Beyond Burgers

The Bob’s Burgers Movie – I had wanted to see this at the theater, but I never got around to it, so I saw it streaming this weekend. It seems like the typical way to make a family sitcom into a full-length movie is to add an adventure element and make the family heroes, which they did here. There’s a murder mystery and a few action sequences. Also, there’s a lot of singing, which is true of the show as well, but here the songs are much longer. I will say, however, that in other ways it felt kind of small. There are quite a few recurring characters who either make very minor appearances or don’t show up at all (although most of them do make cameos in the closing credits), and while each family member has a story arc, there isn’t a lot of time spent on all of them. A lot of the humor came from the absurdity of the Fischoeder family and their weird dynamics. When Calvin is accused of murdering a carny, he and Felix plan to escape to Cuba in a submarine that’s actually just an old amusement park ride. David Wain voices a new family member, Calvin and Felix’s cousin and lawyer Grover, who ends up playing a major role. Wain is the voice of Courtney on the show, but she doesn’t have a speaking role in the movie. It wasn’t groundbreaking (okay, the ground breaking is actually a significant part of the plot, but I meant figuratively), but it was a pretty fun time, which I guess is usually true of the show as well. There’s kind of a theme of encouraging people to do what they enjoy, even if they aren’t that successful at it, to both the show and the movie.

Lightyear – This whole thing is kind of a weird concept. The premise, as explained at the beginning, is that Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story was a character from a movie before he was a toy, and this is that movie, presumably from the early nineties. And probably because of that, it’s played pretty straight. There’s humor in it, but it’s not over-the-top or anything. It starts with Buzz and his commanding officer Alisha scouting an unknown planet, where they end up marooned. Buzz tests a hyperspace crystal made from materials from this world, but due to time dilation, he ends up skipping a bunch of years while Alisha grows old and dies, and many other things change as well. He eventually finds the planet under attack by someone named Zurg who commands a bunch of robots. There’s a twist with Zurg, and it’s not that he’s Buzz’s father like in Toy Story 2, although that is sort of referenced. To defeat the invaders, Buzz teams up with Alisha’s granddaughter Izzy and two other Space Ranger trainees, the insecure Mo and the paroled old lady Darby, as well as a robotic cat called Sox (this was, after all, supposed to have been from the Clinton administration). I’m pretty sure all of the characters except for Buzz and Zurg are original. Considering that the in-universe version of this film resulted in a highly successful toy line, you’d think at least one toy Sox would have shown up in the Toy Story films. And the Zurg of the movie isn’t much like how he’s depicted elsewhere, but that could be intentional considering how these things often change over different media, and I think Buzz had his own cartoon in the Toy Story world. A sympathetic but misguided villain becoming a scheme-of-the-day evil guy for an animated series wouldn’t have been at all atypical. As for how it is as a movie, it’s…decent. It’s a good story with some emotion and no major flaws that I noticed, but I never really got invested in it, nor do I feel like I got that much out of it.

This entry was posted in Cartoons, Humor, Revisiting Disney, Technology, Television, Toys, VoVat Goes to the Movies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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