According to the “Making of the Movie” featurette featuring Bob’s Burgers creator Loren Bouchard, the inception point for the film began with the two-night Bob’s Burgers Live shows from 2017. Before switching to a fairly detailed walkthrough of the process of making the film during COVID, Bouchard places the entire existence of the film, The Bob’s Burgers Movie, at the feet of the fans who supported the show over multiple seasons, who gave them the idea to do live reading events, who delighted in their authentic attempts at singing, and, who, ultimately, lead them to putting on a two-night music and comedy event. Bouchard explains that it was during the rehearsal process for the show that 20th Century Studios reached out to ask if a movie might be of interest. After 237 episodes, the Belcher family hit the big screen in May of 2022 and it ended up being one of the more surprising releases of the year. It’s charming, adventurous, foolish, and completely heartfelt. Coming available on physical (July 19th) and digital-to-own formats (July 12th), as well as streaming on Hulu and HBO Max (starting July 12th), fans new and old can straddle a stool at Bob’s Burgers to enjoy a thoughtfully, lovingly prepared multi-stacked movie burger whenever they want.
If you’d like to learn about The Bob’s Burgers Movie without spoilers, please head to the initial theatrical review. Moving forward, many of the mystery’s the Belchers confront will be discussed in detail.
It’s nearly summer and each member of the Belcher clan — father Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), mother Linda (voiced by John Roberts), and children Tina Belcher (voiced by Dan Mintz), Gene Belcher (voiced by Eugene Mirman), and Louise Belcher (voiced by Kristen Schaal) — has their own designs on what they will do. Bob and Linda plan to secure an extension from the bank and then take advantage of the upcoming anniversary celebration at the wharf, while Tina seeks to make Jimmy Jr. (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) her summer boyfriend, Gene has visions of musical stardom, and Louise intends to prove she’s no baby. Unfortunately for Bob and Linda, but being a stroke of luck for Louise, a sinkhole appears right in front of the restaurant that ruins any chance for financial gain from the celebration down the street but provides exactly the opportunity to secure Louise’s tough reputation. One little hitch, her adventure into the sinkhole reveals a dead body and the primary suspect is Mr. Fischoeder (voiced by Kevin Kline), the Belcher’s landlord. If he goes to jail, Bob’s Burgers will be shut down for good. Bob and Linda decide to focus on the financial problem, while the kids, with Louise out front, head out to uncover the identity of the real murder, all unaware how their respective quests will dovetail together.
Watching Bob’s Burgers is something I’ve dabbled in over the years, but have never considered it must-see TV. That always had more to do with the chaos of life, especially upon the birth of my first child in 2015 which eventually led to the cancelling of cable since we weren’t watching much outside of movies. So before watching the theatrical debut, I made sure to check out a few episodes of the most recent season to get refreshed with the style of the program. I’m so glad I did, not because the movie requires any kind of prior knowledge, but going in with the feeling of the show in my mind helped acclimate my expectations. Without question, The Bob’s Burgers Movie is largely inconsequential to the television program, something which Bouchard acknowledges in the “Making of” featurette himself, but that doesn’t make the film itself inconsequential. It’s about as necessary as just about any other movie in that it’s up to the individual audience member to decide whether a film “justifies its existence.” The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a warm hug, or, to use a more apt metaphor, it’s a hot plate with perfectly cooked fries and juicy burger atop it. It’s comfort food, though the resonance will vary. For some, it’ll feel like the kind of thing you enjoy once and a while. For me, The Bob’s Burgers Movie came at a perfect time. To get frank, my eldest is neurodivergent, so some days are harder than others, particularly because he’s still developing. Prior to the screening, he and I had a particularly unfun dust-up, leaving me, as a parent, feeling helpless. Now, any fan of Bob’s Burgers will tell you that Bob is about as ideal a father as it gets. He doesn’t always *get* his kids, but he’ll back them no matter what. They want to produce a musical about Die Hard — sure. They want to form a band — why not? In the short film included on the home release, My Butt Has a Fever, Bob is more confused about what the school’s going to do about the kids’ song than he is that they sang it. In the film, there’s a similar moment set in a sequence of extreme dire, when Bob declares his love for his family and I wept. Sounds ridiculous to write, but I sat in the theater and cried because, as a dad, I want to be Bob. I try to be Bob. My wife, EoM editor Crystal Davidson, is basically Linda, full of terrible puns, songs, and silly dances, always pushing me and the kids with her just-unstop-timistic spirit. My kids are a strange combination of all three Belchers, though time will tell how they may shift or adjust. The point is that the script from Bouchard and co-writer Nora Smith (Bob’s Burgers) taps into that part of some of us who just want to be good parents, to support our kids, and to give them a life where they can confidently go forth into the world unabated by nay-sayers and non-believers. So it doesn’t matter if the events of the movie don’t flow over into the series. It only matters that, for the briefest of moments, I could see a version of myself on screen. So, in terms of a subjective experience, The Bob’s Burgers Movie ended up being totally unexpected, gripping me in a way that the show never did.
Whether you feel like I do or have loved the show since forever while collecting the cookbooks, musical releases, and other paraphernalia, the bonus features on the home release are going to absolutely wow you. There’s a full feature-length commentary track with actors H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, as well as directors Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman, co-writer Nora Smith and production designer Ruben Hickman. The “Making of” featurette touches on the behind the scenes work a little bit, but you’ll get the most details about the filmmaking process from within the commentary track. I mentioned a short film before, My Butt Has a Fever. Well, it was shown alongside limited theatrical presentations and two versions are included here. The first is the in-theaters version with the second being the animatic version. The majority of bonus features are like this, with a full or animatic version of something and then the same thing with commentary. This applies to deleted scenes, the musical numbers, strictly animation walkthroughs of how they took the characters from scratch voices and storyboards to 2D animation. One big highlight: you get to watch actor David Wain’s reference video he made for Grover Fischoeder’s “Not That Evil” song-and-dance number. The bonus features are likely to appeal to animation fans more than traditional cinema fans or even series fans, but I wouldn’t expect the extras for a super-nerdy and passionate series to be anything but eccentric in its offerings.
Be advised when picking out your home release edition of the following: The Blu-ray only includes digital, no DVD. The 4K UHD appears to only be available as a Blu-ray steelbook combo from Best Buy. Additionally, though not indicated what the differences are, the official press release does say that not all features are available from all retailors. The review copy provided by 20th Century Studios is a digital edition, which includes everything listed below.
While the murder mystery within the movie doesn’t entice after an initial watch, the Belcher family still does. This is why fans have supported the show through 12 seasons and various live shows. The combination of writing and cast performances has turned the Belchers into the kind of family that we all want: a little weird, yet overflowing with kindness. Plus, as someone who’s been shaking his burger buns to the three songs on the soundtrack since the release, getting down again and again to the music just feels right. Maybe it’s because I love dancing to music when I cook and the Belchers know how to get down with the get down, but everything about The Bob’s Burgers Movie speaks of comfort. Kinda like a good meal.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie Special Features*
- Audio Commentary: Watch the movie with audio commentary by H. Jon Benjamin, John Roberts, Dan Mintz, Eugene Mirman, Kristen Schaal, Directors Loren Bouchard and Bernard Derriman, Writer Nora Smith and Production Designer Ruben Hickman. (1:41:54)
- Making Of the Movie: Bob’s Burgers Creator Loren Bouchard talks about turning Bob’s Burgers the TV show into Bob’s Burgers the show that’s a movie. (18:53)
- My Butt Has a Fever Theatrical Short (Seen Only in Limited Theaters): The Belcher children perform in the school talent show in order to share their very important and powerful message.
- Theatrical Version. (5:51)
- Animatic Version. (5:31)
- Three (3) Deleted Scenes
- Metal Detector: Bob and Linda go to City Hall in a version of the movie where they went to City Hall. (1:17)
- Burning Piers: The turbulent history of Wonder Wharf. (0:48)
- Grover’s Office: Bob and Linda go to Grover’s office in a version of the movie where they went to Grover’s Office. (0:45)
- Four (4) Deleted Scenes with Audio Commentary
- The Movie We Didn’t Make: Creator Loren Bouchard and Writer Nora Smith discuss trying to make a movie, particularly The Bob’s Burger Movie. (5:46)
- Metal Detector: Bob and Linda go to City Hall, with commentary by Creator Loren Bouchard and Writer Nora Smith. (1:17)
- Burning Piers: The turbulent history of Wonder Wharf, with commentary by Creator Loren Bouchard and Writer Nora Smith. (0:48)
- Grover’s Office: Bob and Linda go to Grover’s Office, with commentary by Creator Loren Bouchard and Writer Nora Smith. (0:45)
- Four (4) Animation Extras – Animatics
- “Sunny Side Up Summer” Storyboards and Rough Animation: The work-in-progress not-even-color-yet animatic of the song “Sunny Side Up Summer.” (3:46)
- “Lucky Ducks” Storyboards and Rough Animation: The work-in-progress not-even-color-yet animatic of the song “Lucky Ducks.” (2:20)
- “Not That Evil” Storyboards and Rough Animation Featuring David Wain: David Wain performs an entire dance routine, with no formal training, to his character Grover’s song “Not That Evil.” Plays alongside the song’s animatic. (6:39)
- “End Credits” Storyboards and Rough Animation: The work-in-progress animatic of the End Credits, comes with provocative dance moves and unconventional rhythm. (1:22)
- Five(5) Animation Extras – Animating the Scene
- Linda Through the Pass-Through with Commentary by Director Bernard Derriman: The progression of a scene from storyboard to animation, with commentary by Director Bernard Derriman, and also Linda is in it. (4:35)
- Bob And Linda Go to The Bank: A time lapse of the bank scene being animated. (7:25)
- Bob And Linda Go to The Bank with Commentary by Director Bernard Derriman: A time lapse of the bank scene being animated, with commentary by Director Bernard Derriman. (7:25)
- Louise Grabs the Fuse: A time lapse of the “Louise Grabs the Fuse” scene being animated. (2:26)
- Louise Grabs the Fuse with Commentary by Director Bernard Derriman: A time lapse of the “Louise Grabs the Fuse” scene being animated, with commentary by Director Bernard Derriman. (2:26)
*bonus features vary by product and retailer
Available on digital-to-own, Hulu, and HBO Max July 12th, 2022.
Available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray, and DVD July 19th, 2022.
For more information, head to the official 20th Century Studio The Bob’s Burgers Movie webpage.