Adult animation is usually Synonym of broken families: ‘Rick and Morty’, ‘The Simpsons’, ‘Family Guy’, ‘Father made in the USA’… Although there is underlying love, it can only be seen in emotional scenes or special episodes. For years, the tone was Homer drowning Bart, Peter farting in Meg’s face, and Rick patronizing his entire family.
And in this tidal wave, ‘Bob’s Burgers’ rose as the strangest and purest series on the adult animation scene: a family of five members who love each other until the last circumstances.
Burger “Pelinillos a la mar”
“You are my family and I love you, but you are horrible. You are all horrible”. This phrase from Bob well encapsulates the spirit of ‘Bob’s Burgers’, which in its episodes does not stand out for its provocative dialogue, its characters bordering between good and evil or for its grotesque jokes. On the contrary: trust the quirks of your central corerunning gags and a gigantic cast of characters with which to tell family adventures between the slice of life and the surreal.
In a landscape where Rick turned into a pickle was treated as the pinnacle of comedy, it’s refreshing to meet this strange and catastrophic group but with purity in its heart. That is why it was so disconcerting that, among all the possibilities of successful series to take to the big screen, the one chosen was one of the least popular. In fact, perhaps the series that had the fewest possibilities when it was converted to an hour and a half format. But if ‘Beavis and Butthead’ has come out unscathed twice and ‘South Park’ came out a masterpiece, why not?
After seeing it, you have to admit that ‘Bob’s Burgers: The Movie’ is an experiment that was too big for him. The tape, which in Spain has gone directly to Disney +, works like clockwork in the most mundane moments, and even more so when it tries to answer recurring questions in the series, such as the origin of Louise’s rabbit ears or the indecision of Tina regarding Jimmy Pesto Jr… but, sadly, he is lost at the moment he tries to give a cinematographic show that no one, neither fans nor neophytes, had asked for.
“Belcher’s Lady” Burger
As if it had some kind of complex or obligation to its audience, ‘Bob’s Burgers: The Movie’ tries to go further with a whodunit plot that strays far from its source material. The journey to discover who the murderer is begins in its own way, with a visit to a neighborhood of fairgrounds, but at the moment the cake is unveiled, the film does not know what to do and try to maintain a tension that feels inappropriatebreaking with the tone for no reason.
The dilemmas of the characters up to this plot-breaking moment are rather mundane, typical of a good adaptation: trying to save the burger joint, find a boyfriend, be respected or, well, make music with a fork tied to a napkin holder. Suddenly, the film puts them in the position of having to save themselves from something bigger of what they have never faced and put themselves between life and death. Sadly, there is something that vanishes during the third act. The characters are there, they remain the same, the emotional climax is correct, but the situations they experience are not.
Doing an extended episode wouldn’t have been disappointing not at all: what’s more, until that moment it has no other pretensions, and, although it is not hilarious or at the level of the best chapters of the series, it is fun in its own way. In fact, ‘Bob’s Burgers: The Movie’ tries to satisfy both lifelong fans like those who approach the Belchers for the first time, and he succeeds throughout the footage: winks abound throughout the film but it never becomes cryptic for a novice. It’s a great first bite, but when you’re past two hundred he tastes even better.
burger with conclusions
I will confess: there are few things that put me in a better mood than ‘Bob’s Burgers’ and at the same time my heart warms so much. It’s home, it’s a blanket, it’s a hot chocolate at Christmas. Each chapter assures you several laughs, catchy songs, a smile for twenty minutes and the occasional tender moment (not cheesy: the series rejects the cheesy with violence embracing naturalness) with which to shed a couple of tears. Yes, the film has its flaws, but how can I not love it? The characters are fabulously treated on their way to the cinema, mysteries that have been hidden for more than a decade are solved, there are winks and cameos for the most observant fans and the (sadly few) songs are a gift.
During the first two acts, ‘Bob’s Burgers: The Movie’ functions as an elongated episode that will make any fan happy. As for the new audience, it depends on your expectations: if you expect to see profanity, jokes taken to the extreme or continuous references to pop culture, you probably won’t even finish watching it. The film, like the series itself, is a repository of cynicism, purity, comedy and loveand not even in its most derivative moments does it cease to be the background of everything.
This is not the best version of ‘Bob’s Burgers’ nor will it go down in history as one of his most famous momentsbut it’s worth seeing. If you already follow the Belchers on Disney+, it will most likely be among your priorities for the month. If what you are looking for is a cover letter, it may not be perfect, but it still works. At the very least, I assure you that in the end you will want to eat a hamburger properly: at Bob’s restaurant. Yeah, the one with the hole in the door.