Movie Review: The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

“The Secret Life of Pets” (2016)

Starring the Voices of:

Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, and more…

Directed by:
Chris Renaud

Distributed by:
Universe Pictures

87 minutes

PG Rating
Pet Movies
Talking Animals
Animated Feature

(From IMDB)

The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.

The cuteness! All the cuteness that is THIS movie. This movie is about well PETS, if you can’t get that from the title. Like the Synopsis section states this is about Max whose owner takes in another dog named Duke. Just like all animals they, at first, do not like each other at all. This leads to some hilarious situations, which one involves a rabbit from the wrong side of the tracks or under the tracks, however you wanna see it. 

It is hard to get me to laugh in a movie these days. I just am not much of a cryer or laugher for some reason. I did laugh a few times in this film, usually surrounding that rabbit that I just mentioned above. Also there is a rundown dog that helps the group. He got me to laugh a few times as well. Overall, I would say it was successful in the comedic aspects.

The animation is what one would expect from a CGI film made in our modern times (2016 is still modern times). My partner and I swore this was Dreamworks, but when we finished we discovered it was another company called “Illumination Entertainment.” This company has made some pretty successful other films as well, like the “Despicable Me” franchise and “Sing.” This film launched me into seeing “Despicable Me” 1 & 2 because my partner was shocked I had not seen them. 

The characters are well-thought out for a “kid’s movie” and there didn’t seem a lot of overlapping in that department. I appreciate an animated program that is smart enough to make sure that each character is their own distinct character from the others featured. I have had issues recently with characters that seem to be rather flat, but that is not a problem here. This made me appreciate what the writers of the film were able to accomplish and everyone else that pulled off their words. They created a believable world where pets have talking lives once we leave them alone at home. One of my favorite characters was the grey tabby (voiced by Lake Bell). The reactions and personality of the grey tabby made it plausible that she would be friends with this group of pets. Cats are a different kinda of special and anyone who has a cat knows exactly what I mean. This is portrayed correctly, in my opinion, with this character, so I found myself really loving her. My partner said my favorite character seemed to be Gidget, a pomeranian, and he would almost be correct, if it wasn’t for Chloe, the grey tabby. I loved a lot of what Gidget does in the film, so it would be an easy guess to think that I loved that character the most. She has some awesome moments and I found myself doing the woot woot! for her a few times. She just missed the mark by like .01% of a mark.

The plot is a bit predictable for an animal movie, but I found myself shrugging it off. Of course there is animal control in this film. There had to be. They are not featured as much as I thought they would and instead for a nice chunk of the film the villains are a little less what you would expect. I can tell you that this film felt short to me and it was because they kept it fresh throughout. Them making the main villain not what you would expect for a good chunk of the film really kept me engaged. The film is short in modern standards anyways, but still a badly done film can drag on regardless of runtime. Heck some 45 minute television shows that are horribly written feel like 3 hours of my life that I will never get back. I never got that from seeing into the secret life of these pets. It made me want more and with a possibility of a sequel being made that excites me. Definitely recommend sitting through this at least once.

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