Immensely enjoyable and one of the funniest comedies to hit theaters in years, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” does right by its characters and its audience.
When television shows make the leap to the big screen, they fall prey to the fatal mistake of taking their characters out of their environments and sending them on crazy adventures, where they lose their essence.
The show’s creators Loren Buschard and Bernard Derriman and head writer Nora Smith keep a firm hold on what makes their creation so special, delivering a focused and very funny day in the life of Bob and Linda Belcher, their kids, and all the characters we have grown to love.
The film’s plot is nothing you wouldn’t find in any episode of the show. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) have only 7 days to make their bank loan payment or face repossessions of their restaurant equipment.
Hoping to get more traffic due to a summer festival at Wonder Wharf, things might be looking up until a sinkhole opens up right in front of the restaurant.
Eventually, the discovery of a skeleton in the hole (a murdered carny named Cotton Candy Dan) leads to a murder investigation that seriously hurts business at Bob’s burger joint. Not one customer can be found, and the deadline is closing in.
As Bob and Linda scramble with the real threat of losing their dream, their kids are grappling with their own life issues.
Gene (Eugene Mirman) is trying to get his band (the Itty Bitty Ditty Committee) into festival at the Wharf. He thinks this will be their big shot but his friends forgot they even have a band.
Tina (Dan Mintz) is still lovestruck for that Jimmy Pesto Jr. (Benjamin) and really wants him to be her summer boyfriend, or does she?
Louise (Kristen Schaal) is embarrassed and feels low after other girls tease her for wearing her trademark pink bunny-eared hat. They call her a “chicken” and a “baby”; insults that send her on a philosophical journey of self-discovery. Yes, she is nine years old.
Bob and Linda are in a mission to save their restaurant. Gene, Louise, and Tina are out to solve a murder, clear an innocent man’s name, and test their own mettle in life’s obstacles.
The main voice cast is as brilliantly funny and touching as they are on the show.
Benjamin’s droll speech (reminiscent of comedian Steven Wright’s cadence) is perfect for Bob. He is a bit kooky regarding his love for food and lets stress get to him much too often, but he is a good dad and husband. The actor makes him as real as anyone in a live action piece, and through his great work, earns his character empathy.
In my opinion, Linda Belcher is one the great tv moms. John Roberts voices her with spunk and pizazz. Linda loves to sing, she loves her wine, but most of all she loves her family and shows it in her own wild and special ways. Roberts nails the idiosyncrasies of the character and has made Linda Belcher unforgettable.
Mintz, Mirman, and Schaal always give their all and have crafted the three Belcher children into the most unique tv kids in decades. The actors assure that we can’t help but love them to death.
Kevin Kline is always in top comedy form as Bob’s landlord Mr. Fischoeder, as is Zach Galifinakis as his scheming brother.
Larry Murphy’s work as Bob’s self-declared best friend Teddy made the character a fan favorite. Teddy gets a lot of screen time here, inducing some big laughs. He always wants to help the family. There isn’t a mean bone in his body, and he is as sweet and funny as ever.
One of the show’s real treats is its big, Broadway-sized musical numbers. The lyrics and the songs’ designs are always clever and humorous, and the music is fantastic.
The opening number that kicks off the film is one of the best in “Bob’s Burgers” history. It is instantly catchy, and the harmonies are joyous, getting the film off to a perfect start. Every musical number that follows works. These aren’t songs crafted to fill time. These are big, clever, well written compositions. Further evidence of the care that goes into the show and now the film.
What makes “Bob’s Burgers” so special is the writing and dedication of the perfect cast. These aren’t just goofy animated characters doing silly things. Sure, silly things happen to them, but by the end of every episode, we see the Blecher family as human. This clan loves one another. These are good people and I like spending time with them.
How many times can one say that about an animated film?
This picture succeeds where most modern comedies fail. The filmmakers don’t need to reinvent their characters. The film (and the show) have a real heart and the laughs are well earned.
“The Bob’s Burgers Movie” feels fresh and crisp and is quite the infectious good time. If I wasn’t laughing out loud, I was smiling from ear to ear.
I love these characters and spending time with them feels like time with dear friends.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie
Written by Loren Bouchard & Nora Smith
Directed by Loren Bouchard & Derriman
PG-13, 102 Minutes, 20th Century Studios/ Fox Animation