About The Film
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have been the masterminds behind some of the
world's most outrageous, inventive, and hilarious comedies - from Superbad to
Pineapple Express to This Is the End to The Interview. Now, they go into the
world of animation for Columbia Pictures and Annapurna Pictures' Sausage Party,
the world's first R-rated CG animated comedy, about a group of supermarket
products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really
happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.
"There's an old tradition in animated films - especially the CG ones - about the
secret life of the things around us," says Goldberg. "We've seen cars, we've
seen toys... we love all of those movies. And eventually we realized there's an
extremely comedic version of it in the secret life of food."
"It's a very bizarre take on a hero's journey," says Rogen. "More than any of
our other movies, it allows that structure of the outcast who has a call to
release the masses from their shackles. We could do a movie with these
incredibly structural ideas - and at the same time, a lot of insane stuff
The film began its conception back in 2008 as one of the first three projects at
Point Grey. There was the film that became This Is the End, the hit comedy that
took in over $100 million; the film that became 50/50, the critically acclaimed
comedy-drama; and Sausage Party, the outrageous, anything-goes animated movie
about the raunchy life of our food.
"The concept of the movie was 'what if sausages could live out their dreams of
getting in buns?'" says executive producer Kyle Hunter, who co-wrote the
screenplay with Ariel Shaffir, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
"It's about a sausage, Frank, that's in love with a bun named Brenda," says
Shaffir. "They believe they're going to get 'chosen' to leave the store
together, and getting out of the store is their version of what they believe to
be heaven. But then Frank overhears a product who has actually been out of the
store, who says it's not what everyone thinks - it's actually terrible, more
akin to going to hell. They fall out of the shopping cart instead of getting
chosen, and Frank goes on a journey to find out the truth about what actually
Hunter says that while the plot itself was loaded with laughs, they also looked
for comedy to come through in the style, tone, structure and form of the
screenplay. "We looked at some of our favorite animated movies and then put a
real subversive twist on it," he says. "We wanted it to look and feel like the
animated movies you know, but with horrible things coming out of these
Hunter and Shaffir also did their own research as well. "We went to a
supermarket, just browsing together - 'Should we use this? How about that?!"
To direct the film, Rogen initially approached Conrad Vernon in late 2009.
Vernon had recently directed the animated hit Monsters vs. Aliens, in which
Rogen voiced a role. "Seth called me out of the blue," he recalls. "He sat me
down and said, 'What do you think about doing an R-rated animated feature?' And
it's something I have wanted to do since I was 13 years old and I saw the
trailer for the movie Heavy Metal. I only had to wait 30 years to be offered the
opportunity to do it."
As his directorial partner, Vernon brought in Greg Tiernan, who is the co-owner
along with wife and producer Nicole Stinn, of Nitrogen Studios, the Vancouver
animation studio that was the home of Sausage Party. "Conrad and I had worked
together years ago on a Ralph Bakshi movie Cool World, which was sort of a
pseudo-adult movie - it was PG-13," says Tiernan.
Tiernan, who hails from Ireland, said he was intrigued by the project not just
because it was funny, but because it was a chance to work in animation for
adults - a genre that has much more exposure in world cinema than in the US,
where animation is mostly family fare. "The 'South Park' guys had obviously made
a good stab at it, but nobody else has done it on a large scale - and there's no
reason why that should be. In Europe and Asia, there's a much more free-and-easy
attitude toward animation, and I've worked on adult animation projects before -
but none that saw the light of day in North America."
When the Point Grey team brought the film to Annapurna Pictures' Megan Ellison,
who stepped in to make the film a reality, Annapurna teamed up with Columbia
Pictures as co-financier and distributor. "She agreed to give us the budget to
do a proof of concept," executive producer James Weaver recalls, giving a little
insight into how the Sausage gets made.
"There was no pitch - there was the movie," says Goldberg. "We had spent our own
money, and Megan spent a bunch of her own money before there was a commitment
for distribution, because we all believed in it so much and wanted it made so
badly. We were able to shop it with a script, directors, animation studio, and
Weaver says that although the film is most definitely rated R and delivers what
adult audiences are looking for from a comedy, Sausage Party is also more than
one joke. "It's everything audiences love about animation - it has real heart
and unforgettable characters," he says. "We just added a super-funny layer for
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