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  Sausage Party Food Glorious FoodBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon
Stars: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Edward Norton, Michael Cera, Salma Hayek, James Franco, Paul Rudd, Bill Hader, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Anders Holm, Harland Williams, Nicole Oliver, Sugar Lyn Beard, Lauren Miller
Genre: Comedy, Animated, Fantasy
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Every morning as the lights go on and the doors are opened, the food in the supermarket breaks out into song as they celebrate the new day which has the potential for allowing them entry to what they term The Great Beyond. They believe that if the Gods pick them up from their shelves and place them in their baskets, they will be transported to a heavenly afterlife, and cannot wait to be chosen - the ultimate horror for them is not to be, and picked up by the staff who throw them away. Two such foodstuffs are Frank the frankfurter and Brenda the hot dog bun, who long to be united once they have been bought and their packaging opened, for all the physical contact they have ever had is the tips of their fingers...

Just the tips, is the sort of double entendre you would be in for should you choose to watch Sausage Party, except innuendo was thin on the ground when mostly what you got was plain language and lots of it; by plain I mean plenty of swearing and adult humour, for this was Seth Rogen's brainchild, from an idea by Jonah Hill, and they and their usual cohorts voiced the characters, with Rogen as Frank and Kristen Wiig as Brenda. Just as all those family friendly animations could boast a starry cast, so it was the case here, almost as if they delighted in the idea that someone would take their kids to see it because it looked like a cute cartoon only to storm out within a couple of minutes when faced with a barrage of filth.

That was as much the joke as the actual plot and presentation, a parody of those Disney or Dreamworks efforts that anthropomorphised animals or objects only applying that to comestibles, so that the cute factor was tempered by the way they were doomed to be munched up by the humanity they worshipped. Cruel, and not even vegetarians nor vegans were let off the hook as every kind of food you would find at the store was given a little face and voice, so basically every one of us was accused of murdering what we ate every day. Mind you, if you found these characters objectionable then you would possibly be quite happy to consume them since you thought it would serve them right.

Why was that? Well, there was the crude language, but also their essential stupidity, practically begging to be cooked and chewed on because of their inane beliefs. Hello, was this a theme or message we had stumbled upon? It sure was, Sausage Party was a dementedly atheistic movie that sought to show up every religion as a farce of petty prejudice and utterly unfounded faith, and to do so they depicted food of all races and tenets as equally idiotic in a manner that suggested the makers could never be described as bigoted for they were happy to accept all of humankind as individuals first, and part of a larger group a distant second, for it you did it the other way around there was a minefield of hatred and ignorance to be gingerly picked through, or more likely blunder straight into it.

Therefore this was an equal opportunities offence giver, which did mean that no matter it was the most successful adult-oriented animation of all time on its release, there was a large contingent of its audience who did not see the joke, or if they did they didn't think it was funny. Sense of humour is a very personal thing, and not everyone is going to find a crass fuckfest amusing (both in terms of its favourite swear word and more surprisingly its celebratory ending), but if you were willing to leave any vestige of good taste at the door then Sausage Party did win you over, so that once you had the measure of it, the idea of a bagel with Edward Norton's Woody Allen impersonation or a lesbian taco with Salma Hayek's dulcet tones was indeed pretty funny. In its weird manner, with a few tweaks and toning down it could have passed muster as a mainstream cartoon - there have been premises just as weird as talking food in kids' animation before this, but mostly it got by with sex, drugs and violence and entertained you with the inappropriateness of that for an hour and a half. Oddly, you have to be fairly smart to be this stupid. Music by Christopher Lennertz and Alan Menken (yeah, the Disney songwriter).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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