D: Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman. Starring: H. Jon Benjamin, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Larry Murphy, John Roberts, Kristen Schaal. PG, 102 minutes.
Bob’s burger has always felt unique in its relative ordinaryness. The compatriots of the revered but semi-niche animated series on the screen – The simpsons, family Guy, king of the hill — have always mined the grotesque heart of the American nuclear family for satire, surrealism, and cartoon violence. However, the Belcher family functions less like a dysfunctional entity trapped under the same roof and more like a blended clan of lunatics who just happen to be related by blood. They actually like each other and are surprisingly harmonious in their eccentricities. Over the course of 12 seasons, the show has delivered small half-hour collective battles: the Belchers versus the world. They just want to be themselves. Schools, bills and other commitments keep getting in the way.
As for its feature length extrapolation? What a relief – a franchise where the universe is not at stake. At no time The Bob’s Burgers Movie — which will be co-helmed by show creator Loren Bouchard and longtime supervising director Bernard Derriman — will ever feel compelled to justify its existence. It is the first hand-drawn film released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in more than a decade. But there is no stake to raise, no foundation to lay. His alien invaders only exist in the dreams of Belcher’s middle child, Gene (voiced by Eugene Mirman) – they swoop down to earth to ask his band, the Itty Bitty Ditty Committee, to stop playing because the music is on their teeth hurting. The only apocalyptic threat comes from the sexy zombies that Gene’s sister Tina (Dan Mintz) won’t stop fantasizing about.
When The Simpsons made the leap to the big screen in 2007, we faced the wholesale destruction of their hometown of Springfield. but The Bob’s Burgers Movie confronts the Belchers with the same old problems — Bob (H Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts) risk losing their burger shop if they can’t make their loan payments on time, a fact brought to light by the arrest of their landlord, Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) for the decades-long murder of a carnival participant. The youngest Belcher, Louise (Kristen Schaal), stumbles across the skeleton of a Cotton Candy Dan after falling into the hole that’s formed in front of the restaurant – she’s dying to prove to the popular girls that she’s not a baby, too if she wears the same clothes bunny ears since she was three years old.
Gene, on the other hand, believes his new instrument (a napkin holder with two spoons held together by rubber bands) will “revolutionize American pop music.” Tina begins to doubt that while Jimmy Jr (also voiced by Benjamin) has the butt of her dreams, he really is everything she wants in a summer boyfriend.
Really, there’s nothing here that would feel out of place in a regular episode. There are a few more character cameos and three upbeat musical numbers. Some of the pans around the Belchers’ coastal community are a bit more expansive than usual. But it’s surprisingly reassuring to see how little has changed to the show’s DNA, unaffected by the temptations of Hollywood filmmaking.
Bob’s burger is a beautiful, unassuming show that can poke fun at class divisions and worker exploitation — Calvin and his brother Felix Fischoeder (Zach Galifianakis) rock out first in a golf cart and sip champagne through bent straws — while constantly expressing any genuine sense of antagonistic menace undermine . No one in this world is actively cruel, but they are clueless, and that can cause just as much trouble. It’s a worldview that fits fairly well with a show that’s never overused its punch lines. Some of the funniest lines here are quick asides — Gene quietly repeating the words “crime hole” to himself — delivered by a cast who at this point could probably be doing this stuff in their sleep. And if so? I would not regret it. The Bob’s Burgers Movie proves that more of the same is sometimes best.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie hits theaters Friday, May 27th
https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/reviews/bobs-burgers-movie-review-release-b2087726.html The Bob’s Burgers Movie Review: TV’s Most Beautiful Animated Family Hasn’t Been Corrupted by the Hollywood Machine