'Sausage Party' Featurette: Seth Rogen and Alan Menken on the R-Rated Comedy's "Super Serious" Music

The composers resisted playing it for laughs when scoring the film.

Sausage Party, Sony Entertainment’s R-rated animated comedy, served up a strong $33.6 million at the box office this weekend. While the movie plays it for laughs, when it came to the score, co-composed by eight-time Oscar winner Alan Menken and Chris Lennertz, the film played it straight.

“Our approach was probably to go as serious as we possibly could to make the ridiculous actually ground itself,” says co-director Conrad Vernon, in this exclusive 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,” says Seth Rogen, who produced, co-wrote and voices a character in Sausage Party.

“We’re the bed on which all the comedy just sort of bounces off of,” Menken says.

As Menken and Lennertz viewed footage, they realized that “to try to make [the movie] more funny is the wrong thing to do. We should go super serious, and that’s how we ended up at Abbey Road” with a full orchestra, Lennertz says.

Sausage Party marks the first time Menken, best known for co-writing music for such G-rated Disney fare as The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast, has worked on an R-rated movie. 

“When I first started the project, I remember telling my daughters that I was doing a project, Sausage Party, and they looked at me and went ‘Dad? Sausage party?’ In real life, I’m actually a very R-rated person.” 

Menken also wrote the movie’s opening number, “The Great Beyond,” with Glenn Slater.