You would think that this animated movie is for children, but it’s not. Imagine food with hopes and dreams. Imagine a food orgy, literally. Imagine that they discover the truth.
In chat, we discuss our perspectives on Sausage Party. The transcript below has been lightly edited.
taiche (Chris Tai): Ready for a pants party?
jennism (Jenn Ng): Yes! Aka the sausage party!
taiche: Sausage Party, from the minds of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg… so expect Superbad and Pineapple Express-type shenanigans
Okay let’s talk about how this animated movie is not quite what you expect. Or what an adult would expect for their young children. Especially from the initial trailer
taiche: First a disclaimer: do not take kids to this movie truly a rated-R animated movie. Reminded me of a different satirical take than say Team America: World Police
jennism: So when I first saw the trailer several months ago, I initially dismissed the movie as another Zootopia with a double entrende in the name, Sausage Party. Just a nice joke for adults
taiche: Yeah, uhh, it is totally not Zootopia, haha
jennism: But nearly 30 seconds into the trailer, I realized that this movie was not what I thought it was
taiche: Except for the animated characters as metaphor dealing with challenges in real life society I suppose. Even so, after watching the movie, I realized it was still not what I was expecting based off the trailers.
jennism: And that’s the thing about the movie, the surprise, perhaps deliberately to offend, makes it an entirely enjoyable experience. So clearly from the movie poster, we know that it’s about food
taiche: If you can open your mind to the crass humor.
jennism: Specifically food that have eyes, legs and hands! And mouths! So instantly, we think, it’s this fantasy land where food can talk to each other. Just like animals do in Zootpia
taiche: And such a fun take, I loved the depictions of a supermarket and how “food” lived their lives with expectations of going to “the great beyond”. Although the movie never addressed where the food comes from, or whether they are self-aware to that extent
jennism: And how, not a spoiler, they discover that it isn’t the “Great Beyond”, it’s not heaven by any means. The primary conflict is laid out quarter way through the movie, which surprises me. As the “Gods” who eat food on a regular basis, that detail distracts me
taiche: Of course, from the trailers, it doesn’t take long to realize that their idyllic setting is going to give way to abject terror
jennism: As a food lover, I expect food to obey my every command. In fact, I expect food to understand that their purpose in life is to be cooked and eaten. Especially potatoes
taiche: “They’re eating children, f**king children”
jennism: Horror is more like it!
taiche: Just a coincidence that it’s a potato that gets it first.
jennism: So this conflict about the food, specifically Barry the malformed sausage is attempting to tell his friends about the TRUTH that the “Great Beyond” isn’t a beautiful life where the food will be taken care off, like a fancy resort vacation
taiche: So metaphorically speaking, are the vegetables and other food us?
jennism: Well, sure, we project onto them to understand the story
taiche: Life isn’t all pleasures… there’s conflict to be had behind every corner
jennism: But still the fact that we are the “Gods”, we are ones who “terrorize” the food. This detail was distracting. Due to the fact that food by its nature exists purely for sustenance or as Firestarter said, for the purposes of making the “Gods” stronger.
taiche: All because of a song too, they are essentially brainwashed to serve their masters.
jennism: Exactly. The idea that the food in the grocery store have been told to believe that life beyond is the best experience possible. Like heaven lent some credibility to the desire to be “chosen”.
taiche: And then one day… one jar of honey mustard gets returned, and it changes everything.
jennism: Yet during all of this, I just couldn’t help wondering why the food was given “consciousness”. What was the purpose of that? Didn’t they know that they were about to be eaten!
taiche: So right off the bat, two things surprised me
jennism: That their lives are dedicated to be terrorized Or simply just consumed into the bellies
taiche: That they already were instilled with casual profanity. And that there were already sexual overtones from the get-go. From the trailers, I had always assumed they would pick both up from the eventual terrors and conflict with the “masters”. So when I started hearing “fuck” right from the start, and they already talked about sausages and buns rolling around, it caught me off guard. About as off-guard as some conservative that walked into the movie unknowingly
jennism: Offensive, the movie did very well
Yes, they spared no expense on the “offensive” meter… well distributed throughout all facets of life.
jennism: The sexual overtones, what did you think?
taiche: So obvs, I knew it was coming… I just wondered why they didn’t give into their urges already
jennism: Had great entertainment value. I’ll say that there’s a great 3+ minute scene at the end. Of how every food may be phallic in nature. I never thought about food in so many sexual ways. Thank you to the writers
taiche: Another standout moment for me, the wartime scene evoking Saving Private Ryan when the shopping carts collided
jennism: That was very reminiscent of 9/11. Everything in the grocery store is very “normal” in the sense of what we would expect when go in to shop
taiche: From that part of the movie, it splits into two storylines… the experience of Frank and Brenda trying to get back to their aisle, and then Barry and his crew dealing with the domestic abode.
jennism: A cashier, groceries organized by type (or even origin), and bored employees
taiche: I did not expect that split. Yes, some of the supermarket details were just really spot-on. I mention this split, because the movie once again surprised me.
jennism: That I found problematic, because the trailer prempted us to look for the story about Barry, the malformed sausage
taiche: I did not expect for a lot of it to take place in the supermarket
jennism: Rather than focus on the relationship issues between Frank and Brenda
taiche: I thought Frank and Brenda would end up with Barry, and that the movie would focus on their escape after seeing the terrors of “dinner preparation”. It didn’t dawn on me that they would stay in the supermarket the entire time until sometime later.
jennism: Yes, it seemed one was going through the standard hero’s journey. And the other was just having a fun, terror-filled joy ride
taiche: Haha. Trick is, which one is which?
jennism: Exactly. So earlier, you mentioned all the allegory of racial issues, politics, and stereotypes. What did you think about it?
taiche: Well, it certainly doesn’t go easy on religion. All roads leading to the great beyond. Blind faith, and what that entails.
jennism: And daily rituals! That may mean nothing
taiche: Although when you take it as a whole, the movie eventually falls into anarchy… once there is no expectation of eternal life in the great beyond, let’s revert to hedonistic pleasures. Which does happen!
jennism: Interesting analysis, because primal urges after everything is all that remains. That’s where one can get true joy
taiche: I had fun with Sammy the bagel and Lavash the… lavash.
jennism: What bothers me by that point is…what does this really mean? Can food just live in bliss? Will the food ever decompose? Will they ever rot? Sausage Party does however address that issue in a wry unexpected way
taiche: We did meet the “nonperishables”, and we did have scenes of disposal.
jennism: But those were discarded food
taiche: It added to the element of “stay appealing, reach the great beyond”
jennism: Rather than the food that was decomposing…But it made me wonder how were these food born
taiche: Again yes, where did they come from? Were they aware of their origins? It could be a confusing quandry for a sausage especially.
jennism: Like what happens when a potato or carrot starts to turn into mush. Or milk spoiling
taiche: Regarding the adventures of the bagel and lavash, I have to say… it was very predictable, very on the nose, yet hilarious to the end
jennism: It just boggled my mind, because that suggests that the food would have rotating generations. But again, this is not the movie where plot holes need to be addressed. Indeed, was it about two opposing stereotypes? The Middle East, of course
taiche: And you knew they would eventually settle their differences and come together (pun possibly intended). Anyhoo, there is a major conflict in the story, and it revolves around the aptly named “Douche”. Did you think Douche was a worthy adversary for our band of intrepid heroes?
jennism: So because a douche is not recommended anymore, I didn’t understand its actual functional use
taiche: Eh ha ha ha….
jennism: But a villain needed to exist to drive the story forward and raise the stakes
taiche: And he had his shading… after all the douche had plans as well in the great beyond.
jennism: That also brings up another issue—why did foods and certain items get to have a “soul”. Like toilet paper and douche. But not the knives, not books, not anything else…
taiche: And to have the moments torn away due to someone else’s actions… I can relate with that.
jennism: Is it just all consumables get to have a soul?
taiche: Well, I didn’t need any explanation other than, it was funny like… the CONDOM.
jennism: OH YES. I wonder how young children if they accidentally saw all of this How would they react? Would they fear eating and USING anything? Because all of this have feelings! Or how about adults?!
taiche: Well of course, kids would not be seeing this.
jennism: The sensitive compassionate adults, that is. Did I just learn that food have feelings and that we should give them all respect!
taiche: And naturally, anthropomorphism is always meant to humanize things literally.
jennism: Interesting that most animal parts didn’t become anthropomorphized. Except the parts that were completely processed.
taiche: Well, I didn’t need more than what I got, haha. That’s what I enjoyed about this movie,… I was offended, amused, emotionally touched… and I didn’t feel like I was missing out on something.
jennism: Interesting, the plot holes and the focus distracted me from enjoying the movie. I wouldn’t say that that it was a bad story, but I wanted to tell the food constantly, You are born to be in my belly, don’t you understand! But you see, this comes from a meat lover, a carnivore
taiche: If anything, the plot holes did not bother me… it was the fact that it didn’t go as far as I thought it would. Me and my warped imagination.
jennism: So SeeETThere?
taiche: SeeETThere: 8 anthropomorphic sausages out of 10
jennism: SeeETThere: 7 anthropomorphic sausages out of 10
taiche: I say SeeItThere if you are craving stories about consumables, commentary on the Middle East conflict, a hero’s journey through the wasteland, or quite simply… A FOOD ORGY. Because you literally get what is advertised. ALL OF IT.
jennism: Entertaining for the fact that this is a R-rated animated movie, people! About food that talks! And about something that we can all relate to (in some form). At the same time, I had trouble suspending my disbelief. The plot holes distracted me more than usual as I kept wondering—the food needs to be taught that their ultimate sacrifice is to be cooked AND eaten
taiche: Two words: FOOD ORGY.
Life is good for all the food items that occupy the shelves at the local supermarket. Frank the sausage, Brenda the hot dog bun, Teresa Taco and Sammy Bagel Jr. can’t wait to go home with a happy customer. Soon, their world comes crashing down as poor Frank learns the horrifying truth that he will eventually become a meal. After warning his pals about their similar fate, the panicked perishables devise a plan to escape from their human enemies.
Directors: Conrad Vernon, Greg Tiernan
Writers: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Ariel Shaffir, Kyle Hunter
Stars: Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Edward Norton