NEW TO HULU! Directors Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman bring the lovable, quirky Belcher family of Bob’s Burgers to life in the cinematic glory that is their first feature. The popular program’s film is simply entitled The Bob’s Burgers Movie. Bob Belcher (H. Jon Benjamin) and his wife Linda (John Roberts) own a burger joint on the street near a boardwalk amusement park in a place that evokes the Jersey shore.
Since the sitcom premiered in 2011, the Belchers have endured many trials and tribulations, but the film opens on what may be the last gasp for the failing business. They are late on payments for the business loan, and just as they are hoping to promote enough sales to catch up, a huge sinkhole appears in front of the restaurant. Bob is constantly on the verge of a panic attack, and Linda is always his cheerleader, pulling him back from the edge. She rallies him to keep the shop open, but no one is coming in for a burger around the giant hole.
To make matters worse, at the bottom of the hole lies the murdered remains of a carnie who disappeared years ago. The Belcher kids — Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal) — set out to solve the murder in hopes of stopping avaricious landlord Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) from forcing closure for non-payment. Will they succeed, or is Bob’s Burgers closing for good?
Fans of the show have long ago stopped scratching their heads over the fact that most of the cast is voiced by males. However, for those who haven’t been faithful viewers and come into The Bob’s Burgers Movie cold, it may come as a surprise to hear that the only female in the main cast is Kristen Schaal as the always delightful Louise. The male voice characterizations give Tina and Linda the right oddball speech to help cement the off-kilter world the Belchers reside in. Roberts and Mintz have created such delightful characters that it’s hard to imagine anyone else voicing them now. Roberts has a thick Brooklyn accent that gives Linda a charming but almost-grating aspect.
“…at the bottom of the hole lies the murdered remains of a carnie who disappeared years ago.”
Of course, H. Jon Benjamin is prolific and has been voicing cartoons for years, including Sterling Archer from Archer, and he played a talking can of vegetables in Wet Hot American Summer. The film also features the voices of other beloved stars, such as the unmistakable Kevin Kline and Zach Galifianakis as the twitchy Fischoeder nephew, Felix. Aziz Ansari reprises his role as nerdy Darryl.
The world of The Bob’s Burgers Movie is populated by eccentric characters who are, for the most part, also good people. For example, Linda’s plan to advertise the shop by dressing as a bikini-clad burger is genius. For those intent on digging into obscure details, countless easter eggs and pop culture references guarantee fans will be stepping through frame-by-frame to catch them all.
Then, there’s the music to consider. I invited my favorite Gen-Z burgeoning media critic to join me for the screening. When the first cast-performed song rolled out, I was surprised and whispered, “So, it’s a musical?” In response, I got side eyes that said, “You didn’t know that?” I didn’t, in fact, but it’s another of the random Belcher-verse oddities… it’s really not a musical. They just occasionally break into song. You get used to it.
Despite the quirky, hilarious, and sometimes deliberately silly situations, the film is unsuitable for young kids. There’s violence, sexual innuendo, and some dark material around the criminal investigation. That said, the Belcher family’s adventures are heartwarmingly engaging as they pull together while annoying the crap out of each other. The music is catchy, and the characters are beautifully drawn, both figuratively and literally. The Bob’s Burgers Movie is the best family-musical-murder-mystery for the Adventure Time generation you’ll see this summer.
"…countless easter eggs and pop culture references guarantee fans will be stepping through frame-by-frame..."
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