For nearly seven years, Bob’s Burgers has been one of the most consistently funny shows on television. A brilliant blend of madcap humor and sweet, family based stories, Bob’s Burgers has at its peak felt like the heir apparent to The Simpsons (you know, back when that show was great.)
And though Fox has not been kind scheduling-wise to the series (it’s currently airing 6:30 PM on Sundays, as long as football isn’t on at least), the fanbase around the show has been extremely loyal, keeping the ratings constant for years now. And the series just got even more popular in its move to syndication, airing like half a dozen times a day on TBS and Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.
That kind of exposure had lead to strong popularity for the show (with at least one segment of the population at the very least.) And now Fox is looking to take that popularity and put it where all shows with a large fanbase eventually start looking: the big screen.
And Fox seems to be wasting no time in doing it either. As reported by Deadline, Fox has set July 17, 2020 for the release date of the Bob’s Burgers movie. And in case that statement sends an instant chill down your spine, let me be clear — this is an ANIMATED movie, not a live-action abomination starring, I don’t know, Kevin James as Bob. This is made clear by the involvement of Fox Animation and creator Loren Bouchard, who released the following statement about bringing Bob’s Burgers to the big screen:
“We’re thrilled to be invited to bring Bob’s Burgers to the big screen. We know the movie has to scratch every itch the fans of the show have ever had, but it also has to work for all the good people who’ve never seen the show. We also know it has to fill every inch of the screen with the colors and the sounds and the ever so slightly greasy texture of the world of Bob’s – but most of all it has to take our characters on an epic adventure. In other words, it has to be the best movie ever made. But no pressure, right?!”
On the one hand, it’s incredibly easy to be cynical about something like this. Like all TV show-to-movie transitions, there’s always the feeling in the back of my mind that (as The Simpsons Movie pointed out in its prologue) I’m paying for an experience I get on TV weekly for free, and that there’s really no reason that a TV show needs to have a feature film to begin with.
But Bouchard seems very self aware about that fact in his statement, and knows that in making a Bob’s Burgers movie, it HAS to tell a story worthy of the big screen treatment. And, to be fair, the success rate for these adult animated shows becoming movies has been surprisingly high. The Simpsons Movie is the best thing to happen for that franchise in this millennium, and South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut remains a great movie. Also, at least half of those Futurama movies were pretty great, right? I have faith that Bouchard and his writers can create a story just as cinematic as those, and considering the music baked into the show’s bones from the beginning, I imagine it will end up being a full scale animated musical adventure. Which, hey, sign me up.
As long as H. Jon Benjamin, Kristen Schaal, Eugene Mirman, John Roberts, and Dan Mintz are involved (which I can’t imagine they won’t be), I’m on board for this concept. And it’s not like the show will have to search hard for “big celebrities” to sell the movie either: when you have talent like Kevin Kline, Zack Galifanakis, Bill Hader, Will Forte, Aziz Anzari, Jenny Slate, and seemingly every other comedian on the planet involved in your show on a recurring basis, you aren’t lacking for talent to pull from. With the people involved and the talent behind the scenes, this could actually be something special.
And, even if it’s just the quality of a standard Bob’s Burgers episode, it will still be VERY funny, and experiencing that in a crowded theater will be pretty special in and of itself, right?
Also published on Medium.