Date Posted: 07/07/18
First of all my dear and valued reader I find myself having to once again apologise because my reviews of late are not being posted as frequently as before. There is really only one reason for this which is there isn’t much that I have seen or played or read or whatever recently that warrants talking about. I am still intending to play Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite but I replayed Bioshock immediately so am having a break before jumping into Bioshock 2. I want to see Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom but have been unable to get to the cinema to see it for one reason or another. So...I needed to write about something and the other day I saw Sausage Party...
For those of you who don’t know. Sausage Party is a 2016 American-Canadian animated comedy film that was written partly by Seth Rogen. It features an impressive voice cast boasting, amongst others Selma Hayak, Edward Norton, James Franco, Paul Rudd and Seth Rogen. The film is something of a spoof of Disney and Pixar films which follows self-aware food products.
I was aware of this film for a while before it popped up on Netflix and Abbie and I decided to check it out. The idea behind it is perhaps a natural progression of the ideas that toys, animals, cars and other objects are actually “alive” in some way with human levels of consciousness, so if inanimate objects can be aware, what if food was?
The film opens with a supermarket called Shopwell’s where the food living there believe that the humans who come to the store to shop are really gods. Products are chosen to be taken to the Great Beyond. Amongst them is a sausage called Frank (Rogen) who dreams of being taken to the Great Beyond with his hot-dog bun girlfriend Brenda (Kirsten Wiig) where they can finally consummate their relationship.
On a day like any other a jar of honey mustard sauce is taken by a god, but the following day is returned to the store, and when he returns Honey Mustard warns of the horrors that he witnessed in the Great Beyond. Frank’s packet and Brenda’s packet are both chosen soon afterwards along with Honey Mustard but he screams in terror and commits suicide by throwing himself out of the shopping trolley instead of leaving again.
Frank tries to save him, but he, Brenda and other foods as well as a douche fall out of the trolley. Some end up smashed, with Frank and Brenda realising to their horror that they are now “out of their packet” which means they will never get to the Great Beyond. Deciding that if they can get into another packet they might still get chosen, Frank, Brenda, a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr (Norton) and a lavish Kareem Abdul Lavish (David Krumholtz) decide to work together to get back to their aisles. Frank however cannot get Honey Mustard’s words out of his mind and decides that they need to learn the truth of what is in the Great Beyond.
Meanwhile the Douche that fell out of the trolley swears revenge on Frank and Brenda for causing him to fall from the trolley. His is leaking fluid but learns that he can drain fluid from others, doing so causes him to mutate, and he vows to hunt down and kill the sausage and his bun...
Okay, now you have to be aware that this is a film that takes adult animation to a whole new level. You know how South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut features Saddam Hussein having a homosexual relationship with the Devil in Hell, yeah, that is tame compared to this.
The opening song features sexual suggestions, racism, threats of genocide and that is all in the first few minutes of the film.
Having self-aware food is a premise that is pretty much a natural evolution of animations giving human characteristics to various objects and life forms. Having “living” food is such an obvious idea it makes you wonder how no one through of it prior to 2016. Naturally the world in which the food “lives” is one that apparently no human can perceive, unless they are high on bath salts (recreational designer drugs) so when the food is talking or moving only the food themselves are aware of it.
There is a sequence that is both hilarious and from the food’s perspective terrifying when we witness what happens to food when they are chosen. They are all still celebrating being in the Great Beyond when the “god” who chose them skins a potato alive, then devours innocent baby carrots. The other food items are in absolute terror as they try to understand why their god is devouring them. Honestly the sequence reminded me a lot of an anime I have been watching recently called Attack on Titan in which huge humanoid creatures devour humans alive.
Honey Mustard witnessed this which is why he would rather kill himself than be taken by another god.
Within the store there are three products that know the truth and were the ones that created the song as well as the Great Beyond. Previously when food knew what was truly other there, they lived in permanent terror at the prospect of being chosen, so whilst they know the Great Beyond is a lie it means the foods get to live happy in the thought of being chosen.
Of these three my favourite was Firewater (Bill Hader) a bottle of tequila, who is a non-perishable and is therefore immortal. Firewater is a hippy type and silences anyone who threatens to tell the truth about the Great Beyond.
Also, I was not familiar with what a douche is and apparently it is a device that is typically used by women to clean out their vaginas. So of everyone leaving to the Great Beyond, the douche was never in danger of being devoured so was looking forward to a god using him. He therefore resents his chance being lost which is why he is determined to kill Frank and Brenda no matter how many other products he must consume to survive.
Every time it seems that we have reached the limit of what the writers could come up with they manage to push the boundaries a little further. Selma Hayek voices a lesbian taco (because why not have a lesbian taco?) who immediately falls for Brenda. By the film’s climax the food all engage in a massive product orgy with all of the foods engaging in various sex act with one another...yeah there is a food orgy...
What more can I really say??
Both Seth Rogen and Kirsten Wiig have voiced characters in family friendly films on more than one occasion, so it is fun to hear the voice of Lucy from Despicable Me 2 coming from Brenda’s mouth, or Mantis from Kung Fu Panda voicing the foul-mouthed sausage Frank.
The douche also has his own Ratatouille moment when he takes control of a human, but it isn’t his hair that the douche uses to control him...
The key thing to remember about Sausage Party is not to try and figure it out. The food back move around, they have arms and legs, but when we switch from their perspective to that of the humans they are just sitting on a counter or whatever. I don’t understand how Honey Mustard could move himself out of the trolley in the human world when he obviously has no arms and legs. It was one of those things I initially wondered about when I saw Toy Story, do the toy’s faces actually change when they speak, when Woody talks to Sid his face remains in its default smile until he actually moves. So there the toys’ expressions change but a toy is mad with arms and legs, RC (the radio controlled car) doesn’t sprout legs or arms, as he is a car. I don’t therefore see how a jar of Honey Mustard could jump on top of other products to leap out of the trolley. When he does, Frank is hanging on the front of the trolley trying to save him, but what did this look like from the human perspective??
Why is a jar alive but the contents inside is not??
The douche is alive but utensils like knives are not, why??
When does food become self-aware??
Fruit and vegetables are alive before they are picked or harvested so why does pulling them out of the ground not kill them but cooking them does??
At one point we see individual sweet corn which are alive but on a corn-on-the-cob the cob itself is alive but the corn covering it is not, why??
I assume the gist is, don’t think about it too much,
In the film when a human is high they can perceive the 4th dimension (in which the food exists) but the rest of the time they cannot. The food can move, and everything is apparently alive, except the stuff that isn’t for no adequately explained reason.
Sausage Party is about as adult an animation you can have before you start entering anime porn. It pulls no punches, and is generally a hell of a lot of fun to watch. It is also very funny so in short it was everything that I expected with a bit more besides. I think if you are a fan of adult animation then this is definitely something that you would enjoy, and naturally it is getting a Thumbs Up.
Word of warning though, this is definitely not a film for the kids.
7/10 – A good fun film that pushes the boundaries so many times that it is unlikely the first barrier is even within eyeshot anymore. The cast are fun, the characters are enjoyable, and naturally long-term Seth Rogen collaborators like Danny McBride, James Franco and Jonah Hill are all present and correct.