The raunchy animated comedy “Sausage Party”, released in 2016, was a commercial hit and featured a number of very familiar voices. You might be wondering who Academy Award-nominated actor James Franco portrays in the movie.
James Franco voices the Druggie, one of the film’s antagonists who begins seeing the anthropomorphic food characters as sentient beings after recklessly using drugs. Despite this revelation, the Druggie still attempts to eat one of the film’s protagonists before meeting with a grisly end, partially due to his perpetual intoxication.
For more about James Franco’s role in the film, its unique place in cinematic history and box office success, keep reading.
“Sausage Party” follows a group of sentient foods, primarily sausages, who escape their supermarket home in an attempt to avoid being eaten. The film is a parody of Disney and Pixar’s CGI films and its bright, colorful visuals form a stark contrast to its adult subject matter.
The movie holds a unique position in the history of cinema as the first CGI film to be rated R by the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America). From a concept created by Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Jonah Hill, the film features all their signature raunchy humor but delivered via an entirely new medium for the frequent collaborators.
James Franco’s Role
Franco portrays the Druggie who, as his name suggests, is a heavy drug user. After injecting himself with psychoactive bath salts, he sees the food characters moving and speaking, thus becoming the first human character in the movie to perceive them as sentient beings rather than inanimate.
The Druggie tries to cook one of the sausage protagonists by boiling but misses the saucepan, dropping him instead onto the floor (presumably because he is on drugs). What follows is a very gruesome conclusion for Franco’s character and a harsh reminder of the importance of mental clarity while cooking, especially if your meal has a mind of its own.
The film was met with predominantly positive reviews by critics, who praised its writing and sense of humor and holds an 83% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The audience score is considerably lower, hovering at around 50%.
This might be a sign of parents falling into the familiar trap of assuming that any animated movie is suitable for their children without doing their research (which would be especially surprising in the case of “Sausage Party”, considering its R rating).
Between its adult classification and the names attached to the project, who aren’t exactly known for producing family-friendly films, the movie is a reminder that parents should probably take some extra time to research whether or not a film is appropriate for the younger people in their family.
One country where parents would have an excuse for not knowing better is in Sweden, where the film was granted a kids’ rating, allowing children as young as seven to see the film without parental supervision.
Box Office Success
“Sausage Party” was a considerable box office success in comparison to its budget, costing in the region of $19 million dollars and making $140.7 million worldwide. Although there are some hidden marketing costs, as with all movies, it remained a hugely profitable film.
In fact, Sausage Party was so successful at the box office that it surpassed the $83.1 million of “South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut”. “South Park”, since its release in 1999, had held the record of highest-grossing R-rated animation in history.
“Sausage Party” comfortably broke that record, even if we adjust for inflation across the 20 years since. It is also the highest-grossing film about talking sausages, a title we anticipate it holding some time.