Solid Laughs Elevate Lackluster Animation



The Bob’s Burgers Movie had this neophyte laughing out loud more often than not. I profess to not seeing a second of the television series before the film. Walking in cold was a pleasant surprise. The wicked double entendres and sharp dialogue kept the humor flowing like a faucet. The musical numbers got old fast but thankfully didn’t detract too much from a swift plot. Fans of the show will not be disappointed.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie opens with the Belcher family in dire economic straits. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) owe the bank a significant amount of money. Failure to pay will result in losing their restaurant equipment. Bob hopes that a specialty burger will bribe the loan officer into giving them a longer extension.

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Meanwhile, their children each have problems to deal with before summer vacation. The eldest, Tina (Dan Mintz), is nervous about asking Jimmy Jr. (also voiced by Benjamin) to go steady. Middle child Gene (Eugene Mirman) has crafted a new musical instrument that will surely lead to stardom. The youngest and clear ring leader, Louise (Kristen Schaal), is furious after a group of mean girls call her a “baby.”

The situation gets worse all around when a water main breaks directly in front of the restaurant. Leaving a gigantic sinkhole in the street and the Belcher’s bank account. Bob begins to freak out. Where will they get the money to repay the loan? The bottom of the hole reveals a big mystery. Louise decides to rally her siblings, solve the case, and save Bob’s Burgers.

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Nods and Winks in The Bob’s Burgers Movie

The film gives a lot of nods and winks to understated adult themes. Tina’s adolescent crush on Jimmy Jr. leads to quasi-risqué fantasies. They manifest her teenage self-doubt in interesting ways. I found this subplot to be well-written. Tina’s struggle to contain her hormones while being dragged around by Louise is hilarious. Gene’s rock star aspirations loses its luster. Louise’s comical efforts succeed in driving the overall narrative.

The song and dance numbers aren’t terrible. They’re clever at times but seem like filler to me. A feature film has an obvious longer runtime that needs material. I honestly don’t know if the show has a similar level of music interludes. They do have an edge that corresponds to the mature subject matters. No worries, Bob’s Burgers doesn’t get anywhere near the raunchiness of South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. It’s definitely a film for all ages.

My biggest disappointment concerns the lackluster animation. A feature film should be a premium visual experience. The Bob’s Burgers Movie could have been four television episodes linked together. I kept waiting to see something remarkable. There’s nothing eye-popping here. That’s a major letdown when it costs a minor fortune to take children to a movie.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie will resonate with its dedicated audience. The show has been running for twelve seasons. Everyone who’s watched to this point will certainly be entertained. They know, love, and have familiarity with the characters. The filmmakers deserve credit for good primary exposition. Newbies will catch on quickly and have a few solid chuckles.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a production of 20th Century Animation, 20th Century Family, Bento Box Entertainment, and Wilo Productions. It will be released theatrically on May 27th from 20th Century Studios.

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Julian Roman
(1534 Articles Published)

Julian Roman has been with Movieweb for nearly twenty years. An avid film buff, he feels lucky to have interviewed and written extensively about Hollywood’s greatest talents. In his spare time he plays guitar, treasures good company, and always seeks new adventures.

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