The Secret Life of Pets is a sugary little movie that explores the daily lives of pets in New York while their owners are away. An adventurous, and beautifully crafted animated film that will get your local cat lady bouncing. Although the film lacks the kind of originality seen from its for-bearers (Despicable Me, & Despicable Me 2), it provided a lighthearted and immensely enjoyable story.
The broad range of pets possess unique and incredibly relatable characteristics whilst maintaining the animalistic traits that any pet owner enjoys. As we follow the story of Max (Louis C.K) and newly adopted brother “Duke” (Eric Stonestreet) in his adventures around New York, we are dragged through a melange of close shaves with a rabid anti-establishment rabbit (Kevin Hart) and his gang of flushed away pets. Including a Pig “Tattoo” (Michael Beattie), crocodile, and a number of other lost souls. These outrages interactions provide some humorous interludes as well as upping the ante and driving some excellent chases (the four legged and four wheeled type) through the NY streets and sewers – pets can’t drive that is established.
The running and chasing of Max and Duke is backed by another awkward ensemble led by a ferocious-ly love struck Pomeranian “Gidget” (Jenny Slate). As Gidget does her best to find Max and fulfil her lifelong dream of him noticing her, their adventures are just as, if not more, than the escapades of Max and Duke. The fiery little puffball leads a team of what often appear as unenthused and relatively uncaring group of friends; “Tiberius” the hawk, (Albert Brooks); old timer “Pops” an elderly basset hound (Dana Carvey); “Chloe” a lazy and self-absorbed cat (Lake Bell); “Buddy”, a sly dachshund (Hannibal Buress); “Mel” a distracted and often oblivious pug (Bobby Moyniham), and “Sweat Pea” the peppy little parakeet (Tara Strong).
With the movie ticking along with splashes of humour and just enough emotional energy to really allow the viewer to connect. The Secret Life of Pets offers a well-rounded and enjoyable watch. Something that I did enjoy was the trailers not providing any real insight as to what was going on. The movie was light, refreshing and definitely something your child, pet, man-child, or any adult with the heart of a kid, will enjoy. I give it 4 stars.
-Review by Leroy Clarke