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Fox’s animated television series Bob’s Burgers clearly has a goodly number of devoted fans, considering that it’s lasted 12 seasons and more than 200 episodes. That fanbase could significantly increase with the new big-screen incarnation, which brings the lovable Belcher family and their cozy seaside community hamburger joint to a multiplex near you.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie effectively recreates the show’s winning combination of irreverent humor and heartwarming family dynamics, not to mention the occasional musical number to sweeten the pot. The film, co-directed by series creator Loren Bouchard and longtime director Bernard Derriman and co-scripted by Bouchard and current executive producer Nora Smith, does have a more ambitious storyline than typical episodes. It has the feel of a film noir spoof, beginning with a prologue in which we see a murder being committed at the local boardwalk amusement park.
The Bob's Burgers Movie
Cut to six years later, when parents Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) and their precocious children Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) are facing a financial crisis. The family desperately needs an extension on a bank loan to keep the business afloat, with Bob figuring the best way to persuade the loan officer is by offering him one of the restaurant’s delicious burgers. Unfortunately, the bank official doesn’t bite, both literally and figuratively. And things go from bad to worse when an enormous sinkhole opens up right in front of their restaurant just as the summer season is about to begin.
When a skeleton is discovered in the sinkhole, it sets off a frantic chain of events in which the kids attempt to solve the mystery and, in the process, nearly get themselves and their parents killed. Along the way, they run into the series’ familiar characters, including the Belchers’ dotty landlord Calvin Fischoeder (a very amusing Kevin Kline), his obnoxious brother Felix (Zach Galifianakis), cranky police officer Sergeant Bosco (Gary Cole), regular customer Teddy (Larry Murphy), and seemingly every other character who’s ever shown up in the series.
The lead voice performers deliver their lines with the sort of comic assurance that comes from having lived with their characters for a very long time. And the roster of supporting players is a who’s-who of comic talents, most of them veterans of the show, including Paul F. Tompkins, Nick Kroll, Jordan Peele, Aziz Ansari, Paul Rudd, Jenny Slate, Andy Kindler, Sarah Silverman and many others.
The film features more than a few one-liners that will induce groans (“It’s a real he fled, she fled situation” being a typical example), but there are plenty of amusing, if not necessarily hilarious, moments. The colorful hand-drawn animation looks terrific on the big screen, and the show’s fans will be comforted by such familiar perennial gags as the ever-changing punning name of the business located next door to the burger shop (“Sew You Think You Can Pants”).
Definitely hewing to the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” philosophy regarding big-screen versions of long-running television shows, The Bob’s Burger Movie should well satisfy devotees. Which begs the question: When will Seth MacFarlane finally get around to making that Family Guy movie?
Production companies: 20th Century Studios
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Cast: H. Jon Benjamin, Jon Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, David Wain, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Kline
Directors: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman
Screenwriters: Loren Bouchard, Nora Smith
Producers: Janelle Momary-Neely, Loren Buchard, Nora Smith
Executive producers: Katie Crown, Jim Dauterive, Steven Davis, Dan Fybel, Scott Jacobson, Lizzie Molyneux, Wendy Molyneux, Rich Rinaldi, Holly Schlesinger, Jon Schroeder, Greg Thompson, Kelvin Yu, Marci Proietto
Production designer: Ruben Hickman
Editor: Kris Fitzgerald
Casting: Julie Ashton
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