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REVIEW: ‘Sausage Party’ may already be a wiener

August 19, 2016

“Sausage Party” is for all those kids who grew up on Disney cartoons and now want a little spice in their lives.

In other words, a raunchy cartoon.

More coherent than most comedies produced by Seth Rogen and his pals, “Sausage Party” suggests the food (both fresh and processed) have a life inside grocery stores. Frankfurters are in love with buns; bagels square off with lavash; tacos tempt everyone.

Opening with a big splashy production number – that extols the virtues of life on the outside – the film shows what happens when several get a look at “the great beyond.” Outside the grocery store walls, humans attack food with knives, boil the life out of seafood and dare to grill anything that looks vaguely red.

When one makes it back with the truth, the food items plot a coup.

It’s all very silly but intelligent in parts because someone has thought through the personalities. Oh sure, there are plenty of jokes about buns and wieners but to see how the creators have given each of the aisles a purpose is heartening.

The trouble comes when directors Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon give in to the obvious. There’s a douche (voiced by Nick Kroll) who goes for the obvious and an extended scene in the liquor aisle that should have been rethought but much of “Sausage Party” prompts the kind of laughs we haven’t heard since the first release of “Animal House.”

Rogen voices Frank, the leader of a pack of wieners who just wants to go home with Brenda (Kristen Wiig), a nearby bun. The two plot their journey (hoping to go home with a woman planning a Fourth of July barbecue), then realize there’s a bigger mission at hand when young Barry (Michael Cera) comes back with bad news.

Jonah Hill, James Franco, Bill Hader, Salma Hayek, Paul Rudd and Craig Robinson check in as various grocery items. But they’re really second bananas to Rogen, Wiig and Cera.

The best bit comes when Sammy, the bagel (voiced by Edward Norton), realizes how much he has in common with Lavash (David Krumholtz).

“Sausage Party” tries to operate on a higher level. Frequently, though, those frat boy jokes keep squeezing through. If it’s dirty – and it involves food – you can bet your taco it got in the film.

Ambitious, “Sausage Party” isn’t a film everyone will relish. But it does let animation catch up with a generation weaned on singing animals and dancing fruit.

In some aisles, it may already be a wiener.