Sausage Party is a 2016 American adult computer-animated comedy film directed by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon and written by Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It features the voices of Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, and Salma Hayek. The film, which is a spoof of Disney and Pixar films, follows a sausage named Frank who tries to discover the truth about his existence and goes on a journey with his friends to escape their fate while also facing against his own arch nemesis; a ruthless and murderous douche who intends to kill him and his friends.
It was widely identified as the first American CGI-animated film to be rated R by the MPAA. The film's rough cut premiered on March 14, 2016, at South by Southwest and the film was theatrically released in the United States and Canada on August 12, 2016, by Columbia Pictures.
The film received positive reviews from critics, with many particularly praising the humor, animation design, voice acting, screenplay writing and direction and it became a great box office success, grossing more than $140 million.
The movie begins with a supermarket called "Shopwell's", the food who live there see the humans as gods, who reside in their homes named "The Great Beyond". The protagonist, a sausage named Frank, has dreams of living in the great beyond with Brenda, a hot dog bun.
Frank and Brenda's packs are "chosen" to leave Shopwell's, being put in the shopping cart by one of the "gods", a human shopper, but en route hear an ominous tale of "The Great Beyond" by a jar of Honey Mustard, warning them it's not what they've been led to believe. An accident during their trip to the registers causes a collision that leads to Frank, Brenda, a lavash named Kareem Abdul Lavash, a bagel named Sammy Bagel Jr., and an aggressive Douche falling out of the shopping cart. Douche's nozzle is badly bent, for which he blames Frank. After Darren, the store manager, discards Douche, he swears revenge on Frank.
Frank learns of the true nature of the great beyond from Firewater and the "Non-Perishables" (foods that never expire, effectively "immortal" from their perspective), where humans eat the foods. Firewater reveals that he and the other non perishables made up the great beyond to assuage the fears of the foods who once knew their fate when being chosen. This noble lie helped ease the suffering of all foods in Shopwell's, that way, they would no longer live in fear anymore. Frank decides to tell everybody in the store, and Twinkie tells him to go the "The Dark Aisle" to find proof.
The rest of the groceries who were chosen realize the truth about humans when they see humans going about cooking the foods. As Barry and Carl tries to escape, Carl gets killed by Camille, leaving Barry to wander off into the outside world alone. Barry stumbles upon a human junkie and his shopping bag which reads Shopwell's. With visions of going back to Shopwell's Barry stows away with the junkie and is taken to his house.
Meanwhile, Frank reunites with his friends and reveals that he deliberately led them to Firewater, as well as his intentions to travel beyond the freezer to discover the truth. Brenda questions his motives and heads back to her aisle. After reading a cookbook beyond the freezer, Frank discovers the truth, which he intends to reveal to the other foods in Shopwell's.
The junkie, high, is able to see Barry and the other foods "alive" and descends into a panic. This shows the foods they can communicate with the Gods while they are high. Later, sober, the junkie no longer sees the foods as alive, so he again starts to eat the foods, tossing Barry into a pot of boiling water.
As Brenda, Teresa, Kareem, and Sammy return to their aisles Teresa tells Brenda that she has feelings for her, which Brenda spurns due to the gods' rules regarding her only being with a sausage (and due to her still loving and now missing Frank). Brenda returns to her aisle, squeezing herself into another package of buns.
Meanwhile, Frank reveals the cookbook to the store, but losing a sense of purpose, everyone ignores the truth. As Brenda is purchased again, Frank tries to save her, reuniting with Barry who has returned to Shopwell's with his new friends from the junkie's house. Barry reveals that the humans can be killed by showing the junkie's accidentally severed head to Frank. Barry tells Frank that if they shoot the humans with toothpicks laced with the junkie's drugs the humans will be able to see food for what they are.
After saving Brenda from being purchased, Frank gives a different speech where he apologizes for not respecting the food items' beliefs and giving them a sense of hope. The bath salts kick in causing a food-human battle. A revenge-seeking Douche takes control of Darren, armed with a gun, and attempts to kill Frank but the foods kill Douche and Darren.
After a freedom-inspired orgy (where Barry meets the same bun that was squished by Brenda), they are informed by Firewater they are merely cartoon characters, manipulated by animators and voiced by celebrities. Eventually, Gum, a Stephen Hawking-esque wad of chewing gum who Barry met earlier, reveals that a portal to the real world he made will allow them to meet their creators and voice actors, Seth Rogen (Frank), Edward Norton (Sammy), and Michael Cera (Barry).
- Seth Rogen as Frank Wienerton, a sausage who sets out to discover and expose the truth of his and his fellow groceries existence.
- Kristen Wiig as Brenda Bunson, a hot dog bun from an 8-bun package of Glamour Buns (net weight 340 grams) who is Frank's girlfriend.
- Jonah Hill as Carl, a sausage who is friends with Frank and Barry.
- Bill Hader as Firewater, an old Native American bottle of liquor and the leader of the immortal Non-Perishables.
- Michael Cera as Barry, a deformed sausage who is one of Frank's friends.
- James Franco as the Druggie, a drug-addled pot-bellied human who is the first one to see the foods as sentient beings after injecting himself with bath salts.
- Danny McBride as a jar of Bickle's Honey Mustard who is returned to his Shopwell's shelf upon the shopper mistaking him for actual mustard and tries to warn Frank and the other products of the reality of the "Great Beyond".
- Craig Robinson as Mr. Grits, a box of grits who is one of the immortal Non-Perishables.
- Paul Rudd as Darren, the manager of Shopwell's who is nicknamed the "Dark Lord" as he disposes of expired food and spilled items.
- Nick Kroll as a literal and figurative douche who seeks revenge on Frank for breaking his nozzle and preventing him from reaching the "Great Beyond".
- David Krumholtz as Kareem Abdul Lavash, a Middle Eastern lavash who has a rivalry with Sammy Bagel Jr.
- Edward Norton as Sammy Bagel Jr., a Jewish Woody Allen-esque bagel who has an on and off rivalry with Lavash.
- Salma Hayek as Teresa del Taco, a Mexican lesbian taco shell who has a crush on Brenda.
Rogen has an additional minor role in the film as Sgt. Pepper, a red pepper sergeant. Hader similarly has two additional roles as a bottle of Sigueme Tequila and a guacamole gangster named El Guaco. Both Rogen and Norton also appear as the uncredited live-action heads of themselves at the end of the film. Anders Holm voices Troy, one of the sausages who picks on Barry. Rogen's wife Lauren Miller voices Camille Toh, a woman who purchases Frank and Brenda's packages, and a tampon who absorbs Darren's spilled blood. Harland Williams voices Baba Ganoush, a drug dealer that the Druggie gets the bath salts from, and a bottle of ketchup that tries to comfort Honey Mustard upon his return. Directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan have various cameo appearances throughout the film: Vernon as an Ed Wynn-esque roll of toilet paper, an Adolf Hitler-esque sauerkraut, a catcalling sausage, a grape, a beer can, and a pop bottle; and Tiernan as an Irish potato and a can of noodle soup. Storyboard artist Scott Underwood plays Gum, a Stephen Hawking-esque wad of chewing gum; Twink, a homosexual Twinkie who is one of the Non-Perishables; and two groceries owned by the druggie: a bag of Krinkler's Potato chips and a half-eaten slice of pizza.
Rogen has stated that he worked for eight years to get the film made; however, the content worried most film studios and they thus did not pick it up. Noting that the film came from "an innocent place", Rogen stated "'What would it be like if our food had feelings?' We very quickly realized that it would be f*cked up." Goldberg revealed the project to Indiewire in July 2010, stating it was a "top secret super project". Initially, Indiewire was skeptical that the project was real and not a hoax on Goldberg's part, but after vetting, it did confirm that it was in the works. In November 2010, Hill independently confirmed to MTV News that he was working on an R-rated 3D animated film.
The film was formally announced in September 2013 as a partnership between Sony Pictures Entertainment, Annapurna Pictures and Point Grey Pictures. On May 29, 2014, it was announced that the film would be released on June 3, 2016, but in early 2016, the release date was revised to August 12, 2016. In January 2014, Rogen, Hill, James Franco and Kristen Wiig were announced as the leads in the film. The other cast includes Edward Norton, Michael Cera, David Krumholtz and Nick Kroll. On April 9, 2014, Salma Hayek was set to lend her voice to the film as Teresa the Taco. It was also announced that Paul Rudd, Danny McBride and Anders Holm would voice characters in the film.
The film received an R rating for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language and drug use. When Rogen initially submitted the film to the MPAA, however, they assigned it with an NC-17 rating due to the visibility of pubic hair on Lavash's scrotum. In order to be assigned an R rating, the pubic hair was removed.