It’s already been a long, rocky road for the feature film adaptation of beloved FOX animated staple Bob’s Burgers. The series, currently airing in its 11th season, has become a cultural giant on par with network-mates The Simpsons over the years, which meant that a feature film adaptation (complete with plenty of lavish musical numbers, we’re sure) was always in the cards. An extremely busy production slate for series creator Loren Bouchard in 2020, however, coupled with both the pandemic and societal unrest, put a damper on production. An initial release date of July 17, 2020 passed uneventfully, leading to a new release date of April 9, 2021, but fans understandably began to wonder if the Bob’s Burgers movie, like so many others, would find its way to a streaming service instead of being earmarked for theatrical release.
Bouchard, however, really seems to be pulling for the latter. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the series creator spoke at length about the making of the Bob’s Burgers movie, calling the project “a unique beast unto itself” but also saying that he vastly preferred to see the film released in theaters rather than having it head directly to streaming. Specifically, Bouchard stressed that he wanted the characters of Bob’s Burgers to be seen in a different venue than ever before.
“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,” Bouchard said in the interview. “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. That’s the main course that we’re delivering to people, in this case.”
In fact, the Belcher family was meant to be seen in a separate theatrical showing this year as well—a short film, akin to The Simpsons short Playdate With Destiny, was meant to be attached to a Disney production, but the pandemic put a halt to those plans. The short would have been called My Butt Has a Fever, and would have featured the trio of Belcher children—Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) performing one of the musical numbers with which the show has become so associated. With theaters out of operation, however, My Butt Has a Fever had to be scrapped—not to mention potential issues with the subject matter.
“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’?” said Bouchard. “Of course, we’re hoping at some point it’ll be okay again, but talk about pre-COVID plans getting changed.”
Regardless, when the Bob’s Burgers feature film does arrive, it will be with the entire cast in tow, naturally including Mintz, Mirman and Schaal alongside parents Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) and Linda (John Roberts), and presumably the show’s deep well of supporting characters. For more details on the ongoing production of the film, check out the full Entertainment Weekly interview.