WARNING: This article contains passages and descriptions that are heavily NSFW in nature. DO NOT READ if you are under the age of 17.
I don’t know if readers know this by now, but a little movie called Sausage Party is headed to theaters this Friday. Yep, that one animated movie this year that’s VERY R-rated. In fact, here the final Red Band trailer in case you missed it:
The film – intended to be a riff on animated movies and their tropes – was screened several weeks ago for attending audiences at San Diego Comic-Con 2016 (to glowing reception, once more). Afterwards, the film’s co-writer/co-producer/leading actor Seth Rogen took the stage for an impromptu discussion about the movie, revealing some surprising details on what is sure to be one of the year’s most controversial and talked about animated movies.
For starters, it will have been sixteen years since an R-rated animated movie was released in theaters (1999’s South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut). While Sausage Party was always destined to capture the hearts of the SXSW/Comic-Con crowds, the big question is whether or not the film can play to general audiences. Seth Rogen didn’t appear to be worried about the film’s chances though, as he spoke candidly about his hopes for the film as a franchise-starter.
“This was the first time we ended a movie with the intention of making another one,” he told the crowd. As an actor who’s not known for taking on very many franchises, he summed up his enthusiasm for a Sausage Party franchise this way: “We want to make sausage-talking movies for the rest of our lives.”
The next topic he touched upon was arguably the biggest elephant in the room: the film’s R rating. It’s undeniably a selling point of the movie, so much so that it’s repeatedly emphasized in many of the film’s TV commercials. For Rogen and Goldberg, this is intentional as it was their goal to set out and do an R-rated animated feature. But naturally, when you’re trying to push the rating as far as it can possibly go, you are bound to run into some issues, particularly with the MPAA. “I really don’t think the MPAA knew how to handle this film,” Rogen said.
They then revealed to the crowd that an extended cut of the movie exists, with an additional eight minutes of footage cut out. Said footage included what Rogen described as a sex scene between Sammy Bagel Jr. (Edward Norton) and a ‘lavish’ piece of bread. “There were a lot of May Days and fluids,” added Rogen.
What better way to annoy the MPAA, right? So of course, they were asked to cut some stuff out. “When Sammy the Bagel takes his testicles over his face, the MPAA said to just remove a few hairs,” said Rogen. One “taboo” scene that was completely cut from the film involved Douche (Nick Kroll) doing “unsavory physical things with a group of rabbits.” As one would expect, the scene didn’t sit too well with audiences during test screenings. Then, of course, you have the infamous orgy scene, which Rogen confirmed that there was an extended version of that sequence that might be included in a possible unrated cut (he didn’t specify if that cut would go to DVD or if it will be shown in theaters).
One unique aspect of Sausage Party is that Rogen and Goldberg have tasked two seasoned animators with the job of directing the movie: Conrad Vernon (Monsters vs. Aliens, Madagascar 3) and Greg Tiernan (Thomas & Friends). Now you might be wondering why, of all the directing opportunities available to them in the industry, they decided to tackle this one. Well, if Rogen and Goldberg are to be believed, they and others on the animation team were all too eager to indulge their more ‘unhinged’ qualities. As such, Rogen and Goldberg pounced.
“Animators are sick people,” quipped Rogen. “From all the Disney movies you hear these rumors of dirty perversions oozing onto the screen.”
But ultimately, when you get past the raunchy jokes and F-bombs, Sausage Party is an R-rated animated movie with a ton of ambition. Will this ambition be enough for them to bust the wall down for other R-rated animated movies? We’ll find out soon enough.
What do you think? If you were at Comic-Con and saw Sausage Party, what did you think? (NO SPOILERS.)
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes