Welcome, World Travelers! The Bob’s Burgers Movie is…Uhhhhh, Okay!
by James Coulter
Does The Bob’s Burgers Movie count as a Disney movie? Technically, it’s not. But, then again, technically, it is. The movie was created by 20th Century Studios (formerly 20th Century Fox), which is now owned by The Walt Disney Company. So, technically, Bob’s Burgers is a Disney movie. (Or at least it is for the sake of this review!)
For those of you who may have been living under a rock this past decade, Bob’s Burgers is an adult animated sitcom about the Belchers, an eccentric family who run a failing burger joint. Wacky hijinks ensue! The series has become famous for its awkward sense of humor, with awkward characters getting into awkward situations and exchanging awkward dialogue. If I’ve said “awkward” so many times, it’s only because the word best describes this show.
Since its premiere nearly a decade ago, Bob’s Burgers has become popular enough to transition from the small screen to the big screen. But will the Belcher family make it big during their big screen debut? Or will they fail as epically as Bob’s business?
Summer’s around the corner, and the Belchers have their hands full. Bob and Linda are about to default on their bank loan, and they only have one week to raise enough money before their resturant gets repossessed. Meanwhile, their three kids have big plans for summer vacation. Gene wants to write an epic song, Tina wants to hook up with her crush, and Louise wants to prove her bravery.
Unfortunately, as can be expected, their plans go quickly awry. A large sinkhole forms outside their eatery, preventing customers from coming in. Worse, the hole uncovers a skeleton from a years-old murder that indicts their eccentric landlord. The children decide to solve the mystery while their parents try to sell enough burgers to pay off their loan. Will the parents raise enough money in time to save the eatery? And will the kids solve the mystery in time to clear their landlord’s name?
Most other theatrical adaptations of television often involve storylines grander than most episodes with larger-than-life adventures and greater stakes. The Bob’s Burgers Movie, on the other hand, plays out exactly like a typical Bob’s Burgersepisode. Even with a grander mystery and a dramatic third act conclusion, the plot would otherwise not be out of place in a television episode. The movie’s essentially a Bob’s Burgersepisode with a theatrical running time, better animation, and an overall larger production value.
As can be expected, how much you’ll enjoy this movie depends on how much you enjoy the show. If you’re a fan who has watched every episode more than twice, not only will you probably watch and enjoy the movie, but you’ve probably already seen it and don’t need a review to tell you you’ll enjoy it. But even if you’ve only watched a few episodes or are vaguely familiar with the show, you most likely have the overall gist to understand and appreciate the movie.
As explained earlier, the show is famous for its very awkward sense of humor, and the movie perfectly exemplifies it. For example, in one scene, Tina contemplates whether or not she should confess her love to her crush. She then tosses away the charm she wanted to give him into the ocean. Other movies would play this scene dramatically, but since this is a Bob’s Burgers movie, it plays out exactly as it would in the show. She tosses the charm off the pier, only for it to bounce off the railing and back onto the paneling. She kicks it away, only to skirt near the edge. She kicks it off the edge, only for the chain to get caught and dangle over the edge. She finally releases it into the water, but bemoans how a fish will probably choke on it.
Again, how much you’ll love the humor depends on how much you love the show. If you love the show, the humor plays out exactly as it does on the show. So, depending on your overall tolerance of this type of humor, you’ll consider it either extremely entertaining or extremely annoying and tedious. At worst, many jokes drag on longer than they need to, but at best, that’s exactly how the show plays out their own jokes, so it’s to be expected.
Overall, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is about as good as the Bob’s Burgers show. If you love the show, you’ll enjoy the movie. And even if you’ve never watched the show, you’ll probably still be pleasantly entertained. If you’re a fan, you most likely already watched it in theaters. And if you’re not, then consider watching a matinee or wait until it arrives on streaming and rental.Otherwise, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is…uhhhhhh, a Bob’s Burgers movie.