‘The Bob’s Burgers Movie’ Reviews Roundup: A Chef’s Kiss For The Belcher’s Big Screen Debut
Disney’s first 2d theatrical animation release in many years, The Bob’s Burgers Movie, hits theaters on Friday, and critics are eating up the Belcher’s first foray to the big screen.
Early reviews for the film are looking good, if not quite Michelin star-worthy. Most critics are praising the film’s creative team for not trying to change too much in the shift from small to big screen, while also keeping it accesible for viewers who aren’t familiar with the original series. At the time of writing this article, the film boasts a 93% critics’ score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 74% on Metacritic.
The Bob’s Burgers Movie is a 20th Century Studios presentation of a Bento Box Entertainment production. It’s co-directed by series creator Loren Bouchard and longtime show producer and supervising director Bernard Derriman. Disney is launching the film exclusively in theaters.
Here’s a look at what critics are saying, starting with Alison Foreman at the A.V. Club, who was excited to see the show get a makeover up for its feature debut:
Seeing Bob’s Burgers’ brightest elements shine on a big screen feels spectacular, with the level of detail and lighting used in its keyed-up animation style making Ocean Avenue feel not only more cinematic, but also more real. A burger with everything on it (Little King Trashmouth in the alley! Ghostboy graffiti on the walls!), The Bob’s Burgers Movie serves up an adventure that, yes, you’ve eaten before, figuratively speaking. But it’s not every weekend the Belchers get to be movie stars—so why not try this, the Burger of The Day?
Amy Nicholson at Variety was relieved the film didn’t shift too far from its original recipe:
The Bob’s Burgers Movie is also remarkable in what it abandons. Let other movies chase photo-realistic animation. It remains stubbornly 2D as if to prove that looks matter less than jokes that come fast and friendly like a parade of puppies. And while there’s slight moments of emotional recognition — among them, Linda’s acknowledgement that it can be exhausting flogging a smile — it’s a relief that none of them congeal into a life lesson. Lately, most cartoons accost audiences with a therapy session, or a primer on the ABCs of global fascism. The next time we see the Belcher family, they’ll probably be agonizing over the exact same nonsense. Thank heaven. Sometimes you just want a simple snack of meat and cheese.
Hannah Strong at Little White Lies was impressed by how well the film works as a standalone, and doubly impressed with its visual execution:
While The Simpsons Movie went starry and bold with its 2007 big-screen outing, The Bob’s Burgers Movie doesn’t make many attempts to change the formula which has worked so well for them. There are no big plot changes that might impact events on the show, and it could easily work as a standalone, even if it’s likely newcomers will be a little baffled at first. Most impressive is how dynamic the animation looks on-screen – it’s a colorful film, and the characters are drawn with distinctive, expressive style. Despite being a continuation of a pre-existing show, the film still has some tricks up its sleeve; a bumper-car chase scene is a particular highlight.
IndieWire’s Kate Erbland similarly appreciated the film’s vibrant palette, as well as its quick-witted humor:
Have no fear: despite churning out more than 200 episodes over 12 seasons, Emmy-nominated animated series Bob’s Burgers translates to the big screen with relative ease. The colorful, kitschy look of Loren Bouchard’s Fox hit is delightful in feature format — the film is, quite notably, the first hand-drawn, traditionally animated film theatrically released by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures in over a decade; the last time that happened was Winnie the Pooh in 2011 — and its quippy, high-energy jokes should appeal to a wide audience.
And Scoot Tobias at The Guardian at the cinematic quality of the film’s narrative, and its low bar of entry for potential new fans who aren’t familiar with the series:
[I]t’s the perfect approach for a film that refuses to compromise its identity for the sake of cinematic scale, but doesn’t feel like three episodes strung together, either. It functions elegantly as both a victory lap for longtime fans and a belated introduction to the Belchers, a family of lovable misfits and cranks that’s as genuinely close as any on television.