When it comes to the many animated shows for adults that air on Fox, one of the shows that really has made a name for itself in the past decade is "Bob's Burgers". Despite having a somewhat uneven debut with its first season back in 2011, it quickly shot to becoming one of Fox's biggest cartoons alongside other juggernauts like "The Simpsons" and "Family Guy" with the Belcher family making a name for themselves as another funny dysfunctional animated family. Also, like "The Simpsons", the family has now made its way to the big screen with "The Bob's Burgers Movie" and it's a film that is just as funny and fun to watch as the show itself. I don't know if I'd call it one of the best-animated films based on a show that I've watched, but it's certainly one that I did enjoy and I think has appeal both for fans and non-fans alike. It's a really entertaining film.
As summer vacation approaches, the Belcher family consisting of Bob (H. Jon Benjamin), his wife Linda (John Roberts), and their three kids Tina (Dan Mitz), Gene (Eugene Mirman), and Louise (Kristen Schaal) have started to make big plans for what they're about to do. However, the plans seem to start to be derailed when Bob and Linda have been declined an extension on their business loan for their burger restaurant by the bank and have to pay up for the month in a week. Their dilemma only gets worse when a sinkhole appears in front of the restaurant blocking entry to customers and forcing the family to look for other ways to sell their burgers. Though things get even crazier when a skeleton is discovered in the sinkhole of a carny named Cotton Candy Dan and the family's landlord Calvin Fischoeder (Kevin Kline) is perceived to be the fugitive. Feeling that Calvin has been framed for the murder, Louise sets off with her siblings to try to crack the murder to save their landlord and more importantly the restaurant while Bob and Linda try desperately to figure out how to sell the restaurant's food.
This is an animated film that took a while to hit the big screen. I remember back in 2017 when the film was announced to be released for a 2020 release date and was constantly pushed back due to the pandemic and director Loren Bouchard wanting to stick to his guns and release the film in theaters rather than have it dumped on a streaming service like Disney+ or Hulu. I'm pretty glad he did get the film released in theaters because it was really fun to watch this film on a big screen and I could see the hard work that Bouchard and his team put into the film. I think what really helped make the film work for me was just how entertaining and hilarious the story was. While the premise does play out like an episode of the show and at times does feel like an extended episode stitched together rather than a feature-length film, it makes up for it with its quirky presentation and hilarious humor. There are a lot of hilarious jokes right from the start including a pretty funny scene where Louise tries to convince her siblings to bring her down into the sinkhole so she can prove to her schoolmates that she's not a baby because she wears her pink bunny ears hat and it leads to a giant mess which ultimately includes them finding the aforementioned skeleton. I also found the subplot with Bob and Linda illegally making a food cart and selling their burgers at the pier pretty funny as well as it got a lot of laughs from me. Most of the humor is very rapid-fire and quick as well so there are a lot more jokes in the film that I know I missed and will have to rewatch to find. I think another thing that helps make this film unique is it being a musical comedy. There aren't many songs in the film as I think I wanted which is another big flaw with the film, but most of the songs are pretty funny with my favorite being the one called Lucky Ducks where Louise interrogates carnies over Cotton Candy Dan being murdered. That one really got some laughs from me.
As far as the animation goes, it really does step up from the show in a big manner. I especially loved the backgrounds in this film with some of the being computer animated and the way they played off the characters. It was really a big step up from the show I loved. I also think most of the character animation was very good with the closeups and medium shots having some great work put into them. With that said, I do think that some of the background character animation looked a little strange to me as they came off looking very weird as I think they may have used CG models and I don't know if they blended in with the world as seamlessly as they could've been It wasn't anything too distracting, but it did stand out weirdly. I do think the characters are also a lot of fun with Louise easily being my favorite of the bunch. She was always my favorite character in the show and I do think she, Tina, and Gene are the ones who really steal the show for the film as we see them try to overcome their specific fears and worries they have with Tina being rejected by her crush Jimmy Jr., Gene being laughed at for his strange musical instrument made from a napkin dispenser, and Louise not wanting to be seen as a baby despite her wearing the rabbit ear hat that she had since she was younger. The scenes with the kids were easily my favorite part of the film and watching them work out the case with funny events playing out was hilarious. While I do think Bob and Tina aren't given many arcs or overall goals in the film apart from saving the restaurant, I do think they share some funny scenes together which includes the aforementioned food cart scene. I also thought the villain (without saying who they are) also had their moments with the cast member really having a blast playing them. The characters easily were what made the film fun to watch for me.
Overall, "The Bob's Burgers Movie" is a fun watch. The story has some hilarious humor despite sometimes playing out like an episode of the show, the animation stepping up from the show despite some wonky-looking background characters, and the characters all having hilarious moments and getting to shine. It's easily a film worth watching for fans and nonfans alike and I can easily give it a recommendation. It's maybe not what I'd call the best-animated film based on a TV show out there, but it's still a good one to watch and I think that's enough for me.