Sausage Party, written by Seth Rogan, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill, is available to stream now on Netflix. Admittedly, this story of a hot dog and a bun in a grocery store who seek the truth about what happens to food when it is purchased is not a movie for everyone as it operates on the principle of being as offensive as possible. But it received widely positive reviews from critics who said that element was mostly outweighed by how genuinely funny and smart it is, despite also being stupid.
Sausage Party is gross, crass, shockingly emotional, and also streaming on Netflix.
A movie with a name like Sausage Party, itself a massive double entendre, is telling its audience from the start that it’s in no way family friendly and will definitely be going for euphemism-fueled crass humor. It fulfills that implicit promise thoroughly, along with delivering an endless stream of foul language and even graphic violence—actual violence against humans, including a decapitation. It’s no wonder, then, that it is the first 3-D computer animated movie to be rated R by the MPAA.
The premise of Sausage Party comes from Rogen, who wondered what it would be like if our food had feelings. Plenty of movies, like the much tamer, G-rated Babe, have explored the relationship of farm animals with their intended fate as food for humans, but this move posits what might happen if processed and packaged foods in the supermarket were sentient and made such a discovery. It also wonders what it would be like if these foods were foul-mouthed and lived in a world inspired by a lewd and raunchy sense of humor.
It’s the tension between boundary-pushing offensiveness and an imaginative premise that is at the heart of Sausage Party, whose premise Rogen said came from “an innocent place,” though its content is anything but. The film also boasts an impressive cast, including Rogen and Hill, along with Kristen Wiig, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek. It also features (and presumably pokes fun at) racial, gender, and sexual orientation stereotypes.
A movie with a name like Sausage Party, itself a massive double entendre, is telling its audience from the start that it’s in no way family friendly and will definitely be going for euphemism-fueled crass humor.
Sausage Party is a film Seth Rogen tried for years to make, with studios expressing disinterest in making such a crass film, though it was finally announced in 2013 that production was moving forward. The film was released in 2016 to generally (and surprisingly) positive reviews, though certainly not without detractors. But the obvious and predictable pushback against the content of the film was only one hurdle it had to overcome.
Sausage Party was also hit with a lawsuit from animators who said they were blacklisted because they refused to work unpaid overtime on the film. Those same animators, who remained anonymous, also claimed that they were threatened with such blacklisting if they refused to do the extra work. Ultimately, a judge ruled in the animators’ favor, saying they were entitled to pay from Nitrogen Studios for the overtime they worked.
Strangely enough, Sausage Party also has a connection to some of the most famous Disney animated features, as its score was composed by Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertz. Menken is well known for composing the music for films of the Disney Renaissance, such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and Pocahontas, all of which garnered him Academy Awards. Other work by Lennertz includes Alvin and the Chipmunks and the songs for UglyDolls.
Alan Menken, who composed Disney classics like The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, also created the score for Sausage Party.
There are songs in Sausage Party, too, and while most of them are existing recordings like “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) by Meatloaf, the film does contain an original song. Referring to the belief in a paradise that awaits the food items purchased by humans from the grocery store, the song “The Great Beyond” features music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Glenn Slater, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Ariel Shaffir, and Kyle Hunter and is performed by the film’s cast.
Whether it sounds like just your kind of movie, something that piques your curiosity, something you would never watch and wish was never made, or a movie that you would never voluntarily write an article about, Sausage Party is streaming on Netflix now.