Sausage Party Hides a Smart Take on Organized Religion

By hashi photo (hashi photo) [GFDL or CC BY 3.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

According to Sausage Party, all food goes to hell.

The first R-rated CG-animated film, Sausage Party comes with a sophisticated take on organized religion that can be viewed by those willing to withstand the profanity and shocking scenes in the movie. Christianity Today’s Alissa Wilkinson describes the film as being full of “Innuendo, profanity, drug use, racial slurs and graphic sex (insofar as food items can have graphic sex)”. She goes ahead to claim that not many readers of the site (assumed to be Christian) will watch the movie.

Sausage Party is the brainchild of Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Evan Goldberg. The concept for the film was first mooted eight years ago. Rogen has claimed many times that his desire to produce his very own CG-animated film arose from his love for Pixar movies such as Toy Story.

The film follows a crew of food friends, anthropomorphic computer animated characters from a grocery store that begin every morning by singing a hymn to “the gods”. The gods are human shoppers frequenting the aisles of the Shopwells supermarket. It is the wish and fervent desire for every food item in the grocery store to leave their shelves in a human’s shopping basket so that they can go to the “great beyond,” a paradise where humans and food live happily ever after.

However, the world of these food friends gets turned upside down when one honey mustard jar, voiced by Danny McBride, comes back from the great beyond with disturbing details of a truth that sounds truly horrible for the food items anxiously waiting for release to the “great beyond.”

The focus of the plot of the film is on Frank the hot dog (Seth Rogen) and Brenda the hot dog bun (Kristen Wiig). Frank sets out to discover if there is any truth to the allegations brought to their attention by the honey mustard jar, while Brenda is walled off and refuses to even consider the possibility of the “merciful gods” doing anything that could possibly hurt food.

To the intrepid observer, Sausage Party immediately comes off as a sophisticated commentary on organized religion. The film does not attempt to offer any innovative approaches nor does it offer any new ways in which discussions between those with firm belief in a higher power and those without can be navigated without strife and controversy. However, Sausage Party has succeeded in showing in a vulgar and funny manner how frustrating it can be to discuss religion with other people.

As has been noted by Slate’s Sam Adams, “The especially odd thing here is that the movie is on the food’s side, and so are we. We cheer the deaths of men and women, the gorier the better. The analogy to religious schisms drops away, and we’re left with a depiction—goofy, profane, and animated though it is—of the natural order rebelling against the scourge of humanity. …In Sausage Party, our time has come.”

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