Bob’s Burgers is a Fox adult animated series that debuted in 2011 and has been running strong since, with its 12th season finishing up earlier this year. The series centers around the misadventures of the Belcher family, who own a small burger joint that struggles to make ends meet repeatedly. Husband and wife Bob and Linda, and their three children Tina, Gene and Louise, are constantly thrown into wacky situations in their small beach front town filled with many colorful characters. I’ve been watching the show for years now, consistently finding it refreshing compared to many other adult animated shows on the airwaves. The show finds ways to be funny without being overtly crass or reference heavy, and while it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I’ve enjoyed every which way the show has made mundane life seem like fun. Every now and then an adult animated series gets the opportunity to go big and produce a feature length film. The Simpsons have done it. South Park has done it. Family Guy has surprisingly not pulled that trigger yet, and now Bob’s Burgers is throwing its apron into the ring. So what does that mean? Well it means more shadows, noticeably fluid animation, and an expensive orchestra backing the soundtrack.
The film is more or less what I expected it to be; a 90 minute long episode with slightly higher production value. As a fan of the show, I’m relatively okay with this, but it does make me wish the movie went more all-in on the fact that they can make a much bigger story this time around. The story is a mixture of a mission to save the family business, a murder mystery and a musical, which is certainly on brand. It has a few twists and turns here and there, nothing too crazy, but the writing definitely helps to carry the film. Like I said the comedy won’t be for everyone, but I found it to be quirky, though not overtly. There’s a lot of one liners that land and a lot that don’t, and I can’t say this film will exactly have you busting your gut, but rather sensibly chuckling. The best part of this film for me was definitely the original songs incorporated into some pretty fun dance numbers. The track Lucky Ducks, sung by dissatisfied carnival workers, is probably my favorite, though the opening track Sunny Side Up Summer is also a lot of fun and gives each of the main characters an opportunity to establish their conflicts early on. There’s another song that the villain sings near the end that is…just okay, being broken up a bit too much by talking. I do wish the film would have gone for a full-blown musical approach, as the original songs are definitely what makes the series stand out for me. I think it could have helped the movie feel more grand rather than just another episode.
That’s kind of my main gripe with this film is that it doesn’t really shift from the status quo enough to leave much of an impact on me. There’s some nice emotional moments thrown in here and there, but the characters more or less go about themselves with their usual character traits. I was pleasantly surprised to see Louise get a good amount of character development here, being the only one to really go through any kind of arc. I just wish there was more to justify this being a movie. Most of the plot points here have actually been used more or less in the show itself, and you can tell there was definitely some padding because some scenes go on for way too long. All in all, it’s an easy watch I maybe wouldn’t mind coming back to. If you haven’t seen the show I can’t say for sure if this will win you over, but much of the humor and style runs parallel to the series itself, so hey, you find yourself a new show to binge.
Perhaps one of the most defining traits of Bob’s Burgers is its original songs that are written for each and every episode. These songs tend to be catchy earworms despite the voice cast being not so good at singing, a testament to both the writing and composition. The film is no different, and perhaps my favorite of the soundtrack is a song called Lucky Ducks, sung by a bunch of carnies who are peeved about working a job that pays little and runs the possibility of getting killed. It’s a funny little song named after that carnival game where you try to pick a duck out of a group with the highest number or a certain color to win a prize. It takes me back to childhood memories of boardwalks and amusement parks, so I figured a nice summer cocktail based on the game would be great for the film and the season. This is a gin cocktail that we are going to flavor with some summer elements like peach and lemon. Then we’re gonna dye it blue and top it off with some champagne until its bubbling like the water under the Wonder Warf. Of course the drink wouldn’t be so lucky without a ducky, so I found these cute little guys on Amazon to top off the drink!
- 1.5oz gin
- 1/2oz peach schnapps
- 1/2oz limoncello
- 1/2oz lemon juice
- 1/4oz blue curacao
- Top: Champagne
- Add ingredients (except for the champagne) to a shaker and shake with ice.
- Chill into a coup glass.
- Top with champagne.
- Garnish with tiny rubber duck (optional).
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