The Bob’s Burgers: Following in the animated footsteps of “The Simpsons Movie” and “South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut,” the Belchers make the leap to the big screen this week in “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” a charming little adventure that should turn out appealing.
Mainly for fans of the series, although die-hard enthusiasts may think there are 4-5 episodes of the series that are stronger than this movie. On the fresh side of the bun, “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” packs a punchy plot and nails the big heart and wonderful characters of the beloved FOX series. On the stale side, it’s a bit lacking in the ambition department, making for an interesting story of various self-doubt issues within the Belcher clan members for not doing much with this setup to a hasty end.
But it’s never boring, and it’s smarter than most pop culture-obsessed kids’ entertainment. Anything that brings the joy of loving “Bob’s Burgers” to a wider audience is a good thing, though hopefully it works well enough to warrant a bigger and better sequel.
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If you’re unfamiliar with one of the greatest animated shows of the modern era, “Bob’s Burgers” is the story of the Belcher family, led by burgerman Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin). He runs a small restaurant in an ordinary part of town with a funeral parlor next door and an Italian joint across the street, run by his nemesis.
His wife Linda (John Roberts) is the eternal optimist of Bob’s concerns. Even calling his anxious side “Droopy Bob” in the film. They have three children: the nervous Tina (Dan Mintz), the creative Gene (Eugene Mirman) and the boisterous Louise (Kristen Schaal). Its owner is the eccentric Calvin Fischoeder (a wonderfully playful Kevin Kline) and its best customer Teddy (Larry Murphy) has a habit of stealing episodes between bites of burgers.
This big-screen adaptation kicks off when Bob and Linda discover they have seven days to pay off a bank loan they can’t afford. On the same day, a large sinkhole opens up in front of his restaurant, which he says negatively affects business. At school, Tina becomes obsessed with making Jimmy Jr. (also Benjamin) her summer boyfriend; Gene continues to try to get his band, The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee off the ground; and Louise struggles with self-esteem when the older girls call her a baby. Most of the characters face some degree of doubt: about the company. About a child, about the art, about coming of age.
The writers of “Bob’s Burgers” were often able to weave relatable emotional themes through their often broad and silly Broadway musical-inspired scripts in ways that may surprise you.
When people asked me last year what was my most anticipated movie of 2022. I answered instantly, like a reflex: The Bob’s Burgers Movie.
Over the past decade, the Belchers have left their mark on adult animation. Surviving the great Fox purge that happens to all adult animated sitcoms almost every year. They have earned their status as one of the most iconic families in animation history. His relaxed, delightfully charming energy was compelling and even uplifting, like cartoon therapy.
When it was announced that the Belchers were heading to the big screen, I was over the moon.
It had been a long time since the television shows that had made the leap to theaters had not enjoyed such a following. It’s like getting promoted to the big leagues and showing what you’ve got on cinematic scale. The Belcher family became a serotonin booster for me during quarantine when things looked worse. Docking the show made me even more eager to see them get that big theatrical treatment.
The prospect of Belchers on the big screen was nostalgic. The Bob’s Burgers movie is the first traditionally hand-drawn 2D studio animated film in over a decade.
Seeing it in theaters was magical. An audience full of fans who gathered to watch one of their favorite shows in the hallowed community setting. Laughing at the Belchers’ signature style of humor and reacting to the insightful references – it brought a warm and intimate feel.
When The Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox in 2019. No one knew what the future would hold for its subsidiaries. The “Fox” title was dropped, as they changed their name to 20th Century Studios and Searchlight Pictures.
Meanwhile, film projects that were in various stages of production ended up becoming contestants on The Weakest Link. Several movies were canceled, sold to other studios, and delayed multiple times long before COVID-19 started making waves.
It’s hard not to think of that commotion now that my beloved movie. The Bob’s Burgers, originally a 21st Century Fox production, is out, and few people are talking about it.
In its first weekend of release over the Memorial Day holiday, it grossed $15 million. Which thankfully exceeded expectations, but not what it deserved. In its second week, it increased that total to $22 million. Again, far from a disaster. But that’s disheartening considering the show’s rabid fanbase could have made it a major event. I can’t help but wonder if this has to do with the Disney acquisition and maybe this movie getting a short shift in marketing.
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