Sausage Party Review #2: Best Animated Movie of the Year?
There are a couple of ways to look at a movie like Sausage Party. On the surface, it is a movie about talking food with a bunch of potentially offensive, very on the nose metaphors, and a whole lot of cursing. Seriously, there is so much. But if you allow yourself to peel back the layers, this may very well, very seriously be a contender for the best animated movie of the year. In short, either way you look at it, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have done it again.
Sausage Party, quite simply, tells the story of what happens to food from the perspective of the food. Much in the way that Pixar explored the life of toys with Toy Story, this movie takes a look at the good, the bad, and the downright messed up aspects of a day in the life of food. And also, an actual douche. Food at the grocery store has a wonderful, happy existence as they all eagerly await being purchased so that they may be taken to "the great beyond" by the gods (humans). Things start to shake up though when Frank (Rogen) discovers that everything they all think is true may be a lie, and the reality is much more horrifying. But also, so hilarious.
Outside of what everyone is expecting to see in this movie lies some things that are truly the kind of things that nobody would really have expected, or thought about going into it. For one, Sausage Party looks absolutely fantastic. The animation is on par with the best 3D animated movies out there, which makes it all the more effective in the end. It is glossy, gorgeous, detailed (even if some of those details are quite lewd) accomplishment, wrapped in a lot of dick jokes. Definitely still a Seth Rogen movie in that way.
But maybe the most amazing thing about Sausage Party is the music. To give anything away about the musical number would be taking something away from the viewer, but it is absolutely perfect. The score is also tremendous and again, something that is going to be worthy of a lot more accolades than it may get, because of the aforementioned avalanche of foul language and potentially offensive suggestiveness that is poured all over the movie. The reason the music is so fantastic is because somehow, Alan Menken is responsible for it. For those who may not know, Menken has won eight Oscars and has worked on such classic films as Disney's Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Perhaps Menken really understood what the filmmakers were trying to do here. Or perhaps he just wanted a paycheck. Either way, the movie is way better off as a result.
Between the music, the incredible animation, the all-star voice cast and little, subtle jokes peppered in all over the place (to go along with the in your face, low-brow jokes that don't ever stop), this actually feels a lot like a Pixar type of movie. Sausage Party is in a lot of ways a love letter, and excellent satire of the best animated movies that have been made over the last 20 years. It feels like one of those movies, it looks like one of those movies, it sounds like one of those movies, and with a much different take on the material, the idea is something that could easily have been explored in one of those movies. This is not the relatively subtle, Edgar Wright, Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead style love letter to a genre mind you. This is much more crass, at least on the surface. That is not at all a bad thing, it really works. Crass is funny. Crass does the job. These jokes don't go over anyone's head. They slap you right in the face and are impossible to ignore.
For a guy who could easily, only be known as "the guy with that laugh," Seth Rogen has actually managed to become a very powerful voice in Hollywood, and continues to churn out quality movies that defy logic. A movie with as much offensive humor and F-bombs as Sausage Party should easily be relegated to poor taste, toilet humor. Instead, the movie retains those elements, while also managing to be something kind of brilliant outside of that. But dick jokes are funny, and nobody does them better than Rogen, so rest assured, viewers are well taken care of in that respect. To put it very simply, if you liked the trailer for Sausage Party, you will like the movie, and you may even get a little more out of it than you expected. Sony's Sausage Party opens in theaters August 12.