I’m sure most of us already know of the recently released Sausage Party by this point, mainly due to its central marketing ploy: it’s an adult-rated CG animated film. It’s all that was really expected from creator Seth Rogen, famed for his work in This Is The End, Pineapple Express and many other films of a similar style and humour.
However what was received was a surprisingly intelligent satire of Pixar films like Toy Story or Finding Nemo, movies in which the main characters are humanised versions of non-human things (in this case, toys and fish). However, another aspect that was spotted by audiences was its bold statement on the legitimacy of religion, which could be interpreted as an attack on faith.
As a result of this sudden surge in atheism, a few films have been released with the same intentions as older Christian films, in which the movies are littered with preachy dialogue about why God is good and disbelief sends you to Hell (etcetera, etcetera), but substituting in their beliefs instead. Sausage Party, arguably, is an example of this, however I feel it is much more respectful in its intent. Yes, it is very clear that Rogen and fellow writer Evan Goldberg have more than just doubts when it comes to God, and it certainly shows as you watch the film, but there was never a point where the writing suggested religion is bad. In fact, in some cases, it implies quite the opposite.
WARNING: SPOILERS LIE AHEAD
Take, for instance, the scene in which Frank the Hot Dog meets The Unperishables for the first time, and after attempting to kill him (and failing hilariously), they reveal to him that they were responsible for inventing the religion that all the food in the supermarket lives for. While this could suggest the writers are saying all religions are just fictional, they also explain that the reason that they did this was to end the widespread panic and make the lives of these foodstuffs much more pleasant, before their unfortunately inevitable demise. This suggests that whether you believe in an almighty divine power is irrelevant; what’s important is what makes you feel safe and secure in life.
Another example is towards the end of the film, where Frank tries to explain to everyone that everything they know is a lie and their so-called Gods (the customers) are actually out to eat them, he is met with a flurry of hate and hostility. Later on he apologises for trying to force the information onto them with no consideration. What the writers are saying is that pushing your beliefs down the throats of others with differing opinions to you is in no way acceptable, and that you should never expect anyone to just follow along because you think your opinions matter more than theirs. The movie is, in the grand scheme of things, a comedic jab at religion, but in this instance it could be about anyone, even atheists, which I think is an incredibly brave thing to admit.
However, there is an alternative possibility that this is just a dumb, raunchy, vulgar film that somehow sexualises food and should definitely not be analysed to this extent. And to that I say…
Yeah, you’re probably right.