THE BOB'S BURGERS MOVIE Interview With Creatives Loren Bouchard, Bernard Derriman, Nora Smith (Exclusive)
Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard talks to us alongside his co-director, Bernard Derriman, and co-writer, Nora Smith, on the upcoming movie about bringing this franchise to the big screen and more...
The Bob's Burgers Movie is an animated, big-screen, musical comedy-mystery-adventure based on the long-running Emmy-winning series. The story begins when a ruptured water main creates an enormous sinkhole right in front of Bob's Burgers, blocking the entrance indefinitely and ruining the Belcher family's plans for a successful summer.
While Bob and Linda struggle to keep the business afloat, the kids try to solve a mystery that could save their family's restaurant. As the dangers mount, these underdogs help each other find hope and fight to get back behind the counter, where they belong.
The movie arrives in cinemas on Friday, May 27, and we recently spoke to Bob's Burgers creator Loren Bouchard along with his co-director on this project, Bernard Derriman, and his co-writer Nora Smith. The trio has delivered a must-see event picture for fans of this animated franchise, and we had a blast picking their brains about finally bringing this beloved TV show to the big screen.
In the interview below, we hear from Loren, Bernard, and Nora about giving Bob's Burgers a cinematic overhaul, the challenge of keeping the show grounded despite the jump to cinemas, and what it's been like to see the way fans have embraced this franchise since the series first launched back in 2011.
Bernard and Loren, what would you say were some of the biggest challenges, or even most enjoyable aspects, to lending a cinematic look to the world of Bob's Burgers?
Loren: We liked every part of that challenge. We loved going wider with the aspect ratio and adding shadows to the characters and backgrounds. I'll give you a nerdy little detail. This is too nerdy for some, but maybe just nerdy enough for others. We went with a thinner line weight which is a big deal in animation. It's an invisible art for most folk, but with a little thinner line weight, particularly for someone of my age, it brought me back to animated movies from the 70s and 80s. You mostly see that in 2D animated movies that are hand-drawn and, for me, it really made it pop and made it feel like a movie before we did any of the other tricks we were going to apply.
Bernard: To go back to what Loren was saying, the aspect ratio is a small thing, but a big thing at the same time. You're used to working in 16:9. I read a lot about people saying comedy is funnier with a tighter aspect ratio and I started thinking about it, and it's true. For some reason, it becomes funnier. We always wanted to make sure this movie was cinematic and worthy of the big screen. I quickly found as many films as I could that are funny and widescreen, and I was confident about changing the aspect ratio.
Nora, the film, in many ways, feels like a giant-sized episode, and while it's ambitious, it never goes too over the top just for the sake of it. How important was it to ground this story to keep it in line with the show, even with a big murder mystery at its core?
Nora: Very important. First of all, I hope it doesn't feel too much like a long episode. We worked really hard to make it feel big and so big that it needed to be on a big screen, but we're always a character-driven show and it's a character-driven movie. We want to make it entertaining, but we want the characters to tell the story of what they're going through. We think of them as real people having real internal conflicts that they're dealing with. That always brought us back to keeping it grounded enough that they feel real. I know it's animated, but to us, they're real. We want to make them feel that way. It's something that's pretty easy for us. It just wasn't in our interest to go so big with it that it feels like it's breaking the show or the world. It's a balancing act of going as big as our little world would allow and keeping them human.
Loren, as the creator of the show, what has it meant to you to see the way it's been embraced and taken off to the point where you can bring the Belcher family to the big screen?
Loren: Well, it's everything. It's an enormous privilege and honour to have work that's seen at all. I tell anyone who will listen that this work is something we would do anyway. I'm speaking probably for everyone who is part of the show, but you find yourself doing this work because [Laughs] it somehow feels right and natural. You'd probably be a bedroom storyteller in whatever form even if no one was watching and even if no one paid you to do it. There's that. On some level, we do the work in spite of it having an audience or at least squint at that because you don't want to look straight into the lights as it can be a little daunting.
At the same time, what an incredible, strange joy to know that you're able to talk to folks all over the world, people you haven't met, and people for who it means something even more than you ever dared hope it would. Entertainment can feel disposable sometimes. There's a little bit of a danger of it being escapist fluff, but we fight against that so hard, and one of the ways we do is listening to the fans. They are telling us what they get from the show and it helps us. It really does help us get up in the morning with a sense of purpose and a calling. It's still a strange job and it's always embarrassing when you meet someone who does something that's actually important, but you carry on, do the best you can, hold your head up high and say, 'I make Bob's Burgers!'
Nora: Yes, 'I make Bob's Burgers, Mr. Neuro Surgeon.'
Loren: Absolutely [Laughs].
The Bob's Burgers Movie arrives exclusively in cinemas on May 27!