Astute and hilarious in equal measure, Sausage Party is the best adult animation since South Park
'A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence' is the wonderfully earnest tag-line for this offbeat animated feature for adults. A passion project for Seth Rogen, king of the stoner genre (Superbad, Pineapple Express), Sausage Party is rude, funny and unexpectedly profound in places, with the juvenile humour leavened by some thoughtful commentary on modern life.
Frank (Rogen), a sausage, resides in Shopwell's grocery store, where he and his fellow sausages excitedly look forward to the adventure of The Great Beyond that he believes exists outside the store. When Honey Mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to the store, the distressed jar of condiments brings a grim warning; there is no Great Beyond, and all the sausages actually have to look forward to is being chopped up, grilled and eaten. Together with the love of his life, hot-dog bun Brenda (Kristin Wiig), Frank sets out to warn the other groceries of the horrible fate that awaits them.
Beneath the colourful surface, Sausage Party is a jet-black parody of Pixar's feel-good movies for families, and takes a direct cue from Buzz Lightyear's existential epiphany on the crowded shelves featured in in the first Toy Story film. Shopwell's provides plenty of of scope for biting satire, with the groceries divided into different ethnic groups and mind-sets; Sammy Bagel Jr (Edward Norton) struggles to find common ground with Middle-Eastern flatbread Kareem Abdul Lavash (David Krumholtz).
Sausage Party sounds funny, and it is; the opening Great Beyond song from Disney stalwart Alan Menken sets the right tone from the start, and the gags are plentiful, displaying Rogen's typically raunchy flavouring of wit. A real original, it's the best slice of adult animated fun this side of South Park.
General release from Fri 2 Sept.