When you think about the oeuvre of known joint-roller Seth Rogen and his creative partner, Evan Goldberg, one of your first thoughts probably will not be: “I bet they’ve got a Pixar movie in them!” And you would be right not to think that. From the looks of the just-released trailer for the pair’s first animated film, Sausage Party, Goldberg and Rogen are taking their cues as much from Inside Out as they are from Eli Roth and their own apocalyptic This Is the End.
Technically, the logline “Toy Story in a supermarket” has already been done. The years-in-development Foodfight! finally whimpered onto a few screens in 2012 and was memorably eviscerated by movie podcast The Flop House, cultural critic Nathan Rabin, and a nonexistent audience. Whereas that film had foodstuffs coming to life in the form of their brands, Sausage Party instead focuses on a bunch of purchased items making the horrible discovery of what happens when they are taken home. We don’t make all potatoes our biology experiments, after all; we mostly just skin them, chop them into pieces, heat those up, and eat ’em.
Sausage Party will distinguish itself further from the likes of Ratatouille by going the R-rated route, with curses a-plenty and–we’re gonna just go ahead and speculate here–a sausage-on-bun sex scene. What the R-rating will lose in young viewers, though, it should make up by retaining Rogen and co.’s core fans. There is a precedent for R-rated animation succeeding, and even getting an Oscar nomination, with South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut,and if Deadpool has taught us anything this year, it’s that traditionally broad-targeted genres can thrive with the restricted rating.
With pretty much the entire cast from the party scene in This Is the End, and Kristen Wiig and Salma Hayek along for the bite, the new film looks to extend the death-facing climax scene from Toy Story 3 out to feature film length. When a bunch of sausages have the existential awakening that they are living in a food holocaust, it’s hard to imagine a happy ending. Considering it’s a comedy, though, it’s not likely to end in a wurst-case scenario.