You will never, ever shop for groceries the same way after watching Sausage Party. Whether you are stoned, drunk, or stone-cold sober, it doesn't matter.
This will be made crystal-clear as soon as you see the movie's protagonist—an anthropomorphised sausage voiced by Seth Rogen—dry-humping a curvy hot dog bun within the first few minutes of the film. You'll feel bad for the PTSD-afflicted jar of mustard that commits suicide, and you'll feel other strange feelings when you witness an uncensored orgy between a bagel, a piece of lavash bread, and a taco.
But after you laugh your way through a fresh new batch of classic Rogen humour (complete with raunchy double-entendres and cutting-edge dick jokes), you'll quickly notice that the movie is a lot deeper than what the billboards around town paint it as.
Sausage Party attempts to tackle hot-button issues such as religious tensions in the Middle East, sexual orientation, and drug abuse—all through the perspective of food.
MUNCHIES caught up with Rogen and Evan Goldberg, who both co-produced and co-wrote the film by phone to find out what the hell they were eating when they came up with the idea for Sausage Party. Even better, they also provided some pre-drinking recommendations for maximum movie enjoyment.
MUNCHIES: I saw the movie yesterday— Evan Goldberg: And you're still talking to us, so that's a good sign! [Laughs]
You might have just created the best food-centric animated movie ever. How do you guys feel? EG: Well, that's arguable. There's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 1 and 2, and Ratatouille. It's super surreal. We've been working on this for eight years nonstop. Every week we've had a Sausage Party meeting, and now it won't be on our to-do list anymore. It's like the end of summer camp.
Seth Rogen: That's really nice of you to say. It's the weirdest thing. Evan was just telling me how weird it is that we won't be working on Sausage Party, to which I said, "Hopefully, we'll be working on Sausage Party 2." It was almost ten years ago when we came up with the idea. It took the next five years to come up with a script we were confident in, and then it's taken the last four years to animate and make the movie itself.
What were you doing when you got the idea for the movie? SR: We were at dinner when the idea first came up. But it was just born of a love for animated movies. Like Toy Story, the joke is all about exploring the secret world of these various everyday objects. Once we started talking about the secret world of food, it became incredibly entertaining, because you eat food—and it's kinda fucked up.
EG: Toy Story 1, 2, and 3, to us, are some of the greatest films ever made, and each is better than the one before it. But if you go to Toy Story 6, they all end up decomposing in a trash heap somewhere. They live on, like, mutant zombie half-decomposed dolls that die over the course of a hundred years. And that's the part they don't tell you.
SR: And that's the part we choose to focus on.
Why did you choose to use food? EG: It's the most terrible answer to the question of the "secret life of ___."
SR: And it's kind of the most analogous to people, in a lot of ways. It has a limited shelf life, there's a lot of different kinds, ethnicities make different types of food, and, as we were looking for analogies to use in the movie, food offered a shocking amount of them.
It's a really strong social commentary. How did you choose which dishes should represent each character? SR: Years and years of talking and writing versions of the script and looking at various versions of the animations—I mean, it's really a lot of workshopping and trying different things, and using the cast to try different voices and characters. And that's the good thing about animation. Because it takes so long, it allows you to explore in a way that you can't in live-action movies.
What dish would you recommend for people to eat to pregame for the movie? SR: Weed brownies, or whatever weed-based food you prefer.
EG: Weed popsicles, weed granola bars. Just make sure to Uber.
And how about to drink? EG: I'm a blue Powerade man myself.
SR: Or tequila.
EG: Or blue Powerade mixed with tequila.
Was there a food angle behind the decision to use bath salts as the featured drug in the movie? SR: There was some analogy to be made with the cannibalistic effects of the drug, we thought. If there was any drug that was to symbolise the people that ate our heroes, it seems like bath salts was a good idea. It's also a drug that, I think, is still funny to a lot of people. [Laughs]
What are your favourite scenes from the movie?EG: There's a big song at the beginning, and that was really fun to do. It felt like we were living out a dream of being the South Park guys for a minute.
Ahh, yes, the vegetables that sing, right? EG: After the song was finally done, we didn't have enough time, but we thought it would be fun. It also would've thrown it off a bit, because we really are doing more of an homage to Pixar, and if we filled it with songs, it would've felt more like Disney. And we had an experience, while we were making it, that going too Disney made it too weird.
SR: We made the song a big part of the story itself, in that it's kind of their prayer that they say every morning, because we found that just to have an arbitrary song felt too unrealistic within the reality of our talking food movie.
The guy we got to write the song, and the score for the whole movie, is Alan Menken—he wrote all the Disney music we grew up on. He did The Little Mermaid and Aladdin. It was really fun, and weird how the worlds crossed—in our heads, we were making our version of one of these Disney movies and, in the end, we ended up getting some of the actual elements of these Disney movies.
What are some of your favourite food stores? SR: Trader Joe's is fuckin' great. In Canada, there was something called Pirate Joe's, where a guy would drive to the States and buy shit and drive it back to Canada. He essentially opened a bootleg Trader Joe's store.
EG: And there was a lawsuit, and he won!
Was there a particular supermarket that inspired the one featured in the movie? EG: Every supermarket. Everyone from Canada and from here contributed—it truly is, like, every market.
SR: In LA, like the scene in The Big Lebowski—one of the greatest movies ever made—Ralph's is open 24/7, and we'd go wander around there super-stoned with a notepad in the middle of the night.
When you guys go out to shop at supermarkets now, do you find yourselves personifying wieners? SR: [Laughs] I don't think I'll ever look at them quite the same again, but I feel no sympathy for my food.
So no chance of you going vegetarian or vegan? SR: Even vegetables have feelings in our world.
EG: Vegans are murderers, just like everyone else.
Can we expect a Sausage Party brand of sausages to bring home? SR: Whoa, that would be amazing. We should've done that. But shockingly, no major sausage company wanted to partner with a movie that condemns the eating of sausages. Dog Haus—a hot dog chain—has a Sausage Party tie-in. So there you can buy Sausage Party hot dogs.
Will there be a sequel? EG: It's cookin'.
SR: Good pun, Evan! We kind of have some ideas for sequels. The movie ends in a way that implies a next chapter.
Thanks for speaking with me.