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The long-running, award-winning Fox animated series "Bob's Burgers," created by Loren Bouchard, is an unassuming Hollywood success story.

Built in the same mold as "The Simpsons" and "King of the Hill," it's no surprise that this irreverent, whip-smart and family-oriented animated comedy is such a success, both commercially and creatively. The arrival of a movie version, "The Bob's Burgers Movie," seems like just icing on the cake, but it also is a refreshing contrast to the kind of big-screen spectacle that usually crowds theaters in the summer.

The comedy of "Bob's Burgers" is manifold. Like a great burger, it works because of the combination of elements melding to create something singular. There's the writing, dense with jokes, puns and the cognitive dissonance of little kids making references wiser and naughtier than their years. There's the voice acting, which makes the writing and characters even funnier. And then there's the sort of aggressively 2-D animation style, which, blown up on the big screen, becomes a positively radical aesthetic. Plus, there are elaborate musical numbers, adding to the deliriously deadpan humor.

It's this combo that makes "The Bob's Burgers Movie" not only work, but sing, as one of the funniest, smartest and most unique summer movies of the year, the kind of lighthearted, charming, low-stakes and intelligent entertainment that is all too rare these days.

"Bob's Burgers" follows the Belcher family, the proprietors of a local burger joint in a seaside hamlet. Dad Bob (H. Jon Benjamin) flips the burgers, wife Linda (John Roberts) keeps the family together, and their three kids Tina (Dan Mintz), Gene (Eugene Mirman) and Louise (Kristen Schaal) are going through their own challenges and growing pains, whether it's a longstanding crush (Tina), a frustrated desire to be a musician (Gene) or an overwhelming desire to prove one's own bravery to the other kids at school (Louise).

The family faces a business-crippling setback when a sinkhole opens up in front of their restaurant. It's enough to send Bob into an anxiety spiral after their loan extension has been denied, threatening to put Bob's Burgers out of business entirely.

Struggling with insecurity at school. Louise enters the sinkhole in a misguided attempt at bravado, and finds the skeletal remains of a local carnival worker, which sets off a police investigation.

While the kids head off on a wild-goose chase to discover the identity of the murderer, thinking it might help save their family, the parents try to save the business with their own scheme, selling burgers out of a cobbled-together grill cart on the boardwalk. During this adventure, the Belcher kids become caught up in the carny underworld of their community, as well as the mysterious family misdeeds of their landlords, the Fischoeders (Kevin Kline, Zach Galifianakis, David Wain).

The antics are wacky, and the movie is both nail-bitingly tense and genuinely moving. It's a story that demonstrates how family unity is a powerful force, and that small businesses are essential to preserving the fabric of a community.

But most important, it's hilarious, and it's likely to make you crave a burger, too.

'The Bob's Burgers Movie'

*** stars out of 4

Rated: PG-13 for rude/suggestive material and language.

Where: Area theaters.