We all grew up with talking animal movies. The genre has been a staple of children’s movies since people learned how to train a dog to sit and stare at a camera, and it eventually culminated (though did not end) with the Disney classics Homeward Bound and Babe. Really, there’s little more that can be done with the genre. But wait! What if the animal said bad words and did drugs? What if it was like all those kids movies, but you know, the dogs dropped the F-bomb a lot? The red band (NSFW) trailer for Strays, featuring the voices of Will Ferrell and Jamie Foxx, answers that question.
In Strays a dog named Reggie (Ferrell) has a terrible owner named Doug (Will Forte), who tries to get rid of him repeatedly but can’t until he drops him off in the middle of a city. There Reggie meets a collection of stray dogs including Bug (Foxx), who tells him he’s now a stray and he should start living the good life. However, Reggie wants revenge, so the motley crew of dogs heads to his home to bite Doug’s penis off and teach him a lesson. Cussing, drinking, shrooming, and a whole host of other things not normally found in a talking animal movie ensue.
With its trailer, Strays easily draws comparisons to Sausage Party, Seth Rogen’s 2016 animated film that attempted to adultize the talking food genre by cursing a lot and making sexual jokes about hot dogs looking like penises. That one didn’t turn out too well, and making something more adult simply by cussing and having everyone get high is a recipe for an unfunny movie. However, there is some hope that Strays can find the right balance. Ferrell, for one, is a master of blending adult humor and childhood wonder. The film is also directed by Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar‘s Josh Greenbaum and was written by Dan Perrault (Players, American Vandal). Those are two folks with strong comedy records, so maybe they’ll deliver.
The movie also stars Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast), Harvey Guillén (Puss in Boots: The Last Wish), Emmy nominee Rob Riggle (The Hangover), Brett Gelman (Stranger Things), Jamie Demetriou (The Afterparty), and Emmy nominee Sofia Vergara (Modern Family). Strays will release in theaters on June 9.