The Bob's Burgers Movie (2022)
"The Bob's Burgers Movie" stars H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, Zach Galifianakis, and Kevin Kline. Released on May 27, 2022, the film has the Belchers attempting to save their restaurant.
The film was directed by Loren Bouchard (in his feature directorial debut) and Bernard Derriman. It is based on a television series of the same name created by Bouchard. The Belchers have experienced many different obstacles while running a burger restaurant on Ocean Avenue. However, none of them can compare to what they're about to encounter during their first trip to the big screen. Fox is usually known for providing animated content for teens and adults, mainly "The Simpsons", which seemed to be going on forever, for better or worse. Unfortunately, its shows rarely got an opportunity to generate a film adaptation compared to the cartoons aimed at kids. The last (and only) time this happened was back in 2007 with "The Simpsons" wowing its fans with "The Simpsons Movie". Luckily, that's all about to change this weekend, with another Fox animated series making its theatrical debut this Memorial Day weekend: "Bob's Burgers". Loren Bouchard's series about a family running a restaurant didn't make that much of an impression when it first aired a decade ago. It wasn't until its second season that it gained enough momentum to win over viewers with its deadpan humor and sitcom-like plots. Its popularity resulted in Fox putting a fast track on a theatrical film during its seventh season. Multiple delays and seasons later, we finally have the Belchers in their cinematic glory. I didn't get into "Bob's Burgers" until its 11th season, and based on what I saw, it's an enjoyable addition to my list of shows I wouldn't mind going back to often. So now I have a perfect excuse to check out its film adaptation this weekend. Was it as tasty as Bob's mouth-watering burgers? Let's find out.
The story centers on the Belcher family, which consists of Bob (Benjamin), his wife Linda (Roberts), and their children Tina (Mintz), Gene (Mirman), and Louise (Schaal). They're on the verge of planning for a successful summer at their restaurant. However, trouble arises to ruin those plans as Bob struggles to make his payment to keep Bob's Burgers running. Even worse is that a ruptured water main creates a sinkhole in front of the restaurant's entrance. While Bob and Linda try to find different ways to promote the restaurant, Louise, Tina, and Gene set out to investigate the cause of the sinkhole. Their shocking discovery resulted in the family preventing an even bigger catastrophe from closing down their business for good.
Like the other films based on television shows, "The Bob's Burgers Movie" offers the same style and brand of humor that you'd expect from its source material. The only difference is that it added a cinematic flavor to its recipe to stand apart from the show's low-budget appeal. Because of this, it becomes something that'll depend on people's taste in "Bob's Burgers". If they've been enjoying the show since day one, they'll find many things to savor in "The Bob's Burgers Movie". On the other hand, the people who aren't interested in the show itself, possibly due to the character designs and humor, may not love it as much as its fans. However, it does have plenty of tasty moments to satisfy those hungry for entertainment.
The movie's plot is more of a cinematic version of the show's slice-of-life episode involving the Belchers facing everyday obstacles while running their restaurant. Bob and Linda are faced with an uncertain future when their burger restaurant is in danger of being closed down. Meanwhile, the children have their own problems during their last day of school. Tina struggles to take her relationship with Jimmy Jr. to the next level. Gene creates a new instrument for him to use in his band, and Louise fears losing her hat while performing a stunt. While Tina and Gene's subplots didn't impact the story's murder mystery element that much, they easily compensate with the film's solid use of awkwardly goofy humor.
The subplots that do make an impact were suitable in providing some entertaining and heartfelt sequences that made the show iconic in the first place. Louise's subplot was my favorite part of the movie because it showcases her journey of bravery and adolescence. After being called a baby due to her wearing her signature hat, she sets out to prove the other students wrong by solving a murder mystery. Unsurprisingly, the storyline didn't explore this element further, but its message about bravery and feel-good vibes made up for its basic plot. The moments involving Bob and Linda keeping the restaurant open to pay their loan were also gratifying to watch. It wonderfully reflects the show's sitcom-like nature while delivering some chuckle-worthy dialogue to keep its business booming.
My only issue with the plot is its runtime, clocking in at around an hour and 40 minutes. Despite its proper pacing, the film bit off more than it could chew regarding its narrative. With a story as fundamental as the show itself, I don't think it needed to be that long, especially when considering its concept. If it were somewhere between 80 and 90 minutes, I would be more forgiving towards it. Anywhere over that can spell trouble if its audience didn't enjoy "Bob's Burgers". There's also this one scene that dragged on a bit too long and is somehow convoluted. Other than that, I was constantly entertained by this fun-loving, low-stakes adventure worthy enough to receive the big-screen treatment.
The main cast is just as charismatic and humorous in the movie as they were in the show. H. Jon Benjamin and John Roberts were superb in delivering great chemistry for Bob and Linda. Schaal, Mintz, and Mirman also did a splendid job carrying the film as Louise, Tina, and Gene, respectively. But, of course, the cast is not without its share of celebrities joining in on the fun. Although, most of them have limited roles that didn't divert our attention from the film's story. The only two celebrities that served a purpose in its plot were Kevin Kline and Zach Galifianakis, who both reprised their roles as Calvin and Felix Fischoeder from the show. Long story short, these two were also enjoyable in the film.
"The Bob's Burgers Movie" maintains the traditional animated look from the show but with some added lighting, texture, CGI, and shadows to make it more detailed and cinematic. Additionally, it features smoother movements for the characters' faces and body motions. This approach is similar to "The Simpsons Movie", which also features a movie-like quality in its 2D style and character designs. I'm happy that they decided to use 2D animation for this movie because we don't get as many traditional animated films as often as those with 100% CGI. More importantly, it's one of the elements that define the show itself—the other ones being its heartwarming family dynamic and comedy. The animation in "The Bob's Burgers Movie" gives the characters and their world a fresh coat of paint while keeping its style consistent with its source material. The result is a pleasingly vibrant and nicely-detailed movie full of fluidity and lively flavor. It's nothing too spectacular regarding its style, but like its story, its simplicity is good enough to fulfill my animation needs.
Despite the film being marketed as a musical, it only features three songs written by Bouchard and Nora Smith. So don't expect it to be in the same veins as "The Little Mermaid" or even "Encanto" regarding the number of musical numbers. All I can say about them is that they're decent. They may not come close to being as memorable as "We Don't Talk About Bruno" or "Let It Go" from "Frozen", but they're fun to listen to regardless. Out of the three songs that appear in the movie, "Sunny Side Up Summer" and "Lucky Ducks" were the only two I enjoyed the most. The third song was okay. Not excellent, not terrible. It's just okay.
Overall, "The Bob's Burgers Movie" is a delectable and hilarious treat that'll cater to its fans and newcomers hungry for teen-rated animation goodness. Its bloated runtime and condensed plot may be too much for a casual moviegoer's stomach to handle. However, it has enough moments in its story and characters to deliver a worthy addition to the "Bob's Burgers" franchise. The movie is a delightfully amusing adaptation of the source material thanks to its voice cast, solid animation, and a story that effectively combines humor and heart. It's worth a watch if you like the show or if you're looking for animated content aimed towards an older crowd.
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