'Bob's Burgers' Creator Talks The Challenges Of Making The Show And The Movie At The Same Time

Not only was there supposed to be a Bob's Burgers movie on the big screen earlier this year, but there was a musical short film that would have also been released in theaters too. But unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic ruined all those plans.

Thankfully, the Bob's Burgers movie is still slated to arrive in theaters, and the silver lining is that the pandemic has given them ample to to really polish the final cut. However, as creator Loren Bouchard and supervising animator Janelle Momary recently discussed, the movie also makes producing the series a little more challenging.

Loren Bouchard recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly the plans for a Bob's Burgers theatrical short that are currently on hold. Entitled My Butt Has a Fever, the short would have had Louise (Kristen Schaal), Tina (Dan Mintz), and Eugene (Eugene Mirman) singing a song with the same name. It would have been released with one of Disney/Fox's movies in theaters, but the pandemic not only ruined the release plan, but it made the subject matter of the short itself a little less desirable. Bouchard said:

"First of all, there are no theaters to release it into and, second of all, would anyone want to go see the Belcher kids sing a song called 'My Butt Has a Fever'? Of course, we're hoping at some point it'll be okay again, but talk about pre-COVID plans getting changed."

Thankfully, the pandemic hasn't changed their plans to release the Bob's Burgers movie in theaters. Though Disney has opted to give movies like Mulan and Pixar's Soul a release on premium VOD for Disney+ subscribers, Bouchard said they really wanted to wait for the movie to play in theaters for one specific reason:

"We talked about [streaming] as it pertains to the movie and we decided we really want the movie to come out in theaters because Bob's is already on TV. Of course, we want everyone to be able to safely see it in movie theaters. We don't want anyone to put themselves at risk. But assuming there's a point at which everyone can go back to theaters safely, we're excited about Bob's the movie being seen in the theater, in the dark with other people, because that's something we've never been able to do before."

It worked for The Simpsons to the tune of over $536 million worldwide, and even with new episodes of the show arriving all the time, fans still want to see the Springfield family return to theaters again. But when it comes to keeping Bob's Burgers going strong on television while directing a film adaptation of the series, there are certain challenges that make producing the show a little more difficult.

First of all, Bouchard himself is crazy busy right now. Not only is he working on both the Bob's Burgers movie and TV show (including the upcoming milestone 200th episode), but he's also an executive producer on Central Park on Apple TV+ and the upcoming FOX animated series The Great North. But it's the Bob's Burgers movie that Bouchard calls "a unique beast unto itself in a lot of ways."

Specifically, working on the movie and TV show simultaneously has made the writing process a little more challenging. Bouchard elaborated:

"When you're working on the movie, you are simultaneously trying to avoid things [on the show] that you will do in the future. So, you really have to thread the needle in terms of the episodes you're breaking. At any moment, you not only have to not repeat past episodes but you have to not step on this future movie."

However, production on the movie does offer the Bob's Burgers crew some advantages when compared to working on the show. Supervising animator Janelle Momary discussed how the movie gave them the ability to "go back and polish, refine every word and every frame." Usually with the fast-paced world of television production, the crew of Bob's Burgers doesn't have a huge amount of time to get an episode done. But with the movie, Momary explained:

"We have the time and we have the resources because we're able to see it in a different space and we're able to see in a theater and see those pixels and you don't want those to go by, either. I think TV has set us up to make the film in a very cost-effective and efficient way, and the film has set us up to take a look at the series with a different set of creative lenses and how they can make more out of each moment."

As far as production on the Bob's Burgers movie, they only had to stop for five days in March as they figured out how to start producing the movie (and the show) remotely. Now they have plenty of time to get it all in order too because as of now, the Bob's Burgers movie is slated for release in theaters on April 9, 2021. But with Ghostbusters: Afterlife already evacuating its March 2021 release date, we'll see if that date holds up for Disney/Fox.