scenes, breaking into a song about carnies to stress her maturity situation.
One surprise was the overly sexual melody sung by David Wain, complete with ridiculous dance moves. Watching him play the wiry and short-fused Grover Fischoeder was certainly a real treat. It’s also fun to hear the bitter dynamic between his rich family comprised of Felix Fischoeder (Zach Galifianakis) and Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline).
A Decent Dose of Chuckles
While most of the same comedy from the show comes threw in The Bob’s Burgers Movie, it doesn’t really amp up the hilarity past its usual expectations. For this reason, don’t expect much of anything present here you wouldn’t get in the show. Profanity and nudity are certainly not on the table, despite how these aspects kinda made The Simpsons Movie worth the theater trip.
I kept waiting for The Bob’s Burgers Movie to deliver that one big laugh but it never came. What I mostly got were amused snickers and chuckles, akin to what I’d get from an okay episode of the series. When the inclusion of sexy zombies feels like an expected sight gag, something seems amiss.
Do You Need To Watch The Bob’s Burgers Show?
Another question one might pose is if you need to be updated on the show to appreciate the film. Well, again, the answer is yes and no. The film doesn’t rely on too many characters that you’ll have to mesmerize the show’s crop of colorful figures.
That being said, there is some foreknowledge required to understand a bit of the affair regarding the Fischoeders. If you’re not aware of Felix’s prior fling, it might feel confusing that the film has to push out this exposition about the character. Such a relation to the show removes an element of making the film more accessible to non-fans who haven’t caught up on the 10+ seasons.
Conclusion: The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Bob’s Burgers makes an okay jump from television to movie theaters. The comedy is on point, the musical sequences are fun enough, and the boost in animation quality will be a treat for fans. But among the many animated series that have made this leap, Bob’s Burgers mostly just clears the landing and never really goes the distance.
Disney’s The Bob’s Burger’s Movie finished at #3, earning an estimated $15 million over 4 days during its Memorial Day weekend opening. Though it was no match for Top Gun: Maverick’s weekend earnings which also opened during the holiday weekend, it was was Disney’s most successful 2D animated release since The Princess and the Frog.
Did you see The Bob’s Burgers Movie in theaters? How does it compare to the show? Was it worth seeing the theater? Let us know in the comments below.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie is currently playing in theaters.