Review by Sean Boelman
Jumping from the small screen to the big screen is something that many television shows have attempted to do in the past to inconsistent results. The Bob’s Burgers Movie makes the most out of the more cinematic feature-length medium while maintaining the spirit of what makes the show so great, making this one of the best animated movies of the decade so far.
The film follows the Belchers as they attempt to solve a mystery that will save their restaurant after a sinkhole opens up right in front of it. Like the best episodes of the show, this features a larger-than-life story (and at an even bigger scale) while still emphasizing the familial aspects that fans have come to love.
The laughs in this movie come very frequently, especially for fans of the series. There are several callbacks here that are going to have those who regularly watch the show rolling in laughter. Still, that doesn’t mean that the film is a fans-only affair — there’s plenty of goofy humor here that is sure to have anyone chuckling, and it is clearly a labor of love for the filmmakers who put a great deal into making this excellent for both regulars and newcomers.
Of course, one thing that this feature-length format allowed the movie to do was go wild with the musical aspect. Some of the fan-favorite episodes of the show are the two-part musical season finales, and this film takes it even further. There are four songs in the movie that, beyond being hilarious comedy songs, are also just great songs in general.
(L-R): Bob Belcher (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), Linda Belcher (voiced by John Roberts), Louise Belcher (voiced by Kristen Schaal), Gene Belcher (voiced by Eugene Mirman), and Tina Belcher (voiced by Dan Mintz) in 20th Century Studios' THE BOB'S BURGERS MOVIE. Photo courtesy of 20th Century Studios. © 2022 20th Century Studios. All Rights Reserved.
Perhaps surprisingly, Bob’s arc in this film isn’t the focus. He’s really the comedic side character in this one, who is doing the wacky antics. Tina and Gene also have some amusing subplots that mirror a lot of what they have been going through in the past few seasons, only with a bit of a bigger scale since the budget allows it.
Louise really takes the driver’s seat here, being both the main character of the plot and the emotional core of the movie. She has a lot more growth in this film than she has in most of the recent episodes — perhaps because the creators knew this was coming and would shift her character so significantly — but it’s a fantastic treat for fans.
Having a feature-length movie’s budget rather than that of a single television episode really allows the film to go much bigger with its animation style. The contrast is much deeper and the backgrounds are much richer and more detailed. The filmmakers really made the most of their budget instead of just making a longer episode of the show.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie both fits wonderfully within the context of the show and stands out as an excellent animated movie in its own right. It’s basically Stand by Me if it were made by a bunch of musical theater kids, which is something that was perfect for this fan of the series.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie hits theaters on May 27.