A first-ever for an animated comedy, Columbia Pictures’ eagerly anticipated “Sausage Party” has been rated R-18 by the Movie & Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB). The movie’s raunchy humor and themes have been deemed suitable only to mature audiences, 18 years old and above.
Indeed, there’s no stopping “Sausage Party” from opening in the Philippines on Sept. 28.
A recent smash, box-office hit in the US with cumulative gross of a whopping $80-million, “Sausage Party” is about one sausage leading a group of supermarket products on a quest to discover the truth about their existence and what really happens when they become chosen to leave the grocery store.
Directed by Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan, the film features the vocal talents of a who’s who of today’s comedy stars – Michael Cera, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Danny McBride, Edward Norton, Seth Rogen, Paul Rudd, and Kristen Wiig.
In creating the R-rated comedy, finding what director Conrad Vernon calls “the line of taste” was a constant discussion. “That line moved all over the place,” he says. “We would step over it, and then we wouldn’t be going far enough…”
But, says director Greg Tiernan, pushing the envelope came naturally, because for an animator, it’s just what you do. “In animation, you always want to push – whether it’s the story or the execution of the animation – because it’s always easier to pull back,” says Tiernan. “We had that ingrained in us from the first day we were in the animation business. Don’t censor yourself, because other people will do it for you.”
Still, as the directors, they did have to be responsible for making sure that on balance, the film delivered as an entertaining movie experience. “We had to be careful that the movie wasn’t just about shock value,” says Tiernan. “That was never the intent – it was supposed to have heart and soul and be a great story. We could go as far as we wanted, but we always had to ask, ‘OK, is it funny? What’s it adding to the story?’”
One of the places that the filmmakers decided to push was in the character design of Brenda. “Everyone howled when they first saw the design,” says Vernon. “Our character designer, Craig Kellman, popped that vertical mouth in there – he’s not one to hold back. I took that over with a bunch of other designs to Seth and Evan and they were flipping through – ‘cool, cool, cool’ – and then it was just laughter and ‘Oh my God.’ Finally, there was one point where we asked ourselves, should we really be doing this? Can people relate to her if she has a vertical mouth? And [producer] Megan Ellison said, ‘If you don’t do a vertical mouth, I’m not making this movie.’”
Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 28, “Sausage Party” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.