TL;DR – This was so full of charm and joy that I had a smile on my face for the entire runtime, well, when I was not laughing, that is.
Post-Credit Scene – There is a post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film
The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review –
When I walked in to see The Bob’s Burgers Movie, I had two main concerns, one personal and the other professional. The personal being that I had kind of fallen out with Bob’s Burgers. During the Covid pandemic, when they finally released it easily here in Australia on Disney+, I binged that series hard, which might not have been for the best. Professionally, I had to wonder, could it make a show that was deserving of a feature-length runtime. The last show to do this on a similar scale was Simpsons, and even Family Guy fell back on that Star Wars riff when doing something similar. However, as I walked out of the cinema, I was glad to say that neither of these concerns was an issue because the film was a blast.
So to set the scene, it is 6-years beforehand, and one night, in the dark night, there is a scuffle, and then a bang as someone is murdered. Flash forward to the present day, and there is a feeling of nervous cheer in the Belcher family. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) are going down to the bank to ask for an extension on their loan payment, and Bob is making a special burger to help seal the deal. However, as the kids Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal) go to school, Louise is called a baby because she still wears bunny ears. Well, Bob didn’t get the loan, and worse, a pit hole opens up in front of the restaurant, but in that hole could be the Belcher’s salvation or their doom.
When you have a show like this move to a feature-length outing, the question you have to ask is, ‘does it have a hook or something to justify that runtime’. Having a narrative that can sustain that length is only one part of the equation. You must show what makes you need to see this on the big screen. For Bob’s Burgers, that answer comes in two forms. The first is that the general production of the film is a jump up from the average episode. There is a bigger budget here, and you can see that in the way that the world comes together and the details they can show. But the other part, which surprised me, was that the writers turned this into a musical. There are some songs throughout this film that are absolute bangers. Indeed the first one about getting the confidence to go about your day was a delight to watch.
One of the strengths of this film is the wealth of history it can call on for both its characters and its world. I have seen most of [but not all] of Bob’s Burgers, and there are little details of past episodes everywhere. However, the most important thing is that these details are not used as a barrier for viewers. So yes, Tina likes sexy zombies, but if you know that, it is a delightful in-joke, and if you don’t, it is a strangely odd yet endearing moment. The film does a good job of bringing new people into the world without dragging the narrative down for anyone else who is already on board. Tonally, it is interesting how wild extremes we go through because, for all the light jokes, this film gets dark at times, in ways I was not expecting.
When it comes to the narrative, it is a relatively straightforward story with the usual Bob’s Burgers flair. The combination of the absurd and the mundane makes the show land. We have the kids embark on a murder mystery just because Louise was called a baby and discovered a deeper conspiracy. While the parents are desperately trying to save their restaurant while trying not to let the kids know just how bad things are, it is a remarkably honest story, even if tina spends most of the film in a burger costume. All of this is combined with a level of humour that had the whole audience in stitches as every cast member absolutely commits to their role.
In the end, do we recommend The Bob’s Burgers Movie? If you are a fan of the show, then that is a no-brainer. You will 100% want to see this film. If you have seen some episodes and are familiar with the show, I would also recommend giving it a watch. The question is, what if you have never seen the show before? Well, honestly, I would still say give it a look. If you liked The Bob’s Burgers Movie, I would recommend to you The Bad Guys.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Directed by – Loren Bouchard & Bernard Derriman
Screenplay by – Loren Bouchard & Nora Smith
Based on – Bob’s Burgers by Loren Bouchard
Music/Songs by – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Loren Bouchard, Robert Lopez, Alan Menken & Glenn Slater
Production/Distribution Companies – 20th Century Animation, 20th Century Family, Bento Box Entertainment, Wilo Productions & 20th Century Studios
Starring – H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis, David Wain, Sam Seder, Aziz Ansari, David Herman, Gary Cole, Brian Huskey, Jenny Slate, Craig Anton, Ron Lynch & Stephanie Beatriz
Rating – Australia: PG; Canada: PG; Germany: 0; New Zealand: PG; United Kingdom: PG; United States: PG-13