WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

PLUGGED IN RATING

    0 OUT OF 5 PLUGS

Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Let's face it: If you're food, you don't get out much.

Take Frank, a sausage. He's lived his entire life in a plastic package, sitting on a grocery store shelf with other sausages. Yeah. That's it. He just hangs out. In the package. (Frankly [ha!], I don't even know how he or the other sausages learned to speak English. Seems like even sentient sausages, blessed with thoughts and feelings of their own, would still need some sort of tutor for that.)

But Frank, being the sentient sausage he is, still has dreams. He wants to be somebody. He wants to get cozy with Brenda, the cute little bun next door. But most importantly, Frank hopes to be taken home by one of the store's visiting "gods," to be placed in a cart and wheeled out to the Great Beyond—a place where all worries and cares will vanish and he'll be in the presence of some benevolent, denim-wearing deity.

This is the dream of all food, apparently. To go to the Great Beyond. They even have a catchy little song about it that they sing each morning.

But when a container of honey mustard returns from the Great Beyond, he is less than thrilled about the experience he's had. In fact, when he and Frank wind up in the same cart, the jar of honey mustard decides to kill himself—leaping from the cart and smashing onto the tile floor below.

What could possibly turn a jar of honey mustard suicidal? Is it possible he grew confused and mistook himself for die-jon mustard? Or did he see something—something horrible, something unspeakable—that caused him to reevaluate his belief in the Great Beyond?

Frank, being an inquisitive sort of sausage, is determined to find out. Even as Brenda pleads with him to get back in his package and stop angering the gods, the hunk o' prepackaged pork begins a quest for the truth, even if it costs him his meaty byproduct soul.

[Note: Spoilers are contained in the following sections.]

Advertisement

Positive Elements

Frank, Brenda and others save each other's lives at times—not typical behavior for foodstuffs. Two wandering bits of food—a Jewish bagel named Sammy and a chunk of thin Middle Eastern flatbread called Lavash (both the bread and the character)—get along well. Their relationship is likely intended to be an inspirational model for how to find peace in the Middle East.

Spiritual Content

Sausage Party is an anti-religious parable masquerading as a comedic sex cartoon.

Frank discovers that the Great Beyond ain't so great. The "gods" are cruel and vicious entities who (naturally) eat food. We learn that the whole rumor of the Great Beyond was created by some imperishable, "immortal" foodstuffs (a bottle of booze named Fire Water, a box of Grits, and—naturally—an eternal Twinkie) to make things more cheerful in the supermarket.

Brenda, meanwhile, clings to her conviction that the Great Beyond is a good place. She frets that she's being punished by the gods: She and Frank stuck their little gloved hands out of their respective packaging and "touched tips," and she figures the gods are disappointed with her sexual exploration. (Others also confess to having "impure urges.") When Frank rails at her for her naive faith, she defensively says she doesn't need to explain or prove anything: "It's something I feel," she says.

Other bits of food express various religious beliefs on occasion. Lavash talks about how when he reaches the Great Beyond, he'll be greeted by 77 bottles of extra-virgin olive oil. Teresa, a taco shell, prays to "St. Chimichanga." And after food gets taken to the Great Beyond, it initially glories at the touch of the "gods," thrilled to be washed and pampered in sparkly, heavenly kitchens. Indeed, most of the food in this supermarket is quite religious—clinging to its collective false faith with wide-eyed wonder and, in some cases, insensitivity. (We see a sign that alleges, "gods hate figs.")

So even when Frank discovers concrete proof that the foodie afterlife is a (ahem) crock, the masses treat the sausage with skepticism and derision. It's suggested that he initially fails because he was simply too strident (a nod, presumably, to angry atheists like Richard Dawkins), and that he needs to show his kind a "better way."

And what is that "better way?" Well, it involves …

Sexual Content

…. sex. Lots and lots of sex. Frank pleads for his fellow food stuffs to cast off their sexual inhibitions and run wild. And so they do, leading to an animated food orgy—as graphic as it can possibly be considering that none of the food items have any visible sexual organs. Audiences see acts that resemble heterosexual sex, homosexual sex, group sex, sadomasochism and a variety of fetishes. After the orgy is over, Brenda scolds herself for "saving ourselves for the Great Beyond when it was right in front of us the whole time."

We learn shortly before the orgy commences that Sammy and Lavash have homosexual urges. They become lovers. We see them engaged in various acts and make crude quips about their various sexual (though invisible) body parts. Teresa the taco has lesbian leanings, and she develops a huge crush (crunch?) on Brenda—flirting with her as they travel through the grocery store and sometimes putting a hand on the bun's buns.

There's lots of discussion about how, exactly, sausages and buns have sex—an act that corresponds to how sausages and hot dogs normally interact with buns in the real world. Frank and Brenda talk about how much they're looking forward to getting together. When angry, Brenda threatens to welcome other things into her carbohydrate-laden self, ranging from carrots to eggplants to messy tubes of toothpaste. A sausage is teased for being abnormally shaped. Lots of jokes riff on comparisons between sausages and the male anatomy.

The prime evil grocery product here is a personal hygiene product named Douche. It ogles the crotch area of the "god" who initially chooses him (the camera lingers on her jeans-covered privates). When he falls out of the cart and springs a leak, he essentially rapes a juicebox to fill himself up again—performing what is characterized as oral sex on a leak in the juicebox's nether regions. He later attacks a grocery store worker's backside, and we see his leering face through the worker's open fly. (He and Frank fight around the crotch area of the worker, leading to some obscene imagery and allusions to masturbation.)

There's lots of conversation regarding promiscuity and "slut shaming." A used condom talks about his sad plight. Fruits have, apparently, the stereotypical sexual orientation you would expect. A woman pulls at the fabric over her crotch.

Violent Content

Animated food suffers greatly here. Sausages are stabbed and sliced. Bottles of tequila, jelly and other foods are smashed. A potato is skinned and boiled. Baby carrots are chomped up as they cry for mercy. Frank runs across a cookbook full of horrific images (or images that would be horrific for sentient food). A cataclysmic cart crash leads to what appears to be a war scene.

But humans suffer at the hands of food, too. Boiling water splashed on the face of a human sends him on a slapstick trip to the floor. He tumbles beneath an ax suspended above a doorway, which plunges and beheads the man. A food character totes the head (somehow) to the grocery store, illustrating that the "gods" can be killed.

The inhabitants of the grocery store declare war on the shoppers: First, they shoot them with toothpicks tipped with bath salts, which allows the humans to see them as they really are. Then they beat people and knock them over, sometimes knocking them unconscious. A jug of pop and a pack of Mentos sacrificially dive into the mouth of a victim, apparently blowing up the man's head. A grocery store worker is catapulted into the air, exploding in the sky. When an eyeball falls back to earth, a bit of food holds it up as a trophy, cheering.

Crude or Profane Language

About 160 f-words, at least 45 s-words and three c-words. God's name is misused at least 20 times, including four times with "d--n." Jesus' name is abused twice. Other vulgarities include "a--," "b--ch," "b--tard," "h---," "p-ss," "pr--k," "p---y" and "c--k."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Sausage Party has essentially two morals: One, religion is a terrible, vile thing. And two, that drugs can show you the world as it really is.

We're talking specifically about synthetic cathinones, a group of drugs commonly called "bath salts." One man buys these salts on a street corner, then takes them home and injects some intravenously. (He also has a large bong on his coffee table.) He hallucinates, creating rainbow-like eddies in the air with his hands … then sees a sausage crawling across the coffee table. Later, food uses these same salts to awaken grocery shoppers to their reality.

The grocery store's imperishables hang out in a "cave" of sorts, passing around a kazoo filled with marijuana. They encourage other foods to smoke the stuff as well, and many do. A bottle of tequila seems quite tipsy for most of its short life. There seems to be a perpetual street party in the liquor aisle.

Other Negative Elements

Sausage Party engages in wholesale racial and national stereotyping, ranging from the Mexican foods all hanging out in a seedy cantina to Chinese foods walking around in a diminutive Chinatown-like area. Fire Water is a caricature of an American Indian (complete with headdress, makeup and broken English). The sauerkraut aisle recalls Nazi Germany (including a Hitler-like leader and a call to exterminate all juice). Sammy, the bagel, says that the sauerkraut wanted to move him and his kind to the barbecue aisle.

Someone runs into some feces on the street, and bits of undigested food crawl out, ghost/zombie-like. Another person later steps in the mess. A roll of toilet paper hints at the horrors he's seen.

Conclusion

When I went into Sausage Party, I was prepared for an outrageously crass, foul and obscene cartoon. And while the film certainly met those dubious expectations, I wasn't expecting it to be a sermon, too. Without question, this is the preachiest, most obnoxious, most offensive animated sex comedy I've seen this year.

More could be said about the movie's anti-religious musings—more than I can really unpack here. But we really don't need to get into the theology of sentient food here.

Because really, why bother? There's no sweet core at play, no redeeming message in the movie's last 10 minutes. This movie features lots of animated food having sex, doing drugs, murdering people and defaming religions of every kind.

We need about as much nuance to review this sick flick as comedian Seth Rogen used restraint in making it. If I see a movie that's worse than Sausage Party this year, it will be a sorry year indeed.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!

Plugged In Content Warning

This Plugged In review contains information about graphic sexual or violent content. It is not suitable for all ages. Reader discretion is advised.
Continue
Go Back