The Belchers try to save the restaurant from closing as a sinkhole forms in front of it, while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant.
The American animated sitcom ‘Bob’s Burgers’ follows a well trodden path of successful cartoon series that have spawned a movie version, with the likes of ‘South Park’, ‘The Simpsons’ and ‘Rugrats’ to name a few some of those who have made the switch to the big screen (some more successfully than others I may add). The key question is always whether the jump to cinemas and the corresponding increase in runtime (from c20 minute episodes to a story lasting c90 minutes) can be justified, and in the case of ‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ I’m not sure I can say that it is justified, although I did enjoy the movie overall.
The story outline doesn’t stray too far from the formula of the series, focusing on Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) and his families attempts to keep their hamburger restaurant afloat whilst finding themselves in the middle of a quirky adventure. For those familiar with ‘Bob’s Burgers’, you’ll be used to the bad luck that befalls the Belcher’s, however a giant sinkhole appearing right in front of their restaurant at the busiest time of year is extreme even by their standards. When a body is found in the hole, it sets off a Scooby Doo’esque murder mystery which youngest daughter Louise (Kristen Schaal) is only too keen to get involved in. The cast is primarily the main voice cast from the series, with a couple of fun additions (David Wain and Zach Galifianakis) and it does feature much of what fans will expect in terms of the beats that the story here ultimately hits. One odd thing I did observe is that it includes 2 or 3 musical numbers – whilst not an alien concept for the TV series which does include songs from time to time it does seem a little conflicted about whether it’s a musical or not. Almost as if they started off with the outline of a musical but didn’t produce enough good songs to build into the runtime.
If you’re a fan of the TV series (as I am), you’ll enjoy this, but I doubt it’ll have much to offer to newcomers that can’t be found by picking up the series (recommended!). Like a lot of movies expanded from TV series it feels a bit padded out and doesn’t quite justify the ‘feature length’ aspect of its story, but it has its moments and it does improve and find its own groove as the story progresses.
Directed By: Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman
Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal, David Wain, Zach Galifianakis, Kevin Kline and Gary Cole