Less Was More When It Came To The Music In The Bob's Burgers Movie

"The Simpsons Movie" may have made the joke about paying to see something you get on television for free, but there's a certain thrill that comes with seeing one of your favorite shows make the transfer to the big screen. I may have hopped aboard almost a decade into its run, but I adore "Bob's Burgers" and all of the delightfully weird characters of Seymour's Bay. I think it's safe to say that the Belchers have earned their place among the great sitcom families, especially since Bob and Lina actually nurture their children's idiosyncrasies.

Seymour's Bay is structured like a summer town so it makes sense to turn the animated sitcom into a summer blockbuster to compliment the series' sunny aesthetic. I really enjoyed "The Bob's Burgers Movie," for the most part, as it stands by its characters while exploring beyond familiar environments and all of the secrets within. At its center, the feature film adaptation is a murder mystery, but it's also a musical...kind of.

"The Bob's Burgers Movie" features a few awesome numbers, but it falls short of the kind of numbers to make it a full-blown musical. It appears as if this was by design.

Bouchard rather people say they want more songs than complain about having too many

In an interview with Consequence, series creator LorenĀ BouchardĀ ("Central Park") said he initially had the idea of including as many songs as a typical Disney musical, but ultimately decided he'd rather leave folks wanting more:

"I wanted the songs that demanded to be made, and not a single one that felt extraneous; the songs shouldn't be the fat. We didn't want to make a musical, we wanted to make a Bob's musical, which is a little more sparing."

The songs that made it in "The Bob's Burgers Movie" are great, but that's kind of the problem. It's understandable to have the audience enjoy what they're given without feeling as if the film tried stretching itself too far. The issue, however, is that the first two songs ("Sunny Side Up Summer" and "Lucky Ducks") are unbelievably catchy numbers that create this kind of bouncy show tune momentum before the movie decides to kind of bow out.

One of my biggest criticisms of "The Bob's Burgers Movie" is that it ultimately doesn't commit to the bit. Bouchard's thoughts on making a "Bob's" musical makes sense within the confines of a half-hour show where there isn't a lot of time to waste beyond a brief bouncy tune. It's different when the film presents itself as an all-out musical within the first few minutes a la "South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut," only for it to kind of decide it doesn't want to anymore.

Nora Smith is no stranger to Bob's Burgers musical numbers

The songs that we do get from "The Bob's Burgers Movie," however, came from a great team of folks who are innately familiar with the series' previous musical taste. Bouchard told Consequence that he recruited "Bob's Burgers" mainstay Nora Smith to help with the songs, realizing that her familiarity with this world would make the songs feel closer to the spirit of the show.

Rather than branching out to other musical influences and influencers, Brochard decided he wanted to be selfish and keep the numbers in-house. "If we wanted the most Bob's music, we had to do it ourselves," says Bouchard.

The funny thing about the songs from the series is that they feel loosely put together, and yet, they'll likely be rattling around in your head, many of which were created with Smith's involvement. The movie's songs may carry the show's bouncy charm, but they definitely feel grander than anything they had done before.

"Sunny Side Up Summer" and "Lucky Ducks," especially, feel like the perfect blend of the kind of tune you would hear on the show that's been upgraded to fit the scope of a theatrical production.

The songs of The Bob's Burgers Movie feel different from one another

"Sunny Side Up Summer" kicks things off right away, perfectly illustrating what each member of the Belcher family is longing for. According to Bouchard, the melody of that song came from a jam session at his house where both he and Smith experimented with the ukulele.

Given how buoyant that song turned out to be, it makes perfect sense for a lively number like "Lucky Ducks" to come next. If it feels like they compliment each other, it's because they were crafted with that in mind (via Consequence):

"We developed both alongside each other, to the point where they speak to each other a bit. They're almost too similar, I've been afraid of somebody calling me out on that! But in the end, we decided to embrace it."

After that, it's about a half-hour gap until the next ditty "Not That Evil," which feels significantly more laid back than the previous tunes. Brochard perfectly describes it as "this long, weird thing that goes in and out of spoken word and has falsetto." I think it's pretty funny that "The Bob's Burgers Movie" team didn't want to feature songs that felt like it was just wasting air, and "Not That Evil" is pretty much the film's antagonist hilariously doing just that.

Gene's arc is the most underdeveloped, so it's pretty appropriate that "The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee" wrap-up they give him is less than a minute long. "My Burger Buns" may be as bare bones as that song, but it's a nice little bop to leave the movie on as the credits roll.

"The Bob's Burgers Movie" is currently streaming on HBO Max and Hulu.