Movie Review: The Bob’s Burgers Movie

Please note: this review will remain spoiler-free. Please use the Spoil Sports thread to discuss the movie in more detail if needed:

Twelve seasons in, Bob’s Burgers is an unquestionable success. While it lacks the tenure of Fox’s more established (i.e. unkillable) longer-running animation, it remains quality television. And like so many other properties of similar lifespans, a movie version was nigh inevitable. The visual gags and musical numbers present in every episode would seem easily translatable to the big screen. But would that be enough for a successful feature?

In short: yes, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a success. Loren Bouchard and company stick to their winning formula, focusing on the Belcher family dynamic and the supporting cast that comprise the components of the television episodes. The production scale is apparent, but the movie feels like an extension of the show.

If there is a cause for criticism, it would be that exactly. Television is consistent and regular, welcome if limited. A feature-length movie is meant to provide a spectacle, an experience above and beyond what we can expect within thirty to sixty minutes. The Bob’s Burgers Movie doesn’t exactly do that. But does it need to? There are no marriages, deaths, or unfulfilled loves to resolve, and the continuity of the show is loose enough that there is no climax for which a movie would really be appropriate. It’s possible the movie could have done things differently, but given how likeable the show is, consistency here is a strength, not a shortcoming.

Bob’s Burgers succeeds on the strengths of its family dynamic and its humor, to say nothing of its puns. We get almost exactly what we expect from this movie, and are entertained if not better off for it. The plot is smartly limited in scope, focusing on its core characters and referencing its larger universe without squeezing in references at the expense of its story.

For this reason, it feels safe to call The Bob’s Burgers Movie a success, if a modest one. It likely won’t bring in a large number of new fans, but at this point most people know if they will watch Bob’s Burgers or not. The movie may draw in some new fans, but The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a Bob’s Burger’s movie. If you, the viewer, enjoy puns, songs, and gags of the sort that comprise the TV show, you will enjoy the puns, songs, and gags of that same sort that comprise the movie.

Other thoughts:
I saw this in an uncrowded AMC theater today, Monday, May 30. The movie was preceeded by roughly 25 minutes of advertisements and previews, mostly the former. With this being the first in-theater movie I’ve seen this year, I’d forgotten about this aspect of the theater experience. I do enjoy previews, but I’ll plan to show up after the advertised start time for future movies.

Personally I enjoyed the movie quite a bit, I laughed many times. Hopefully the review gives this impression, any criticism aside.