How an Animated Burger Shop Saved My Family in Its Darkest Hour | Features

As a filmmaker, I’ve spent a large part of my career wondering if what I do actually matters. Creating art seems so trivial as I watch doctors helping people re-learn how to walk, soldiers laying down their lives to protect my freedoms, and everyone from farmers to grocery store clerks keeping food on our shelves amidst a global pandemic. Meanwhile, I’m making horror movies … blowing up Styrofoam heads and not exactly scoring any humanitarian awards.

But I’ve recently found my pride. When my father unexpectedly passed away in early 2019, I didn’t know what to do. Desperate for solace and comfort, I put on—of all things—Steve Miner’s “Friday the 13th, Part 2,” a slasher film that I’d grown up loving. The familiarity of it washed over me like the hug I so desperately needed, and somehow gave me the calm I so badly required. After laying my father to rest, I asked friends and family if they’d ever done the same—and almost all of them admitted to a television program or film that gave them consolation during their lives’ most difficult moments. It turns out that art really does matter. Even the silly stuff. It comforts us. It armors us.

“Bob’s Burgers” eased my wife and I through the single most traumatic experience of our lives, and has helped us accept the hand our family was dealt. Ten months after losing them, my wife and I have found ourselves pregnant with Maggie and Flash’s younger sibling—and uncovered hope again, after so much pain.

On May 27th, Katie and I will be sitting in our favorite cinema, watching “The Bob’s Burgers Movie,” wishing it could have been our twins’ first moviegoing experience.

But the truth is that Maggie and Flash will be there—laughing along with mom and dad, grateful that some silly cartoon about family held us all when we needed it most, and saved our family in the process.

We couldn’t have done it without the Belchers.

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