WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead for 'Sausage Party.'
Even though many people hadn't even heard much about it when it was released, Sausage Party set a record for having the highest-grossing debut weekend of any R-rated animated movie in the US. It's also the highest-grossing debut for any animated film released in August -- all for a movie populated with rude lunch meats.
Directed by Greg Tiernan, who has been working as an animator for years and previously directed dozens of Thomas the Tank Engine projects (seriously), co-written by Seth Rogan, and starring Seth Rogan, James Franco, Kristin Wiig, and Jonah Hill, this is an offensive, taboo-breaking raunch-fest.
And it's brilliant.
This Is A Very Adult Spoof Of Family Animated Movies
The characters and settings in this film all have designs that mimic various characteristics of both Disney and Pixar movies. But you don't want to take your kids to this movie.
I repeat, you do not want to take your kids to this movie.
While the characters look cute, they don't talk cute. They all swear worse than soldiers. They do drugs. They are extremely sexual - and sexual in ways you haven't thought of. The movie pushes the envelope of public decency; it was almost given an NC-17 rating. There is a large amount of excessive violence towards food.
What The Hell Is It Even About?
'Sausage Party' is set at a grocery store, where all the food is alive. (Think 'Toy Story,' with food.) Every morning the groceries sing a song of prayer to the gods... who are really human customers doing their shopping. The groceries believe that being chosen by the gods leads them to the "Great Beyond", a wonderful place of joy.
A sausage named Frank has a crush on Brenda, a nearby hotdog bun. She likes Frank too; she lets him touch her with his tip. Frank wonders if the prayer works. He's not sure there is a Great Beyond, and wants to find real meaning in his life. Then he meets a jar of traumatized honey mustard that was bought and taken to the Great Beyond, but was then returned to the store. The mustard explains that the Great Beyond is where foods go to be slaughtered. Before Frank can warn anybody, he and other groceries are thrown into a cart. Some terrible things happen, and many groceries are killed or separated from each other.
The Store Is The World In A Microcosm
Each area of the store has its own identity, and the divisions don't always get along. For example, the sauerkraut wants to eliminate the juice. (There are many jokes like that in this movie.) The Jewish bagels share a tense border with food from the Middle East. The liquor aisle is, well, the liquor aisle.
The Movie Is The Archetypal Hero's Journey.
With his world in turmoil, Frank begins a quest to learn about the gods, and is told to see the Firewater, a Native American-branded liquor. Firewater is friends with Grits. They're unified by hate for the crackers. But once Firewater gets Frank stoned, his friend Twink tells Frank to make a journey across the land and look beyond the cold place. (We know "the cold place" as the freezer aisle.) There, Frank will find the knowledge he seeks.
The Movie Is About Losing Your Purpose In Life.
One of the characters is a douche. Literally a douche. He discovers his handle is bent, and he no longer has the purpose for which he was created. Driven by desperation, he consumes a juice box, which gives him super strength. Since he is no longer useful or functional, he fills the existential void in himself with an irrational desire for revenge on Frank for helping cause the chaos in the world. He also now calls himself Il Duce.
The Movie Is About The Will To Survive.
While Frank is trying to understand the gods, and the douche is trying to find Frank, another group of groceries is taken to the home of one of the gods. The groceries are ecstatic about being in the Great Beyond... until they witness the carnage waiting for them. There is much dismemberment and spraying of juice. A deformed sausage named Barry escapes the massacre, tries to figure out how to get back to the store... and ends up at the apartment of a druggie who likes to shoot up bath salts.
The Movie Is About The Destructive Power Of Belief.
There is a lot of talk about the gods, and what they want. The groceries all have developed different rules of morality as a result. A piece of lavash, a bread made in the Middle East, believes he is promised virgin olive oil in the Great Beyond. But a female taco falls in love with Brenda, and Brenda says their love would be against the rules. And Brenda is also worried that the chaos that has taken over their lives is the result of letting Frank touch her with his tip.
The movie doesn't try to hide the lesson that people (er, groceries) will believe happy lies in order to avoid confronting a scary or sad truth.
Sausage Party is rude, crude, and transgressive. It's also smart, epic, and funny. It's one of the most creative movies of the year. If you can handle the creativity, this is something you have to see to believe.
Oh, and the final 20 minutes of the film will be eternally burned in your mind. After all, there are some things that you just can't unsee.
Here's the NSFW trailer.
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