'The Bob's Burgers Movie' review: Animated comedy served up well done
Courtesy of 20th Century Studios
Currently in its 12th season and clocking over 200 episodes, “Bob’s Burgers” is ripe for the big screen treatment though some struggle to translate from the small screen. Akin to “The Simpsons Movie,” “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” does a seamless enough job engaging with the core audience while converting newbies who never watched a single frame of the Emmy award winning series. The film, directed by series staples/showrunners Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman, considerably raises the stakes, and the low-fi 2D animation style pops on the silver screen plus the musical numbers are infectious. Devout fans of the animated sitcom will probably go bananas, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much I came around to the Belcher clan and their greasy burger joint.
That it benefits from an excellent voice ensemble is another win for the long-running series and “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” doesn’t waste their talents. I don’t watch the show, full disclosure, but it doesn’t seem the identity has been compromised, at least judging by the reactions from a friend of mine who is in fact a massive “Bob’s Burgers” fan. The quirky musical numbers peppered throughout the movie seem to encapsulate a certain bout of silliness most don’t see in theaters anymore and it quickly assimilates onlookers into the Belcherverse with relative ease. The opening tune doesn’t waste a beat introducing the characters, there’s Bob (H Jon Benjamin), his eccentric wife Linda (John Roberts) and three kiddos, Louise (Kristen Schaal), Tina (Dan Mintz), and Gene (Eugene Mirman).
As it goes, Bob’s Burgers and the Belchers are in a pickle, the bank is coming to collect on its overdue loan and any hopes of an extension are squashed after a loan officer briskly shoos them away. They’ve got seven days to make the bank whole or risk losing the business, and it doesn’t help that a giant sinkhole has opened right in front of the door and their landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) doesn’t plan on giving them a break either. The dash to save the business intersects with a variety of local mysteries, including the unearthing of Cotton Candy Dan’s corpse six years after his murder among other wily shenanigans.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” has a cinematic feel and a sense of scope the small screen can’t replicate. I obviously didn’t pick up on the little nuances or deeply ingrained humor those who watch the show will immediately cackle at, but a good movie has cross-generational appeal and reaches across the aisle. What could have been an adaptation solely meant for fans ends up having a little something for everyone.
THE BOB’S BURGERS MOVIE is now playing in theaters.