Parents everywhere will be achingly familiar with the curse of the modern animated movie.
On the one hand, they serve to keep the little ones occupied for a decent length of time and certainly in recent years, the people who make these films have turned out some clever, well crafted stories, which have enough subtle nods and winks about them to even keep adults interested.
The downside of all that is that children often like them so much that they watch them over and over (and over), until the whole experience turns into some kind of living nightmare (Frozen, Zootopia, to name but two).
The other bonus about these animated jaunts, which are essentially meandering tales of cliche tightly curled around some time-honoured tale, then drizzled in the sickly sweet drizzle of Hollywood schmaltz, is that they are, for the most part, safe. Safe for children. They are inoffensive, frivolous and funny. Which is why there’s a market for them and also why we often seemed to be overwhelmed by them (them and superhero movies).
Actor Michael Douglas recently bemoaned the dearth of variety in Hollywood movies but pointed out that such movies are like tentpoles for the big studios and there’s only so many they can put up each year.
So, perhaps it’s our unease with harder-edged movies and our mollycoddling of children which is to blame for the two track approach we currently have from Hollywood.
I mean, even ‘transitional’ fillms like Jim Carey’s Bruce Amighty, which you might think would be okay for older children, has a surprising F-bomb right in the middle.
Anyway, one animated film which looks set to shake up the genre (and woe-betide any parent who absent-mindedly sits their little ones down to watch it) is Sausage Party.
You may never look at a basket of groceries the same way again after this foul-mouthed.
At Shopwell’s supermarket, managed by Darren (voiced by Paul Rudd), the food and items that festoon the aisles begin each day with a rousing song, hoping they will be chosen by one of the customers and spirited to the “great beyond” outside of the sliding front doors.
Among these hopefuls is a sex-crazed sausage called Frank (Seth Rogen), who is desperate to lose his virginity with his hot dog roll girlfriend Brenda (Kristen Wigg) by slipping between her soft and inviting bun halves.
When a jar of unopened honey mustard (Danny McBride) is returned to Shopwell’s by a customer, Frank, Brenda and their perishable chums discover that the outside world isn’t the nirvana they always hoped.
In the search for answers, Frank journeys to the alcohol aisle to seek counsel from Firewater (Bill Hader).
Meanwhile, a lesbian taco called Teresa (Salma Hayek) makes lusty overtures to Brenda and a stunted sausage called Barry (Michael Cera) discovers first-hand the horrors that lurk beyond the checkout tills.