The Belchers are hitting the big screen.
20th Century Fox announced its plans for a Bob’s Burgers feature film, slated for 2020. The animated series’ eighth season premiered last weekend, marking its sixth year with Fox.
Bob’s Burgers’soccupies an interesting place among network animated comedies. Aside from a few fart jokes, Bob’s Burgers doesn’t rely on raunchiness or cutaway gags in the way Family Guy does. It lacks the pointed and immediate cultural criticism of South Park.
While the show is unquestionably brilliant, it’s the kind of brilliance that doesn’t attract attention. There aren’t any rabid fans writing think pieces on about Bob’s Burgers’s outsized comedic genius. It’s not offensive to anybody anywhere on the political spectrum. It lacks the intricate world building of something like Rick and Morty or The Venture Brothers and the slavish analysis that comes with it.
So it’s an open question how that will translate on to the big screen. Animated shows have turned into successful movies before, most notably The Simpons and South Park. But those shows were very different from the modest but considerable charms of Bob’s BurgersTheir cultural importance alone demanded feature films, and their audience cache made it easier to tackle movie-length storylines.
Bob’s Burgers best bits are bite-sized, package into 1-2 minute snippets. Take this clip, perhaps my favorite in show history. Bob (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) lets his daughter Tina (voiced by Dan Mintz) take his car for a spin in a mostly empty parking lot even though she’s underage. After delivering one of her famous monotone punchlines, Tina voices her anxiety with her trademark groan. Bob quickly loses his cool, ratcheting his volume up to 12.
Most of America can relate to a broke family going through tough times. It’s family humor, but not the cornball, sticommy Full House kind. It’s the type that makes you laugh at your family and appreciate their quirks. It may not be the pantheon of animated comedies, but that humor might be enough to make Bob’s Burgers movie alriiiiiiight.