The Bob’s Burger’s Movie is a great intro for new fans, and a pleasant time for everyone else

The Bob's Burgers Movie

The Bob’s Burgers Movie. // Courtesy 2022 20th Century Studios

After a several year delay, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is finally hitting theaters. The animated adventures of the Belcher family and their occasional asides into musical misadventure get the well-deserved big-screen treatment after 11 seasons of incredible programming.

I regret having to come to you today and set the bar for your level of expectation because there are few bigger fans of Bob’s Burgers than my household and extended family.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie is perfectly fine. And that fine-ness is, unfortunately, the problem.

Bob and Linda Belcher are placed in a situation where the bank might repossess all of their kitchen equipment. As they struggle to find a fiscal solution, their children erstwhile attempt to struggle with the elements of growing up—including being horny for horse-riding zombies. After a water main breaks in front of their store, human remains are discovered that implicate Mr. Fischoeder in a grisly crime and threaten to devastate Wonder Wharf forever.

If parts of this feel familiar, it’s because they are familiar. Not in that way where, sure, most sitcoms reiterate the same plotlines over and over again. It’s because a lot of this is recycled fairly outright, down to the names of the pun’d up burgers of the day at Bob’s, much less a few of the most important storylines.

So. More of the thing that you love? Can that be bad?

The Bob's Burgers Movie

The Bob’s Burgers Movie. // Courtesy 2022 20th Century Studios

No. It isn’t bad. It just feels like a letdown. There’s a certain assumption of what will come from a show’s leap from small screen to the silver screen, and both the time and attention given. Not to project what we feel like it should have been, but one thing the program is known for is its incredible musical work.

There are five original songs in this film, which is somehow less than most of my favorite 22-minute episodes of the show. What should have been a chance to go big is delivered as an invitation to go home.

It is not a bad movie. In fact, that’s kinda the best takeaway. This movie is not a movie for fans of the TV show Bob’s Burgers, minus the cameo appearances of so many little characters and details. If you’ve ever, say, rewatched the series from the beginning, you might find that a single FOX episode will deliver more laugh-out-loud moments in 20 minutes than an entire 100-minute film. But for the first time in this sort of TV-to-film adaptation, I get the feeling this was not a movie made for people who liked the show.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie is an excellent 101 class—an introduction to people who have never encountered these characters before, or who at least never came to understand why they should love them. By that measure, this is a staggering triumph.

The Bob's Burgers Movie

The Bob’s Burgers Movie. // Courtesy 2022 20th Century Studios

I know I could show this to any member of my parents’ generation and sell them on the kid with the fart noise keyboard and the girl with the bunny-ears hat quicker here than from forcing them to watch the entire first season.

And so maybe that’s worth celebrating? No one who loves Bob’s Burgers will hate this movie, but plenty of you will think, “Well, huh, that wasn’t anything.”

But for an audience out there much bigger than the folks who have been tracking Loren Bouchard since his Home Movies days, this line-in for his cartoon universe will do nicely for welcoming them into the fold.

Categories: Movies