The feature-length animated film Sausage Party, released on DVD and online in November, is in many ways a typical Seth Rogen bro-fest of dick jokes (I mean, just read the title) and other forms of deliberately politically incorrect comedy. But in place of sex-crazed stoner man-children, you now have sex-crazed stoner anthropomorphic grocery store items, including the film's primary antagonist, a vengeful raging douche.
Even when you see the jokes coming a mile away, the film is still frequently hilarious—and an incisive exercise in socio-political satire as well. Metaphors lurk behind nearly every grocery store gag, imbuing the film with an original and anarchic spirit that endures after the shock value of foul-mouthed cartoon food has worn off.
The tragic absurdity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, for example, is mined for both laughs and pathos when international bread-aisle neighbors and enemies (represented by an Arabic lavash and a Jewish bagel) are forced to join forces or die. Shrill atheism and religious delusions are both tweaked; both get a dose of empathy too. And amid all these hints of serious messages, graphic depictions of food sex abound. Sausage Party is like an animated version of the legendary joke "The Aristocrats"—an extended equal-opportunity riff where no identity group is spared from over-the-top and sometimes disgusting lampooning, thus bringing us, in a curious way, all together as one.
This article originally appeared in print under the headline "Sausage Party".