(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
The Secret Life of Pets is a cool and fun family film, but the great animation isn’t enough for the thin and, not in a good way, crazy story!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Going into this movie I expected a creative story idea that looks to be funny and fun.
What I Like: Director Chris Renaud creates a cool animated of version of New York City today. He captures the essence of the city through the eyes of pets and the unique attitude of New York City. The voice acting in this movie was superb starting with Louis C. K. as Max who is forced to live with a new dog named Duke, played by Eric Stonestreet. The relationship between these two dogs started with awkwardness and tension but by the end turned into a friendship. It’s a god model for us humans who have problems when meeting new acquaintances. I enjoyed Kevin Hart as Snowball the Bunny turns a cute animal into a maniacal animal leading a street gang of animals. The other character I really enjoyed was Pops, a half paralyzed dog that lead the way for the rest of the pets to find Max and Duke. Shows that no matter what disability you have, you can still be of tremendous help. The premise of this story was very creative and thought provoking with a great Toy Story like version of what pets do when their masters are gone. At times it was emotional, and what really got to me was the end when all the masters come home to their pets and having a special reunion at the end of the day. The one that made me laugh is that a big buff looking guy is the one with the pet parakeet (for some reason he can’t speak). It just shows the irony of the types of pets people can have. The comedy and soundtrack was appropriate for the whole family to enjoy.
The So So: They had a moment where they could’ve captured another big emotional moment where Max was helping Duke to find his old master before he accidentally ran away. When they get there, they find out that his old master has passed away. That could’ve been a great Up-like moment of sadness, but instead they undercut it with another chase scene with animal control. I thought it was a missed opportunity to give you that emotional impact, especially since the subplot had substance to it.
What I Didn’t Like: The story was a little thin and rushed. Everything was fast paced so that it didn’t really give us time to breathe and soak in what happened. Once you catch a half a breath, you’re running again with some action scenes. This movie also suffered the outrageous craziness like the third act in Finding Dory. Except this film was crazier and out of touch with reality. I mean how many cars and buses these pets can steal and destroy without being caught, let alone survive. I’m sure if people see alligators in the streets of New York, one pedestrian will go crazy once they see it. The fact that alligators were in a movie about pets seemed to dumb to me as well. Also, the fact that all this craziness happened in a span of an estimated 8 hours seemed very farfetched to me. Also, most of the funny parts were spoiled in the trailer which i hate when that happens.
Overall: This is a great animated movie for the whole family. Kids and adults will not get bored. Yes the story is too crazy, thin, and rushed, but it is still a decent watch. The creativity can be appreciated, and as the old saying goes, “It is the thought that counts!!!”
Rating: 3.5 Stars