It is the first computer-animated film to be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America, as well as the third animated film to receive that rating, after South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007). The film's rough cut premiered on March 14, 2016 at South by Southwest, followed by its general theatrical release in the United States and Canada on August 12, 2016 by Sony Pictures Releasing.
The film received generally positive reviews from critics, who particularly praised its humor and screenplay. It grossed $140.7 million against a budget of $19 million and topped South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) and Aqua Teen Hunger Force Colon Movie Film for Theaters (2007) as the highest-grossing R-rated animated film of all time.
In a supermarket called Shopwell's, it is filled with anthropomorphic grocery items and the human shoppers are worshipped as gods who take groceries to the "Great Beyond" when they are purchased. Among the groceries in the store is a sausage named Frank, who has dreams of living with his hot dog bun girlfriend, Brenda, in the Great Beyond, where they can finally consummate their relationship. Frank lives in a package and looks forward to life in the Great Beyond.
After Frank and Brenda's packages are chosen to leave Shopwell's, a returned jar of Honey Mustard informs the disbelieving groceries that the Great Beyond is a lie. Honey Mustard calls on Frank to seek out a bottle of liquor named Firewater before committing suicide. This creates an accidental cart collision that causes several groceries, including Frank, to fall out.
Seeking to verify Honey Mustard's warning, Frank leads Brenda and a group of other groceries to the store's liquor aisle, pretending to take a shortcut to their proper aisles. There, he smokes marijuana and learns from Firewater that he and other non-perishable foods invented the story of the Great Beyond as a noble lie to assuage past foods' fears of being eaten by shoppers. Frank, vowing to reveal the truth to the groceries, is encouraged to travel beyond the store's freezer section to find proof.
Meanwhile, the rest of the purchased groceries are horrified to watch foods being cooked and eaten. A deformed sausage named Barry escapes and stumbles across a human drug addict, who becomes able to communicate with his groceries after he injects himself with bath salts. After sobering up, the drug addict attempts to toss Barry into a pot of boiling water but misses, leading to an accident that results in his decapitation.
After Frank separates from his friends who disapprove of his skepticism of the Great Beyond, he discovers a cookbook behind the freezer section and reveals its contents to the rest of Shopwell's groceries. However, they choose not to believe him, lest they lose their sense of purpose. Barry returns to the store with the drug addict's severed head, revealing that the humans can be killed. The groceries are able to drug the humans shoppers using toothpicks laced with bath salts. The foods initially attempt to communicate with the shoppers, but their plan backfires and a store-wide battle ensues. Once all the shoppers are killed, all the foods in the store partake in a massive orgy in celebration.
Later, the groceries are informed by Firewater and Gum that they have discovered that they do not exist and are merely cartoon characters, manipulated by human animators and voiced by celebrities in another dimension, including Seth Rogen and Edward Norton. Gum reveals a portal that he made that will allow them to travel to this dimension and the foods decide to go there to meet their creators.
Sound Effects Used
- CARTOON NETWORK CARTOON FALL SOUND/Hollywoodedge, Sky Rocket Loud High TE021701
- Hollywoodedge, Bird Hawk Single Scre PE020801
- Hollywoodedge, Crowd Reaction Shock PE142501
- Hollywoodedge, Lg Metal Wheel Creak CRT053701
- Hollywoodedge, Medium Exterior Crow PE140401
- Hollywoodedge, Medium Exterior Crow PE140501
- Hollywoodedge, Medium Exterior Crow PE141401
- Hollywoodedge, Screams 1 Woman Singl PE133501
- Sound Ideas, BOING, CARTOON - HOYT'S BOING
- Sound Ideas, CARTOON, BELL - SMALL BELL CHIME, SINGLE HIT, MUSIC, PERCUSSION, IDEA, ACCENT 02
- Sound Ideas, CARTOON, HIT - BIG ANVIL HIT
- Sound Ideas, CARTOON, WHISTLE - FALL WHISTLE, LONG
- Sound Ideas, EXTERIOR SHOTS, SPECIAL WEAPONS - .44 MAXI PUMA KAPOW WITH TRAIL
- Sound Ideas, HORSE - EXTERIOR: WHINNY, ANIMAL 01
- Sound Ideas, HUMAN, SCREAM - SCREAM: FEMALE, HORROR 01
- Sound Ideas, HUMAN, SCREAM - SCREAM: FEMALE, HORROR 02
- Sound Ideas, HUMAN, SCREAM - SCREAM: FEMALE, HORROR 03
- Sound Ideas, HUMAN, WHISTLE - CALLING WHISTLE 01
- Sound Ideas, SCREAM - FEMALE, SHORT, HUMAN, HORROR 01
- Sound Ideas, SPACE, ZAP - LARGE SPUTTERING ZAP, GUN
- Sound Ideas, STRETCH, CARTOON - RUBBER STRETCH, LONG
- Sound Ideas, SWISH, CARTOON - FAST TWIRLING SWISH, LONG
- Sound Ideas, THUMP, CARTOON - TUBE THUNK 01
- Sound Ideas, WHINE, CARTOON - SHELL SCREAMING WHINE DOWN
- Sound Ideas, ZIP, CARTOON - BIG WHISTLE ZING IN
- SONY DING
- Wilhelm Scream