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Seth Rogen is no stranger to starring in animated films, having voiced a mantis in Kung Fu Panda and as the goofy blob B.O.B. in Monsters vs. Aliens, both from DreamWorks Animation. But beyond a 2009 episode of The Simpsons, he hasn’t ever really gotten into making animated films on his own. Until now. (Cue some kind of a loud splat sound with an accompanying graphic, and transition into a Casio keyboard’s drum loop.) Sony Pictures Entertainment is teaming up with Annapurna Pictures and Point Grey to give the world Sausage Party, a raunchy R-rated animated comedy written by Rogen and writing partner Evan Goldberg. The press release states it’s only “expected to be” an R-rated flick, but I seriously doubt these guys are going held by the boundaries of a hard PG-13. Especially if the profanity monster that is Danny McBride will be in it.
Co-directing the film will be Conrad Vernon, who directed Monsters vs. Aliens, and Greg Tiernan, who has been the guy directing most if not all of the Thomas the Tank Engine TV series and children’s videos of the past few years. Vernon also directed Shrek 2 and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted for DreamWorks, so I have to wonder if DreamWorks ever turned this down, or if it was originally conceived for Sony, who definitely wanted back in the Rogen and Goldberg business after This is the End struck it big. Side note: Tiernan was an animator on Ralph Bakshi’s 1992 hybrid Cool World. Pretty dumb movie, but it looked great. All in all, I’m surprised and pretty enthused that these two directors are on board, rather than someone in the Apatow House of Stars taking a crack at it.
Speaking of, Jonah Hill gets a story credit, though screenplay is officially from Rogen, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. The latter two guys were executive producers on This is the End and both wrote for the Comedy Central Roast of James Franco. So what is the story?
Sausage Party is “about one sausage’s quest to discover the truth about his existence. After falling out of a shopping cart, our hero sausage and his new friends embark on a perilous journey through the supermarket to get back to their aisles before the 4th of July sale.” There’s no way I could have used the phrase “hero sausage” without having to immediately say it came from the press release. Beyond the fact that sausages are shaped like they are, I don’t see any immediate areas for really adult humor to come through, though it sounds as if the main character is fighting to survive to reach a goal that will only see him get eaten and destroyed. That’s a fairly adult theme.
You can catch some of Rogen’s latest writing in the September 25 episode of The League, which he co-wrote with Jason Mantzoukas. You can bet it’s more R-rated than anything else on TV that night.
And without further ado, the Monsters vs. Aliens short B.O.B.’s Big Break.