“Sausage Party” is one type of animated movie I wish was made more, more adult oriented. If we go back in the history of animation, at some point and time animation was geared more towards adults and wasn’t seen as “kid’s stuff”. I wish there would be a greater diversity of animated films being produced. Now on that point, “Sausage Party” is one of the raunchiest, dirtiest yet oddly thoughtful and well-rounded comedies I’ve seen in a while. The movie is far from perfect and won’t work for everyone (especially if you’re not a Seth Rogan fan) but this movie succeeds completely on the audience it’s made for.
“Sausage Party” plays off the tried and true Pixar formula of taking inanimate objects and making them come to life with a supermarket full of food. The food believes that the humans are gods and when they are selected they are going to their “heaven”. Soon though the foods begin to realize they are not going to heaven and they are in fact going to be killed and eaten in vicious ways. One sausage tries to lead a revolution to his people to save them from certain death.
Since this is an animated movie I think it’s only fitting we talk about the animation first. Typically a Pixar movie will cost over 100 million dollars to make. Dreamworks also produces expensive animated features. Blue Sky is more on the lower end of big budget animated features with the “Ice Age” movies costing around 70 million to make. “Sausage Party” has a production budget of 19 million dollars. This would be worrying some that the animation might falter as a result. However the animation in this movie I still pretty good. It’s a bit cartoony, less realistic looking and the humans are more blocky than other productions but for an animated film made on a 19 million dollar budget it looks pretty impressive. It doesn’t feel like the filmmakers had to skip out on adding a lot in a single shot of the movie. This could be due to having experienced animation directors from such works as “Shrek 2” and “Monsters VS. Aliens”.
The story of the movie is perhaps the most surprising aspect of the film. The trailer certainly shows us the premise of the feature but it never really dives into the movie’s more social relevance. Much like Disney’s “Zootopia” (which is still my favorite movie this year) “Sausage Party” uses its story and its characters as a metaphor for which to explore religion, stereotypes, and many other relevant social topics. The movie isn’t subtle in its delivery (the viewer would be able to pick up exactly how these themes will play out in the opening song). There are two foods that are meant to represent the Israel/Palestinian conflict (which to be totally honest I got a few great laughs out of). So, subtly is not what we’re dealing with here. However the movie doesn’t make the mistake of being preachy. Having social commentary in your comedy can easily become preachy (like so much of Seth McFarlane’s recent works on “Family Guy”) and preachy gets a little overbearing to me.
The comedy of this movie is going to be very divisive. If you’re not a fan of raunchy humor then I don’t think this movie is for you (even though I think “Sausage Party” has more intelligence than the average ranch comedy). “Sausage Party” doesn’t really hold back in how obscene and offensive it can be (and to be fair this seeks to offend everyone) and for me that really adds something fun to the movie. Even when some jokes don’t work I appreciate how much the filmmakers throw everything at the wall and do it such shameless style. The ending of the movie features one of the most perfect displays of obscene humor that perhaps I’ve ever seen.
That being said the movie’s comedy isn’t perfect. “Sausage Party” hits hard in the first and third acts. It’s that second act where the movie begins to falter into repetitive jokes and a lull in the humor. Part of it is to build up its storyline to that third act grand finale of mayhem. But, I think also there are only so many times I can’t hear a Sausage drop the F-Bomb and still find it funny. This movie does also feature a talented cast of voice actors that are just too numinous to name all of them (just look at the poster of the movie). But all bring their A-games here. And I can say the same for “Sausage Party” throughout. Even at its weakest the effort put forth behind the scenes is always felt.
I went and saw this with my friend. We both at some point in the movie did the same thing towards one another. I turn towards him and thought to myself, wow he isn’t really laughing much. And at some point he turned towards me and thought to himself, wow he is laughing quite a bit. So, yeah “Sausage Party” isn’t going to hit the same way towards everyone. I think part of its appeal and shock is because there aren’t many raunchy R-rated animated comedies out there and I wonder to myself would the movie make the same impact if there were more? Then again shouldn’t we be used to adult oriented animation by now with “Family Guy”, “The Simpsons”, “South Park”, “American Dad” and “Rick and Morty” all being very successful on television right now?
I think some would argue that the newest Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg produced comedy (“Pineapple Express” and “This is the End”) is nothing more than lowbrow and juvenile in nature. Then again some of Shakespeare’s comedies were seen as lowbrow in their time as well (granted this isn’t quite “The Taming of the Shrew). But there is a little juvenile spot in all of us and “Sausage Party” found mine. “Sausage Party” isn’t perfect but it’s a fun comedy. It’s a type of animated movie I wish would be made more often. I can see myself watching this movie multiple times once it hits home video.