Review: The Belcher family takes on the big screen in ‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’

From left, Gene Belcher (voiced by Eugene Mirman), Louise Belcher (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and Tina Belcher (voiced by Dan Mintz) in "The Bob’s Burgers Movie." (20th Century Studios/TNS)

After twelve seasons on TV, the Belcher family made their big screen debuts in “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” on May 27.

The film opens with a host of new and old problems for the family: Louise is being teased for being a baby at school, Tina isn’t sure whether to take the next step with Jimmy Jr. and right when a loan extension gets denied, a sinkhole in front of the shop puts Bob’s Burgers out of commission.

The movie feels more cinematic, with the animation noticeably improved, adding a 3D effect to the 2D Ocean Avenue and nearby Wonder Wharf. The music in particular is more ambitious, elevating the fan-favorite ditties into full-fledged musical numbers. Right away “The Bob’s Burgers Movie” seemed poised for something special.

However, it ends up feeling more like an extended episode of “Bob’s Burgers” instead.

Maybe that’s for the best.

Most viewers aren’t watching the TV show to see the characters age and mature; they want to see Tina keep being boy crazy, Gene keep being a goofball and Louise keep being Louise. They’re more likely to want to return to fun times with the Belcher family after the film than see them go through major life changes.

We do see some character growth throughout the nearly two hour runtime – most surprisingly, and maybe most needed, between Bob and Linda themselves, in a touching moment where Bob imitates Linda’s unlikely optimism after realizing how much it’s helped him over the years.

Yet the movie never truly treads territory the TV show hasn’t. Like every episode of “Bob’s Burgers,” we reach a conclusion to the problem at hand, but the overarching issues go on. Bob and Linda will still struggle to pay their bills and Tina will still struggle with her feelings for Jimmy Jr.

But that’s okay, because by the end of the movie, audiences will want to go home and watch more episodes of the same characters dealing with the same problems anyways. That’s the charm and the draw of the show – it’s not dull watching these characters struggle because their problems are relatable and their personalities are so well-established they’re like old friends.

And that’s why the movie works. Maybe it just feels like another addition to the 238 (and going strong!) episodes of the series, but there’s a reason there’s been so many episodes to begin with.

Side note for viewers who haven’t seen a single episode: there are a few confusing points in this movie, but within the first ten minutes you should understand each characters’ gimmick enough that you’ll be laughing with all of the long-time fans in the theater. If anything, check out the two-part finale of season four and you’ll be just fine.

Even though this film throws in a murder mystery – yes, really – it’s still the Belchers underneath it all. They pride themselves on being a regular family, and there’s something relatable about each of them.

So yes, go see the movie if you’re a fan of the show or you just want to laugh. Just don’t expect anything ground-breaking, and you won’t be disappointed.

Previous Story ‘Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ opens in Fresno article thumbnail mt-3

‘Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience’ opens in Fresno

Next Story LGBTQ+ Programs and Services holds second annual pride flag raising article thumbnail mt-3

LGBTQ+ Programs and Services holds second annual pride flag raising