The Bob’s Burgers Movie will open exclusively in theaters this Friday, May 27, and Vital Thrills got a chance to talk to the voice cast and crew. Of the crew, we were joined by creator, director and writer Loren Bouchard, director Bernard Derriman and producer Nora Smith.
The cast we talked to included: H. Jon Benjamin, the voice of Bob Belcher; John Roberts, the voice of Linda Belcher; Kristen Schaal, the voice of Louise Belcher; Dan Mintz, the voice of Tina Belcher; Eugene Mirman, the voice of Gene Belcher; and Larry Murphy, the voice of Teddy.
The cast was asked about the moment they realized the show had super fans. Schaal said, “Heck yeah, I remember. It was Halloween and it was New York City.
“I said to my husband, I want to go dressed as a whoopie cushion, and I’m going to wear goggles and a mustache, and a big whoopie cushion costume, and it’s going to be fun because no one will know who I am. And then I walked into a bar and I ordered one drink, and they said, ‘It’s Louise!'”
Producer Nora Smith talked about the biggest challenge for her in making the film. “We knew that we had to try to make our fans happy and make people who are not our fans but are perfectly fine people as well, happy. Like, people seeing it for the first time.
“So we were trying to not make it too just chock-full of inside references and we wanted people to come at it fresh and still enjoy all the characters. And I think we did a good job.”
Bouchard wrote The Bob’s Burgers Movie script before the pandemic, back in 2018. “We worked on this movie until just, it feels like last week,” he said. “We were determined to take every moment they gave us and keep working on it. So yeah, it changed.
“It wasn’t like it drastically changed, it was more like any time we had, we were excited to take advantage of. Weak jokes, change, you know, picture, fool around with the sound. It was not just the script, just everything was in our hands until they tore it from our little fingers.”
Mirman said that they did improv in the booth for The Bob’s Burgers Movie, which is something you don’t always see in animation. “I would describe myself as a method cartoon character. So if you come up to me while I’m doing Gene, good luck getting me to not joke around as a little boy.”
As far as why it’s a musical, Bouchard said, “One of the things we knew early on with this movie that music was gonna be part of it. We knew it was a big lever we could pull to make it feel big, make it feel like a spectacle. And one of the things we wanted to do in addition to songs was dancing. And these two next to me here had a very surprising aptitude. Nora would videotape herself dancing in her kitchen and Bernard could take that and draw it so beautifully. And so, all the dancing you see comes from these two right here. No training.”
Derriman said about the look of the film, “The first thing we did, we always say, every episode we do, we would love to make it look like the movie. But the problem is, we do 22 episodes a year. It’s 11 hours of Bob’s Burgers. So, we’ve only got a few weeks at a time where we can focus on each episode.
“It wasn’t actually that big of stretch on the movie, it’s just we had four years for an hour-and-a-half. It was all the stuff that we’ve always wanted to do on the show, we were able to now, in the movie.”
Schaal spoke about Louise’s bunny ears. She said, “Something that I think myself, and a lot of the fans have been waiting for, is to see what is the story behind what Louise’s bunny ears. And so, I feel just very honored that this is the moment that we get to share it with the world in this other big form. That everyone’s talking about. That Beverly Hilton [where the cast was] is talking about it. It’s really exciting.”
Benjamin spoke about whether or not Bob is a good cook or a businessman. He said, “Loren and I have talked about this over the years and I think, we got asked this question yesterday. I used to argue to Loren that Bob was not a good cook, ‘cause there was no customers. Or very few. Just Teddy.
He added: “One guy came in, so maybe that’s indicative of a food problem. But Loren always suggested there’s the burger of the day, there’s these flights of creativity that Bob has and he’s super into his food. And I think over the years, you might have won the argument. I give it up to you now.”
Bouchard added, “I like to think that Bob is a great cook, great artist working in a medium that, maybe, people don’t even understand. He’s maybe ahead of his time, or perhaps, also, clearly a bad businessman. And, yeah, I think we tend to sympathize with that character because who knows how the movie is gonna do.”
Schaal chimed in, saying, “Hey, and can I just piggy back that by saying I think a lot of the people in the world, and in the Bob’s Burgers audience are unsung artists that haven’t been discovered yet. That are probably making really good burgers, or where ever that goes at home that nobody really knows about.”
Derriman spoke about Easter eggs from the show that are in the film. He said, “That’s from, well, obviously there’s a sink hole. That’s not giving anything away. So, we had that plan once we knew when the movie was coming out, we just started to work in this crack that gets bigger and bigger. It gets as big as it gets before the movie in this Sunday’s episode, actually. Little pieces along the way, yeah.”
Bouchard was asked about whether or not the show running 13 seasons of Bob’s Burgers was every something that was considered. “No. We went into this with fear and humility and trepidation that we were going to be cancelled immediately. And we actually held onto that for many seasons.
“I was even afraid, once we got to about season four and it seemed like we might make a run, I actually thought it would be better if they lied to us and told us we were about to be cancelled. I was afraid that we’d lose our edge, I guess. Or our-that somehow the fear was part of it. So, yeah, we never dared admit it, and I don’t think it would have been good for the show.”
Mintz spoke about the popularity of the FOX show: “I think that just, Loren has always had a knack for creating characters that really sound like real people in a way that you didn’t even realize you’re missing from other shows until you hear it. And also, the other writers [LAUGH] are good at that too.
“But yeah, and with, you know, the whole family and Teddy and six people, and also all the other characters that are also different. Like, there’s someone for everyone to be like, ‘That’s exactly who I am.'”