In The Secret Life of Pets, released last week, rival dogs Max and Duke, on the run after losing their collars and being separated from their owner, sneak into a Brooklyn sausage factory and eat to their hearts’ content. Their binge is interpreted as a dream sequence full of singing and dancing sausage links, set to Grease‘s “We Go Together” in a giant production number. (Co-director Chris Renaud has more to say about it here.) Of course it ends with Max and Duke chomping down on the wieners, even as the musical number continues. Yes, it’s reminiscent of the “Land of Chocolate” sequence from The Simpsons; Secret Life felt like it borrowed quite a few spare parts from other animated films, but that’s beside the point.
I hadn’t heard about this sequence or seen it in any of the advertising for The Secret Life of Pets, but it’s actually the first of three films scheduled for release this year that feature anthropomorphized hot dogs or sausages. Sausage Party, scheduled for an August 12 release, is an animated feature (story by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg) about a hot dog whose idyllic life in the grocery store comes to a horrifying end when he learns that the whole point of his (and his friends’) existence is to be eaten. From the trailer it looks to be a savage, raunchy twist on the Pixar “secret life of _______” formula, but no matter what, it definitely features a crew of talking hot dogs.
Then there’s Yoga Hosers (September 2), the latest from Clerks mastermind Kevin Smith, and the second installment of his planned “Canadian trilogy” after the gonzo body-horror movie Tusk. Although live action, Yoga Hosers looks to be cartoony in its own way, as it features a pair of convenience store cashiers (Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith) who confront an army of living Nazi bratwursts (“Bratzis,” of course). I’m not gonna lie: as dumb as this looks, it’s the kind of movie I would have loved when I was thirteen, and even now I appreciate a film that takes an absurd-on-its-face premise and runs with it. (At the very least, it’s a suitably weird follow-up to a movie about a mad scientist surgically transforming a man into a walrus.)
So what is the explanation for this coincidence? (Other than sausages being hilarious, I guess.) Paid product placement by Big Sausage (or, more likely, since all of these examples end up making meat-eating look kind of horrible, pro-vegetarian propaganda)? Synchronicity? A message from an alien race of talking wieners? I have no answers. All I know is that these three movies would make for one heck of a triple feature, or at least a very strange montage at the Academy Awards when all three films are inevitably nominated for Best Picture.
Did you notice the references on Nazi Germany in that Pets-scene?
Take a look: http://pets.pytalhost.de/wurstfabrik.htm
I’m personally going to take this with a large grain of salt, but I’ll leave the link for anyone else to make up their mind (if they read German). It’s noteworthy that Sausage Party (which I’ve now seen) also has some Nazi references (and Yoga Hosers obviously does), so there’s something else to connect these movies if you’re inclined to take this seriously.
In my experience there are not to much people, who are familiar with the idea, that a piece of art could possibly have a message, that isn’t visible at first sight. A dialogue about films rarely goes further than ‘I liked/didn’t liked it’ and ‘What was the name of the actor again?’. So when you allow yourself to try to analyse a film in order to finally interpret it, you barely find someone, who even allows you to speak about it in public (in the comment section on YouTube e.g.).
In the interview with Chris Renaud you linked he stated, that this scene was “a formative one for the rest of the film”. All the influences on the scene he lists (old version of Mickey Mouse with black eyes, Busby Berkeley, Esther Williams) go back to
the 30s and 40s of the last century – the time of fascism in Germany and Italy.
The song “We Go Together”, the second part of the scene is underlayed with, is the final song of the musical Grease.
In that musical you surprisingly can also find sublime Nazi references, which condense in the final carnival sequence.
You pointed out, that you don’t take this references seriously, so I guess, that you are not interested in talking about them.
By the way: In Grease there’s a animated sausage too:
My website has moved, so the actual link to my anaysis is: