Sausage Party
Theatrical release poster
Directed by
Screenplay by
Story by
Produced by
Starring
Edited byKevin Pavlovic
Music by
Production
companies
Distributed bySony Pictures Releasing[1]
Release dates
  • March 14, 2016 (2016-03-14) (SXSW)
  • July 30, 2016 (2016-07-30) (Just For Laughs)
  • August 10, 2016 (2016-08-10) (Westwood)
  • August 12, 2016 (2016-08-12) (United States)
Running time
89 minutes[2]
Countries
LanguageEnglish
Budget$19 million[5][6]
Box office$141.3 million[7]

Sausage Party is a 2016 adult animated comedy film[3] directed by Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan, written by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg based on a story created by Rogen, Goldberg, and Jonah Hill, and starring the voices of Rogen (in a dual role), Kristen Wiig, Hill, Bill Hader (in a triple role), Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek. The film follows an anthropomorphic sausage who lives in a supermarket and discovers the truth about what happens when groceries are purchased leading him on a journey with his friends to escape their fate while also facing a lunatic and malicious douche who wants to kill him.

The film's animation was handled by the Vancouver-based Nitrogen Studios.[4] It is the first computer-animated film to be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).[8][9][10] The film's rough cut premiered on March 14, 2016, at South by Southwest, followed by its general theatrical release in the United States on August 12, 2016, by Columbia Pictures.[11]

The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised its story, animation, voice acting and humor, though its heavy use of profanity received some criticism. It grossed $141 million against a budget of $19 million, becoming the highest-grossing R-rated animated film at the time until it was surpassed by Demon Slayer: Mugen Train in 2020. A TV series based on the film called Sausage Party: Foodtopia is set to be released in 2024.

Plot

A supermarket called Shopwell's is filled with anthropomorphic grocery items that believe that the human shoppers are gods, who take groceries they have purchased to a utopia known as the "Great Beyond". Among the groceries in the store is a sausage named Frank, who dreams of living in the Great Beyond with his hot dog bun girlfriend, Brenda, and of finally consummating their relationship.

After Frank and Brenda's packages are chosen by a woman named Camille Toh to leave Shopwell's, a returned jar of Bickle's Honey Mustard tries to warn the groceries that the Great Beyond is a lie; nobody listens except for Frank. Honey Mustard calls on Frank to seek out a bottle of liquor named Firewater, before committing suicide by falling off the cart. This creates an accidental cart collision that causes Frank, Brenda, and several groceries to fall out, including an aggressive douche who gets his nozzle bent, and plots revenge against Frank and Brenda.

Seeking to verify Honey Mustard's warning, Frank leads Brenda, a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash, and a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr. to the store's liquor aisle under the guise of taking a shortcut to their proper aisles. There, he meets Firewater and his two associates, a box of grits named Mr. Grits and a Twinkie named Twink, who call themselves the Non-Perishables. After smoking cannabis out of a kazoo, Frank learns from Firewater that he, Mr. Grits, and Twink invented the story of the Great Beyond as a noble lie to assuage past foods' fears of being eaten by shoppers. Frank, vowing to reveal the truth to the groceries, is encouraged to travel beyond the store's freezer section to find proof. While waiting for Frank, Brenda and the others are led into the Mexican aisle by a bottle of Sigueme Tequila, where they meet Teresa del Taco, a taco who falls in love with Brenda on sight.

Meanwhile, Frank's two best friends Carl and deformed sausage Barry are horrified as they witness the other purchased foods being cooked and eaten by Camille, shown from the foods' perspective as a brutal murder. They try to escape out a window, but only Barry succeeds as Carl is sliced in half and killed by Camille. Barry then stumbles across a human druggie, who becomes able to communicate with his groceries and a wad of Gum after he injects himself with bath salts. After unsuccessfully attempting to cook Barry, the druggie is decapitated in a domestic accident.

After Frank separates from his friends, who disapprove of his skepticism of the Great Beyond, he discovers a cookbook behind the freezer section and reveals its contents to the rest of Shopwell's groceries. Initially panicking, the groceries choose not to believe Frank out of fear of losing their sense of purpose, prompting Frank to lash out at them for their blind belief. Barry and other groceries from the druggie's home return to the store with the druggie's severed head, revealing that the humans can be killed. The groceries are able to drug the human shoppers and employees using toothpicks laced with bath salts. When the drugged humans begin attacking the groceries, Frank convinces everyone to listen to him and join the fight against the humans.

A store-wide battle ensues with the humans getting gruesomely killed. Douche, who has absorbed the contents of several liquor bottles throughout the film, becomes a wild monster and takes control of Darren, the store manager, by inserting himself into his anus and yanking on his scrotum to puppeteer his actions. Once they catch Frank, Douche strangles him and bites on his torso. Barry and the other foods launch a rocket at Douche and Darren made from propane tanks and a garbage bin used to dispose of expired foods, killing them both right after Brenda rescues Frank. With the battle over, Frank, Brenda, Barry, Kareem, Sammy, Teresa, and the other foods celebrate their victory with a massive orgy.

Sometime later, the gang meets Firewater and Gum who have had a psychedelic experience and discovered that their world is not real, and that they are merely cartoons voiced by famous actors in another dimension. Gum has constructed a portal to this dimension, and the groceries decide to travel there to meet their creators.

Voice cast

An archive recording of Meat Loaf's "I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" was used to portray the singing voice of the meatloaf container resembling the singer of the same name.[18]

Production

Rogen has said that he worked for eight years to get the film made but the content worried most film studios.[19] Noting that the film came from "an innocent place", Rogen stated that "'What would it be like if our food had feelings?' We very quickly realized that it would be fucked up."[20] Goldberg revealed the project to Indiewire in July 2010, stating it was a "top secret super project". Initially, Indiewire was skeptical that the project was real and not a hoax on Goldberg's part, but after vetting, it did confirm that it was in the works.[13] In November 2010, Hill independently confirmed to MTV News that he was working on an R-rated 3D animated film.[21] Goldberg and executive producer James Weaver said that they had specific targets—Disney and Pixar films, which they have "ripped apart". Goldberg said, "we're just kind of taking all the conventions of children's movies, and making them disgusting and insane".[12]

The film was formally announced in September 2013 as a partnership between Sony Pictures, Annapurna Pictures, and Rogen, Goldberg, and Weaver's Point Grey Pictures.[22] On May 29, 2014, it was announced that the film would be released on June 3, 2016,[23] but the release date was later revised to August 12, 2016. In January 2014, Rogen, Hill, James Franco and Kristen Wiig were announced as the leads in the film. The other cast includes Edward Norton, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz and Nick Kroll.[15] On April 9, 2014, Salma Hayek was set to lend her voice to the film as Teresa the Taco.[17] It was also announced that Paul Rudd, Danny McBride and Anders Holm would voice characters in the film.[16]

When Rogen originally submitted the film to the Motion Picture Association of America, they gave it an NC-17 rating due to the visibility of pubic hair on Lavash's scrotum during the climactic food orgy scene. Once said pubic hair was removed, the film received its final R rating for "strong crude sexual content, pervasive language and drug use".[24][25][26][27] The film was granted a −12 certificate by France's film classification commission, which was criticized by Catholic groups in the country.[28] The British Board of Film Classification classified the film at 15.[2]

Music

Sausage Party
Film score by
Released5 August 2016
Recorded2016
GenreFilm score
Length74:49
LabelMadison Gate Records
Sony Music Masterworks
ProducerAlan Menken
Christopher Lennertz
Alan Menken film scores chronology
Mirror Mirror
(2012)
Sausage Party
(2016)
Beauty and the Beast
(2017)
Christopher Lennertz chronology
The Boss
(2016)
Sausage Party
(2016)
Smurfs: The Lost Village
(2017)

The film's score was composed by Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertz. The film's soundtrack album was released on 5 August 2016 by Madison Gate Records and Sony Music Masterworks.

Track listing

All music is composed by Alan Menken and Christopher Lennertz, except as noted

No.TitleWriter(s)Artist(s)Length
1."The Great Beyond"
  • Alan Menken (music)
  • Glenn Slater
  • Seth Rogen
  • Evan Goldberg
  • Ariel Shaffir
  • Kyle Hunter (lyrics)
Sausage Party cast3:13
2."Darren, the Dark Lord"  0:55
3."Chosen"  1:50
4."I'd Do Anything for Love (But I Won't Do That)"Jim SteinmanMeat Loaf5:14
5."The Crash"  2:34
6."Douche Loses It"  2:16
7."Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go"George MichaelWham!3:50
8."Our Heroes"  2:31
9."He's Coming"  1:47
10."Food Massacre"  3:15
11."Hungry Eyes"Eric Carmen3:47
12."True"Gary KempSpandau Ballet5:31
13."The Spooge"  3:46
14."Magical Sausage"  1:40
15."Gone"
JR JR3:46
16."We're Home"  3:29
17."The Cookbook"  1:26
18."I Have Proof"  3:06
19."Big Speech"  3:04
20."The Big Fight"  2:37
21."Final Battle"  4:04
22."It's Your Thing"The Isley Brothers2:46
23."Finale"  2:24
24."Joy to the World"Hoyt AxtonThree Dog Night3:14
25."The Great Beyond Around the World"
  • Alan Menkin (music)
  • Glenn Slater
  • Seth Rogen
  • Evan Goldberg
  • Ariel Shaffir
  • Kyle Hunter (lyrics)
Sausage Party cast2:44
Total length:74:49

Release

Sausage Party was originally set for release on June 3, 2016, but was pushed back to August 12, 2016. A rough cut of the film was shown at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 14, 2016.[11] The final cut of the film screened at Just for Laughs on July 30, 2016.[29] It premiered one final time in Westwood before the film was theatrically released in the United States on August 12, 2016.[30] The film was released in the United Kingdom on September 2, 2016.[31]

Sausage Party was accidentally shown in a theatre during a screening of Finding Dory thought Sausage Party was part of a kids movie. It took several minutes before the cinema employees fixed the mistake.[32]

Box office

Sausage Party grossed $97.7 million in North America and $42.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $141.3 million, against a budget of $19 million.[7] The film was the highest-grossing R-rated animated film of all time, replacing South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (which held the record for 17 years),[33] and made a net profit of $47.06 million, when factoring together all expenses and revenues,[34] until it was surpassed in 2020 by Demon Slayer: Mugen Train, with an estimated $506,523,013.[citation needed]

In the United States and Canada, Sausage Party was released on August 12, 2016, alongside Pete's Dragon and Florence Foster Jenkins, and was initially projected to gross $15–20 million from 2,805 theaters in its opening weekend.[5] However, after grossing $3.3 million from Thursday night previews (more than the $1.7 million made by Rogen's Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising in May) and $13.5 million on its first day, weekend projections were increased to $30–35 million. The film ultimately grossed $33.6 million in its opening weekend, finishing second at the box office, behind Suicide Squad.[35]

Outside North America, the biggest markets are the United Kingdom, Australia, Spain, Germany, Russia and Israel, where the film grossed $10.2 million, $6.8 million, $4.1 million, $3.5 million $2.6 million and $2 million respectively.[36]

Home media

Sausage Party was released by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray, DVD and digital download on November 8, 2016.[37]

Reception

Critical response

On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 82%, based on 239 reviews, with an average rating of 6.80/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Sausage Party is definitely offensive, but backs up its enthusiastic profanity with an impressively high laugh-to-gag ratio -- and a surprisingly thought-provoking storyline."[38] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[39] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale.[35][40]

Vince Mancini of Uproxx wrote that "Sausage Party's most charming quality is that it feels exactly like a group of 13-year-olds trying to entertain themselves, with excessive C-bombs and constant groan-worthy food puns."[41] Richard Roeper gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "Despite all the cursing and envelope-pushing and bat-bleep crazy sexual stuff, Sausage Party isn't mean-spirited. It's just... stupid. But also pretty smart. And funny as hell."[42] Lindsey Bahr of Associated Press gave the film a positive review, writing, "There is no one out there making comedies quite like Rogen and Goldberg. They are putting their definitive stamp on the modern American comedy one decency-smashing double entendre at a time."[43]

Work conditions

After the film's release, controversy emerged after anonymous comments attributed to the animators on a Cartoon Brew article suggested that the animators at Nitrogen Studios worked under poor conditions and were forced by co-director Greg Tiernan to work overtime for free. A total of 36 of the 83 animators were blacklisted and went uncredited in the film, believed to be due to their complaints; comments made in anonymous interviews by some of the animators involved in the project by Variety, The Washington Post, and The Hollywood Reporter alleged that the comments were accurate. All the animators in the film were reportedly told outright that they would be blacklisted if they did not work overtime without pay.[44][45][46] In late March 2019, the British Columbia Employment Standards Branch ruled that workers were entitled to receive overtime pay for their work on the film.[47]

Awards and accolades

Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Annie Awards February 4, 2017 Outstanding Achievement, Editorial in an Animated Feature Production Kevin Pavlovic Nominated [48]
Central Ohio Film Critics Association January 6, 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Sausage Party
Hollywood Music in Media Awards November 17, 2016 Best Original Song – Animated Film "The Great Beyond" – Alan Menken, Glenn Slater, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg [49][50]
Houston Film Critics Society January 6, 2017 Best Animated Feature Film Sausage Party [51][52]
Indiana Film Journalists Association December 19, 2016 Runner-up [53]
Best Vocal/Motion Capture Performance Nick Kroll 2nd Place
2017 MTV Movie & TV Awards May 7, 2017 Best Comedic Performance Seth Rogen Nominated [54]
Village Voice Film Poll January 6, 2017 Best Animated Feature Sausage Party 5th place [55]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association December 5, 2016 Best Animated Feature Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon Nominated [56]

Future

Possible sequel

Rogen has expressed interests in making a sequel to Sausage Party and more animated films aimed for adults. When asked about the possibility of a sequel, Rogen stated: "It's something we talk about, yeah. That's one of the reasons why we took away the [original] ending[57] because we thought, well, if that was the first scene of the next movie it's probably not what you would want it to be, with them just seeing us and finding us basically. But the idea of a live-action/animated movie, like a Who Framed Roger Rabbit?–style hybrid, is also very exciting, mostly because Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is one of my favorite movies of all time."[58]

Television series

In October 2022, Sausage Party: Foodtopia, a sequel series based on the film, was greenlit from Amazon Studios to produce 8 episodes with a 2024 release date, with most of the cast involved and co-produced by Sony Pictures Television, Annapurna Television, and Point Grey Pictures.[59]

Mobile game

Frank and Brenda, the two main characters of the film, made guest appearances in the mobile fighting game Sausage Legend, released by Milkcorp for iOS and Android, as part of a limited special event that ran from March 6 through July 31, 2017. As this game involves dueling with sausages, players in this game can unlock and control Brenda, who swings Frank around to battle other sausages.[60]

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