Directed by: Loren Bouchard & Bernard Derriman
Distributed by: 20th Century Studios
Written by Alexander Reams
There was a time when it seemed inevitable that popular animated series would grace the silver screen one day. The most famous iteration was “The Simpsons Movie”, which became one of the biggest movies of 2007, and there was “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut”, but those were each 15 and 23 years ago respectively. There were rumors of a sequel, but Fox has been assimilating to the Big Brother- I mean Disney way of production, so that is on indefinite hold, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane has been talking about a “Family Guy” movie since 2007, but he has been busy with other productions and has been plagued with a rocky theatrical history, sans “Ted”. So when a movie for the show “Bob’s Burgers” was announced, the head-scratching for this writer began. It was a show that had been mocked by other animated shows (notably, Family Guy), and I hadn’t really seen much of the show other than clips and advertisements for it. Then the marketing rolled out, and the trailers sold me on the premise immediately, I was in, but what had I gotten myself into?
After the first musical number, I knew I’d have a good time, it’s immaculately choreographed and still progresses the story while having good lyrics and developing its characters throughout the numbers. The number with all of the carnies tells us everything we need to know about them while also providing insight into Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise’s (Kristen Schaal) motivations. And their motivation as a family is one that is as old as time, “save the family business”. One of the common struggles throughout the movie is the Belcher’s inability to pay back a loan to the bank, pay their rent (to a hilariously bad (as in evil) landlord), and a giant sinkhole that just stretches to their door front, causing customers to be unable to visit the family restaurant. This forces Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) to get creative as to how they will make their loan payment, which just so happens to be in 7 days. And in that sinkhole, there is also a dead body (the kids believe if they solve the murder, they will save the family business). This puts an immediate rush on the plot, a time clock, and it can work against and for a movie, here it is the latter.
A lot of this you might be hearing about for the first time, or it’s somewhat new, that is due to the brilliant marketing that “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” team did. Going into the movie you know very little, they relied on their fanbase and word of mouth to sell the picture, something that is seldom seen in the modern studio system. “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” may not be the biggest grosser at the box office, but it has more heart, more love, and more musical numbers than most of Disney’s catalog, and this film easily rivals a lot of their other pictures. The family dynamic is written in a way that is simple yet not without its cleverness. The relationships within the film have an ethereal vibe that is unseen in animation today, even with some of the more “adult” animated projects, they don’t venture into this world.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” Trailer
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is in wide theatrical release.