Movies & TV / Reviews

The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review

May 27, 2022 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
THE BOB'S BURGERS MOVIE Image Credit: 20th Century Studios
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review  

Directed By: Bernard Derriman and Loren Bouchard
Written By: Loren Bouchard & Nora Smith
Runtime: 102 minutes
MPA Rating: Rated PG-13 for rude/suggestive material and language

H. Jon Benjamin – Bob Belcher, Jimmy Junior, Kuchi Kopi
John Roberts – Linda Belcher
Kristen Schaal – Louise Belcher
Dan Mintz – Tina Belcher
Eugene Mirman – Gene Belcher
Kevin Kline – Calvin Fischoeder
Zach Galifianakis – Felix Fischoeder
Larry Murphy – Teddy
Aziz Ansari – Darryl
David Herman – Mr. Frond
Gary Cole – Sgt. Bosco

The Belcher family of TV’s Bob’s Burgers gets their first big-screen adventure in The Bob’s Burgers Movie. The staff and animation team of the hit TV series finally get the resources to try their hand at putting the show in a big-screen format, and it’s altogether humorous and satisfying.

Overall, the plot is fairly standard, but the Belcher family and Bob’s (Jon Benjamin) burger joint are once again in a crisis. The bank has denied their loan application that would keep the burger joint up and running. What’s worse, the dilapidated sidekick in front of the restaurant has given way to a giant sinkhole smack-dab in front of the entrance. Things escalate when the kids attempt to film Louise climbing into the sinkhole to get back at the other girls at school teasing her for her bunny-eared hat. While trying to escape, Louise unwittingly unearths a long-buried corpse of a murdered former employee of Wonder Wharf.

Bob’s eccentric landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kline), soon becomes the chief suspect in the murder. Realizing what’s at stake, Louise takes it upon herself to solve the murder to save their home, the restaurant, and prove her bravery. Meanwhile, teen Tina (Mintz) is trying to work up the courage to ask Jimmy Junior to become her summer boyfriend, and Gene is desperate to perform at an anniversary concert at the Wonder Wharf. Bob is trying to keep it together before the restaurant goes under, while Linda (Roberts), the eternal optimist, tries to keep Bob’s spirits up.

While Louise’s character arc is the central driving force of The Bob’s Burgers Movie, each of the family members gets their own mini-character arc. While this is a big-budget, theatrical version of the long-running TV series, long-standing knowledge or viewing of the TV show is not necessary to enjoy the film. Being a fan of the show will likely enrich the experience, but the narrative works perfectly fine as a standalone story. The characters and their relationships are all well-established. The film has the format of having a regular episode, simply with a larger budget to work with, along with a few dancing and musical numbers.

While there are musical numbers in The Bob’s Burgers Movie, there are not enough to consider this a full-blown musical. The musical interludes play like riffs of an actual musical, and they tend to just re-use the same musical sound each time. The interludes are not grand, emotional centerpieces, but they have a certain comedic charm, much like the Belcher family. The musical sequences are also splendidly animated, as the uniquely designed characters of the world of Bob’s Burgers move and groove with comically hilarious dance moves. H. Jon Benjamin and Kristen Schaal are not world-class singers, but their vocal performances as their characters are so in the moment and dedicated that it’s impossible not to enjoy them.

Despite the television show moving to a big-screen format, show creator and film co-director Loren Bouchard wisely avoids going for celebrity guest stars. All the main cast from the series are back for their roles. The biggest names in the film’s voice cast are Kevin Kline and Zach Galifianakis as the Fischoeder brothers, Calvin and Felix. They are long-established as part of the series’ ensemble, and they portray their roles perfectly. Larry Murphy’s Teddy also gets nice moments to shine. He doesn’t have a significant storyline, other than trying to help Bob and Linda come up with a possible workaround to continue their business, but his big moments are always some of the funniest.

While the film’s overall plot is on the pedestrian side, Bouchard and co-writer Nora Smith (who is also the co-showrunner of the series), write very sharp, witty dialogue. The Bob’s Burgers is easily a film that would be good to experience a second time in the event of missed jokes or pithy exchanges. The story also nails what makes the Belchers such a likable lot. Despite their wacky high jinks and adventures, the Belchers are an infinitely charming, blue-collar, working-class family. Through all their trials and tribulations, they never waiver in their love for each other. There is nothing cynical or satirical about the Belcher family’s love. They are not perfect, but they do their best. They are pure underdogs. The film has not eschewed the Belchers’ heart and purity, even in their most trying and difficult moments.

Considering that traditionally animated features have largely become slim pickings for western theatrical cinema, it’s nice to see a movie like this on the big screen, even if it’s a big-screen version of a popular, long-running television show. The animation of the Bob’s Burgers translates well to the big screen. New Bedford looks quite lush, and there is considerable depth and wonderful scenery in all the locales. The action setpieces add in some computer-generated elements, but they blend in fairly well with the traditional character models. It’s also fun to see the characters move and contort in ways they often do not in the TV show.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie does well in showcasing the Belcher family in all their charming, goofy splendor. That is the true delight in this animated adventure.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The adventures of the Belcher family translate quite well to the big screen in The Bob's Burgers Movie. While the script isn't earth-shattering, it makes up for that by keeping the focus on the charming Belchers and providing a story that anyone can walk in and watch, even if they aren't longtime fans or viewers of the show. The musical numbers are somewhat few and far between to make this a true musical, but the interludes have a rugged charm, much like the Belchers.