The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022)
The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022)

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, and Musical Running Time: 1 hr. 42 min.

Release Date: May 27th, 2022 MPAA Rating: PG-13

Director: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman Actors: H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Larry Murphy, Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis

 


 

A

s the 80th anniversary of the Wonder Wharf approaches, the Belcher family has hopeful plans for the summer. Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) anticipate extra customers for the event – and therefore an easy time paying back their kitchen equipment loan. Tina (Dan Mintz) fantasizes about classmate Jimmy Jr. becoming her boyfriend, while Gene (Eugene Mirman) plots to revolutionize pop music with his inventive instrumentals. And Louise (Kristen Schaal) determines to prove her intrepidity to those who doubt her by gallantly facing danger. But the whole family has their dreams dashed when a giant sinkhole opens up directly in front of the restaurant. Now, with only a few days left before defaulting on the loan, Bob, Linda, and their best friend Teddy (Larry Murphy) must come up with a strategy to save the business. When the problematic pit reveals even further troubles, dredging up a dark secret involving the Wharf’s owner, Mr. Fischoeder (Kevin Kline), the Belcher children must spring into action to solve a mystery and save the day.

The animation remains about the same as in the show, but the background art has definitely gone up a notch, as have the shadows and the sense of dimension. The level of details is a touch higher; it’s obvious that the production values have increased. But aside from the visuals, it’s the music (including prominent background orchestrations) that proves most immediately mesmerizing; the introductory song, accompanied by plenty of expected dancing, is an absolute triumph – a catchy and cheerful tune that serves as a recurring leitmotif. Unfortunately, that starts the picture off at an unmatchable high, creating the potential for subsequent sequences to fizzle.

The score here carries over as one of the best components the television series boasted, as many of the later seasons featured episodes with original songs – ranging from absurd to quite engaging. It’s all terribly optimistic, upbeat, peppy, and memorable, just like the main characters; through thick and thin, the Belcher family overflows with wholesomeness, genuineness, and likability. They each provide comic relief, but are never excluded from emotional moments; as one of the big draws for the series’ considerable run (airing the first few episodes of season 13 as of this release date), audiences tend to see themselves amid the clan’s diverse set of admirable qualities – spanning Tina’s awkward adolescence (with infatuation with boys, horses, and sexy zombies), Louise’s need to be seen as strong and independent, and Gene’s unflappable individualism (particularly with his musical interests), each of which demonstrate the standard insecurities and woes of growing up.

As this feature-length episode is clearly intended for longtime viewers, there are no introductions for the characters, while many of the series’ guest stars (such as Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis, Aziz Ansari, Sarah Silverman, and Stephanie Beatriz), each with pre-established idiosyncrasies, make welcome appearances. Signature gags abound, numerous references to past episodes crop up, and tongue-twisting one-liners are frequent – all staples of the source material. Plus, puns emerge and are spoken unyieldingly – something always at the forefront of the Emmy-winning franchise. “You can’t handle the tooth!”

It may not be much more than an extended episode (losing a bit of steam toward the finale), worked into something slightly more complex than usual with its murder/mystery premise woven into dependable humor and the easy fantasy of animated musicals, but it’s consistently delightful. Despite transitioning from the reality of schoolyard issues and the instability of small-town restaurant finances to a plot of significantly more fancy, adventure, and excitement, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” is entirely in line with the television series, maintaining a faithfulness to the characters and their family dynamics, and providing further opportunities to spend time with such well-designed, cleverly-scripted, morally-uplifting, periodically hilarious personas. “Is that guy picking up a lead pipe? No, it’s just a hot dog.”

– The Massie Twins

  • 6/10