Director: Loren Bouchard & Bernard Derriman | 1h 42mins | Comedy, Adventure, Animation
Bob and Linda try to save the restaurant from closing when a sinkhole forms in front of it. Meanwhile, Louise, Gene and Tina try to solve the murder of a local ‘carny’.
Animated TV sitcom Bob’s Burgers becomes the next in a long line of shows to have a crack at a feature film spin-off. The Belchers rank as one of the most wholesome TV families of all time, but as we know turning the small screen into the big screen doesn’t always work out. However, The Bob’s Burgers Movie treats fans of the show to a slicker and bigger adventure, while being a warm embrace for anyone who hasn’t seen Bob’s Burgers before.
While the show is no stranger to original songs, usually implementing a song or jingle into each episode, the film opts for a full blown musical – breaking down its structure with joyful and offbeat tunes using the weird and wonderful characters of the Bob’s Burgers world. There is a small moment when the first song begins rearing its head towards a very basic form of musical but creators, and directors of the film, Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman quickly resolve this issue with the shows signature humour.
The first instance of trouble for the Belchers is the opening of a sinkhole outside the restaurant’s door, damaging any chance Bob has of saving his family’s livelihood. Very much like the show, the film feels separated by its more real-life problems created for Bob and Linda while the three children find adventure of their own, with Gene, Tina and Louise try to solve the murder of a local ‘carny’. The show works so well because of its ability to find humour in ordinary trouble (not to mention a fantastic grasp on pun-based jokes) but also finding the barbarity in it too, something that film finds easy to replicate.
That’s probably the biggest reason the film succeeds, while it’s bigger, glossier and longer than the show the only way to succeed is to maintain the voice of such a unique set of characters. Sure, Tina still dreams of Zombies and Jimmy Jr. and Gene dreams of playing the big stage, but the entire family finds unity in their individual stories of not feeling good enough. It is very much a family film, not just in their shared last names but in the individual struggles paralleling each other and making them a cohesive unit.
You could argue there isn’t really a need for this film with the show doing so well, but there shouldn’t be any complaints. It’s fun, offbeat and family humour is wholly unique in a landscape of shows and films either going too hard on the adult humour or not hard enough. But the film’s success should be measured in its ability to morph to the feature length form while never tarnishing the voice of the show, something that it does terrifically.