Susan Granger’s review of “Sausage Party”
Published 4:44 pm, Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Perhaps it wasn’t the best idea to go marketing en route home from Seth Rogen’s raunchy animated comedy because, feeling like an idiot, I was giggling as I went up-and-down the food aisles.
Aimed directly at adults, or those who consider themselves such, this surreal, profane parable revolves around Frank (voiced by Rogen), a packaged sausage who, along with his hot-dog bun girlfriend, Brenda (voiced by Kristen Wiig), is eagerly anticipating being purchased and going to the Great Beyond.
Problem is: when a returned jar of Honey Mustard (voiced by Danny McBride) reveals what’s really in store for these consumer goods, far beyond the Shopwell grocery store, Frank and his friends are determined to spread the word and save themselves from being gobbled up.
Riffing off the Pixar “Toy Story” concept, Rogen and Evan Goldberg (“This Is the End,” “Superbad”) came up with this religious-beliefs vs. scientific-thought quest by sentient foodstuffs as they’re trying to comprehend their ultimate fate and ascertain their place in the universe.
Tucked into the shamelessly pun-filled, sociopolitical narrative, there are ethnic rivalries, epitomized by Sammy the quarrelsome Jewish Bagel (voiced by Edward Norton, channeling Woody Allen) and the Middle Eastern flatbread Lavash (voiced by David Krumholtz).
The stunning animation is supervised by Conrad Vernon (“Monsters vs. Aliens”) and Greg Tiernan, who owns Vancouver-based Nitrogen Studios with his wife, Nicole Stinn. Nitrogen is best known for producing “Thomas & Friends” about Thomas the Tank Engine.
Narrowly avoiding the dreaded NC-17 rating, it squeaked by with an R. Historically, adult-aimed animated movies go back to Ralph Bakshi’s “Fritz the Cat” (1972), followed by the sci-fi “Heavy Metal” (1981) - and in 2015, there was the existential “Anomalisa.”
On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, “Sausage Party” is a scatological, sexually explicit 6 - with a rousing finale.