The Bob’s Burgers Movie, 2022.
Directed by Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman.
Featuring the voice talents of H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, Zach Galifianakis, and Kevin Kline.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie arrives on home video just in time for fans of the show to relive a Belcher family adventure that’s bigger and bolder than any of the storylines during the past 12 seasons of the series. A nice batch of bonus features was included too.
We’re a Bob’s Burgers family, so of course we saw this one opening weekend. And, I imagine like a lot of families who also watch the show together, we always have fun comparing the characters to members of our own family. (My son is too much like Gene to ignore, and I’ll confess to being more like Bob than I’d like.)
Unlike The Simpsons, which elicits laughs by pushing a dysfunctional family and their hometown beyond its boundaries (I’ve long been a fan of that one too), Bob’s Burgers places its protagonists in a relatively mundane existence of running a restaurant while trying to deal with the various problems that tend to crop up when you have three grade school age kids.
I’ve come to realize that one of the reasons I love the show is because Bob Belcher reminds me a little of Bob Newhart, who’s probably my favorite deadpan comedian. Sure, sometimes Bob loses his cool, but he often reacts to ridiculous situations with a defeated sigh and an even-keeled response to whatever insanity has been foisted upon him. And boy can I relate to that.
If you’re a fan too, well, this movie should be on your must-watch list this summer. Like The Simpsons Movie, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is essentially an episode of the show stretched to feature length (102 minutes, in this case), but it never feels like it’s a rejected story from the show padded out so it can be a movie.
The film opens with a typical financial problem for Bob and Linda Belcher: the bank won’t give them an extension on their loan, so they have a week to make their monthly payment. The kids, of course, have their own issues: Tina desperately wants Jimmy Pesto Jr. to be her summer boyfriend, Gene wants to reform the band he put together in the “Itty Bitty Ditty Committee” episode, and Louise has become a schoolyard pariah because she won’t do a stunt for fear that her special hat will fall off.
On top of all that, a sinkhole opens in front of the restaurant, threatening to ruin the family business, and when Louise descends into it to prove her bravery, she makes a discovery that sends the whole family off on an adventure.
Sure, if my life was threatened as often as Bob’s is on this show, I’d probably think about moving, but, like The Simpsons, the stars of Bob’s Burgers are forever frozen in a moment in time. The parents and kids never age, which means the restaurant, the school, and the rest of the neighborhood can be the source of adventures for a long time to come. Despite the fact that the show has been on the air for 12 seasons, it still continues to be fresh and funny.
I should add that if you’re a fan of the musical numbers on the Apple TV+ show Central Park, which is from the same creators, you’ll get your fill of such moments here. While I’ve never been a big fan of musicals, I can appreciate how this film lightly parodies the genre while coming up with some itty bitty ditties that stick with you after the end credits have rolled.
This digital edition of The Bob’s Burgers Movie sports a nice batch of bonus features, including:
• Commentary track: This is a bit of a schizophrenic commentary: the first half features co-director and co-writer Loren Bouchard chatting with co-writer Nora Smith as well as five members of the cast, and as you might imagine with this kind of group, it goes in about 20 different directions without really focusing completely on the subject at hand. For the second half of the film, though, the cast leaves and Bouchard and Smith are joined by co-director Bernard Derriman and production designer Ruben Hickman for a discussion that does a good job of getting into the nuts and bolts of making the film.
• Making of the Movie (19 minutes): Bouchard relates the history of the show from its original pitch, its climb in popularity, and the decision to make a movie.
• My Butt Has a Fever (6 minutes): This is a short film featuring the kids performing at a school talent show. There’s an animatic of it too. It was shown in some theaters ahead of the movie, but not at mine, unfortunately. (Boo!)
• Deleted scenes (9 minutes total): As you might know, deleted scenes from animated films are typically presented in their unfinished form, since the plot is usually airtight before the expensive animation process begins. This is three such scenes from the film, along with a featurette called The Movie We Didn’t Make, in which Bouchard and Smith talk about the many sub-plots and characters that were excised along the way. The pair also provide optional commentary for the three cut scenes.
• Animatics (20 minutes total): This consists of storyboards and rough animation for four sequences from the film.
• Animating the Scene (14.5 minutes total): This breaks down the animation process from start to finish for three of the movie’s sequences, with optional commentary by co-director Bernard Derriman.
• The Music of Bob’s Burgers (2 minutes): Bouchard talks about how he and his co-creators expanded the musical elements from the show for the film, which included getting an orchestra. As far as I can tell, this is unique to the digital version of the film, which means you can access it if you buy it on disc and redeem the code.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★