British Columbia

Sausage Party, Hollywood's first CG-animated cartoon rated R, created in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Nitrogen Studios has taken on a fresh slice of adult comedy with Hollywood's first R-rated, CG cartoon feature.

Studio says it took on film after L.A. animators refused to take the risk on the new form of adult comedy

The new R-rated animated film Sausage Party was created and produced in Vancouver's Nitrogen Studios. (The Associated Press)

Vancouver's Nitrogen Studios has taken on a fresh slice of adult comedy with Hollywood's first R-rated, CG cartoon feature.

The studio says it took on Sausage Party, released in theatres Friday, after no L.A. animators were willing to take on the project.

Although it's a jump from the studio's regular animation of the classic children's show Thomas and Friends, Nitrogen owners Nicole Stinn and Greg Tiernan were excited to claim the R-rated animation.

"I think the time is right. I think audiences around the world are ready for this type of story … and we already saw that in the superhero genre with Deadpool," Tiernan said.

"Somebody had to be the first to do it and it's always better to be first than second."

Stinn and Tiernan say most animators jump at the chance to create something that isn't for kids.

"Once you get to know the adults that are behind lots of animation, it's really a dream for them to be able to express themselves in this way and break free from the traditional family fare," Stinn said.

Beyond shelf life

Characters in the film are voiced by an all-star cast, including Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, who play a group of hot dogs named Frank, Carl and Barry.

The concept of the story follows the characters as they fulfil their ultimate goal of leaving the shelves of the supermarket, but come to the graphic realization of the real purpose of their existence.

The hot dogs, tacos, bagels and buns all band together to fight back against the omnivorous consumers that brought them home.

"Even though there's swearing and there happens to be a food orgy in it, there's this element of everyone understanding each other's cultures and realizing how they're intolerable of each other," said Stinn.

"When [they] started out writing this movie, they were very conscious that they wanted to have this strong allegorical tale running right through, sort of the existentialism and what are we all doing here and different people's belief systems," added Tiernan.

Tiernan says he hopes the audience picks up on the underlying messages in the story and walk away with more questions about what lies beyond life on the shelf.

With files from the CBC's On The Coast.