Animation isn't a genre. It's not something solely aimed at kids and families, it's a medium that can be put to any one of hundreds of different ends. It just so happens that the majority of American animated films are family-oriented. For a long time though, there's been a large number of adult animated series on television; not just as in clever, oft-satirical sitcoms like The Simpsons, as in raunchy, gross-out comedies like Family Guy and South Park. Well American feature animation's about to get a big dose of that too.
Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, the writers of comedies like Superbad and The Pineapple Express, who this year turned their hands to directing with This is the End (Rogen also starred in all three), are now trying their hands at animation. Sony will release Sausage Party, an R-rated animated comedy scripted by the pair. And it's at least not as smutty as you think!
Sausage Party is also being co-written by Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir (exec. producers on This is the End), from a story by Rogen, Goldberg and frequent collaborator Jonah Hill. It's being directed by Shrek 2's Conrad Vernon (pictured, left) and director of TV's Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends, Greg Tiernan (pictured, right). Vernon also directed Monsters vs. Aliens and Madagascar 3, as well as voicing Gingy in the Shrek film. Nitrogen Studios Canada are handling the animation; it will obviously not fall under the Sony Pictures Animation banner. (Tiernan is also CCO at Nitrogen Studios.)
Sausage Party is described as:
"a raunchy animated movie 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."
|Condiments. From the Simpsons episode Angry Dad: The Movie.|
Going off that, it sounds as though you can probably expect some jabs at Toy Story and other such inanimate object films. As in, for instance, the shot above, from the Simpsons episode Angry Dad: The Movie, showing a fictional Pixar short film, Condiments. As well as likely the same sort of bawdy jokes that have permeated Rogen/Goldberg's work to date.
Clearly Seth MacFarlane's Ted showed that R-rated comedies can turn over an impressive profit at the box office if done right. Box office returns need to be higher on average for animated films than live-action ones, given the usually large budgets for mainstream animated features. If this proves profitable, it's entirely likely we'll see more of this type of animated picture in the coming years.
While sure, it'd be nice to see a dark drama, or crime mystery, etc... come from the American animation industry, having a mainstream adult-aimed animated film on the radar is good news nonetheless. Rogen and Goldberg, whilst undoubtedly crude, are funny guys, and their films thus far have been well received, so Sausage Party certainly sounds interesting. A 2015 release date is apparently being aimed for, which would put it in the same year as Ted 2.