Posted on Monday, August 15th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
The final numbers for this past weekend’s box office aren’t in yet, but it looks like Sausage Party will have raked in just over $33 million. That’s an impressive debut for an R-rated animated comedy, especially opening up against the second weekend of blockbuster like Suicide Squad. It appears audiences were interested in something that was truly original and went against the grain of what’s been playing on most screens all summer.
Now a new Sausage Party featurette dives into one of the most important elements of the movie, though it’s not a piece you’d immediately recognize as being integral to a movie like this. Since Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg aren’t animators, it should come as no surprise that they brought in experienced animation directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan to helm the feature. But what’s truly surprising is they got Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, best known for his work on The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, to compose the score and the opening musical number in the grocery store. The filmmakers and composer talk about their approach to the score in a new Sausage Party featurette.
Here’s the Sausage Party featurette on the film’s score from The Hollywood Reporter:
As they discuss in the featurette, the approach to the score was to make the music as serious as possible. For a movie that is so ridiculous in the first place, you want to have music that keeps it as grounded as possible, at least in the world where the story takes place. But there was still a comedic influence as Alan Menken was teamed up with composer Chris Lennertz (Horrible Bosses, Ride Along, Identity Thief) to craft the score.
The result is a score that adds some surprising emotion and drama to a movie that you wouldn’t think needs that kind of power from the music. As Seth Rogen says in the featurette, “That’s a big part of the movie that I think people are shocked by: that there’s actually some emotion to it and I think the music really bolsters that.”
While it might be surprising to some that a composer like Alan Menken would take on a project like Sausage Party, he admits that he’s “actually a very R-rated person.” So maybe Menken has just been patiently waiting for someone to make a raunchy movie that he could provide the score for.
Of course, where Alan Menken really cuts loose is the opening musical number where the foods of Shopwells grocery store sing about how much they love the gods who come into the store to take them to The Great Beyond. If you haven’t seen the movie, it’s a funny but also very well-crafted musical sequence. It’s better if you see it yourself, but if you want to hear the song by itself, here you go:
Yes, the man who composed all the gorgeous songs for The Little Mermaid and Aladdin created this song with Glenn Slater (Tangled) where the food talks about being squeezed out of butts. It’s a miracle that Sausage Party even exists in the first place, but the fact that Alan Menken worked on the movie and wrote something like “The Great Beyond” is yet another amazing achievement.
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