Director: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman
Authors: Loren Bouchard, Nora Smith
Stars: H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal
Summary: The Belchers try to save the restaurant from closing while a hole in the ground forms in front of it while the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family’s restaurant.
There are millions of us out there who have rejoiced in an odd, happy family unit over the past twelve years. The Bob’s Burgers Movie is not a culmination or an aberration of anything that has come before. It’s a new layer between the bun and the patty. It’s the fresh ingredient in one of Bob’s Burgers of the Day, like a complex umami flavor that can make you cry in a good way. The film delves deep into the lore of this richly developed world and builds upon it to please the most die-hard fan. But what does all this mean for someone who has never seen the show but is intrigued by the film or the fan who is hesitant to spend money to catch something they can get in twenty-two shorter installments throughout the year? Spring…
Directors Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman pulled out all the stops with the animation. The Belchers move in a way they couldn’t move on screen. In addition to the slick computer-enhanced backgrounds, the characters dance like nothing else in the animation, because while it’s choreographed like a musical with character moves to match, each character has their own moves that are somehow unique, despite never moving like this before to have. There is one scene that will make your head spin. The Belcher kids meet up with their chilling friend Mickey for information on how to solve the central mystery. The showmen have their song and great dance, but then Louise, the youngest of the Belcher children, joins in the song and performs her own dance, and the depth of field changes with her close-up profile and the showmen below her. The sequence makes you forget that someone had to draw these trains, had to build these sequences with 2D characters. The level of detail in this sequence alone is amazing. It’s truly beautiful to look at and a visual feast on the big screen.
The TV show has always had these kinds of dance numbers and songs, but for the movie, the filmmakers hired the big guns to give the music that extra edge. That’s right, powerhouse couple Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez and legends Alan Menken and Glenn Slater created the original songs. The featured songs are classic Bob’s burger. They’re the perfect combination of catchy, silly, layered, gritty, weird, and emotionally resonant. The part of the opening number, “Sunny Side Up Summer,” which belongs to Louise, is incredibly poignant and reveals the character’s hidden vulnerability. These songs are an incredible addition to the already glowing canon of great songs from the show.
Many would dismiss an actor’s talent in a singing performance, but no one should doubt the incomparable Kristen Schaal’s ability. She has contributed so much to the character of Louise over the years. in the The Bob’s Burgers MovieSchaal brings out the full range of what Louise is as a person. With Schaal’s talent behind the mic, Louise is a full person. Schaal brings life, joy and song to the role. The whole family gets a chance to shine in the film, but it’s Louise who steals every scene and Schaal whose performance shines through.
It is true that in Bob’s burger fashion, each family member is a part of history and history of The Bob’s Burgers Movie Has everything. The plot is a mixture of fast-paced comedy, mystery/thriller, coming-of-age and family business drama. Acclaimed writers Loren Bouchard and Nora Smith bring the kind of tight plots we’ve come to expect from the show, plus a bit of fan reward around every corner. They don’t stop explaining for those new to the Belchers, but are able to weave years of history into some throwaway and accessible lines. If there’s one disappointing thing about the plot and one small mark in an otherwise perfect film, it’s that the mystery plot feels like an earlier plot used in the show and unravels a little like that original plot . It’s different enough to still be fun, but still a bit of a disappointment.
There’s enough in there The Bob’s Burgers Movie to satisfy the die-hards, the casual observer, and the neophytes alike. It’s hilarious, lighthearted and very heartfelt. The best thing about the Belchers, whether on the big or small screen, is that they are a family who support and love each other no matter what. They may drive each other crazy at times, but in the end they are family and they are there for each other. The Bob’s Burgers Movie is the perfect meal for any moviegoer.