One way that Columbia Pictures’ acclaimed comedy “Sausage Party” pays homage to the animated movies that came before it was in the hiring of legendary composer Alan Menken to co-score (with Christopher Lennertz) the film and write the music for a song.
Rated R-18 With No Cuts by the MTRCB, “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
An eight-time Oscar® winner and 19-time nominee, Menken has brought memorable music to such family classics as “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin,” “Hercules,” “Enchanted,” and “Tangled.”
And now “Sausage Party?” Maybe it’s not as offbeat a choice as it seems – after all, Menken (along with his late partner, Howard Ashman) was also behind the subversive classic “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Tells Menken, “I remember telling my daughters that I was doing a project, `Sausage Party,’ and they looked at me and went ‘Dad? Sausage party?’ In real life, I’m actually a very R-rated person.”
As Menken and Lennertz viewed footage, they realized that “to try to make [the movie] more funny is the wrong thing to do. We should go super serious, and that’s how we ended up at Abbey Road” with a full orchestra, Lennertz says.
“He actually came to us with several different songs,” says director Conrad Vernon. “It was incredible, the number of songs he gave us – all of them great songs, by the way. And then, we were listening to `The Great Beyond,’ and we just went, ‘That’s the one.’ Because of one word: longing. It felt like the supermarket products were singing about something they were longing for – you can feel it in their hearts that they were so happy that someday they were going to go out those doors.”
To Menken’s melody, the lyrics were written by Oscar® and Tony Award nominee Glenn Slater, along with Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
“The song is kind of like a prayer that outlines their belief system,” says Rogen. “The food sings this song every morning to reaffirm the thought that it’s good to get chosen. As it turns out, the firewater and the other non-perishables wrote the song, because they were so bummed out about the truth and didn’t think there was anything they could do about it.”
A recent smash, box-office hit in the US with cumulative gross of a whopping $95-million, “Sausage Party” features the vocal talents of a who’s who of today’s comedy stars: Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill, and Michael Cera play sausages (Frank, Carl, and Barry, respectively); Kristen Wiig plays Brenda, a bun; Salma Hayek plays Teresa, a taco; Danny McBride plays Honey Mustard; Edward Norton plays Sammy, a bagel; David Krumholtz plays Lavash; Bill Hader takes on Firewater; Craig Robinson plays grits; and Nick Kroll plays a douche. James Franco and Paul Rudd play human beings: Franco as Druggie and Rudd as Darren, a store clerk.
Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 28, “Sausage Party” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.