Sony Launches Super Serious Awards Campaign for ‘Sausage Party’
To date, only one R-rated animated film has ever been nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the Oscars: Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson’s acclaimed 2015 drama. If execs at Sony Pictures get their way, Sausage Party will become the second R-rated animated film to receive that honor — and according to Sony chief Tom Rothman, they may very well win.
I mean, stranger things have happened, but it seems incredibly unlikely that the Academy’s animation branch, described by THR as “a conservative bunch that gravitates toward old-fashioned animation and moralistic stories,” would deem Sausage Party worthy of a nomination. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s crass animated film about talking food items who experience an existential crisis was made for a modest $19 million and grossed $135 million at the global box office.
Sausage Party was certainly a hit, and though it impressed a fair amount of critics with its spoof of religious politics, it’s not nearly as cerebral as some seem to believe. On a technical level, the animation is far from exceptional or groundbreaking (unless you count a massive, graphic orgy featuring myriad food items engaged in every sexual position known to man). Still, in a statement that is totally not blatantly stroking the Academy’s ego, Rothman says:
Academy members are way smarter and more forward-thinking than people realize. They want to recognize bold, original, risky breakthroughs, and that’s what Sausage Party is, however subversive. Plus, it’s just plain cool.
Imagine, if you will, a room full of mostly older, mostly white Academy members in tuxedos, smirking slyly as animated sunglasses magically appear and slowly cover their eyes. The words “DEAL WITH IT” hover over them, flashing obnoxiously.
Yeah, not gonna happen.
But Sony is determined to make Sausage Party the first R-rated animated feature to win an Oscar, starting with a November 1 screening and cocktail reception. The guest list includes “members of the Academy’s short films and feature animation branch, members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (who determine Golden Globe nominees and winners), representatives of other guilds and press who cover the awards season.” The studio will also send out the customary screeners to the voting bodies of various awards associations, along with a copy of the film’s original song, “The Great Beyond,” which they hope will also earn a nomination.
The latter is a more plausible prospect, as Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut earned an Oscar nod for the original song “Blame Canada,” performed by Robin Williams at the Academy Awards telecast in 2000.