The Secret Life of Pets explores the idea of just what pets do when humans leave them alone and it's wild. The story follows a key selection of pets including the recently no longer alone Max (Louis C.K.) and his new roomate, fluffy dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The two immediately butt dog heads and a skirmish in the park ends with them being out on the streets. To the side of this the rest of Max's close friends lead by Gidget (Jenny Slate) the neighbor dog that fancies Max decide to go after him. This portion included some entertaining recruitment and a larger look at what many other pets are doing in their day to day activities. The final group involved in the story is a hardened gang of flushed pets is led by the well performed bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart). Each of these groups sets out on their own journeys with a number of clashes over the course of film. This was mostly through very humorous scenes and comedic moments that hit their mark. This was even further apparent with the laugh of the audiences and I did find many of the characters to be quite funny. It's also a warm hearted story about the pets making their way yet it never really drives to be anything unique from other films aimed towards the younger audience.
The voice acting was well done for the characters with all the voices matching their respective animals well and with full emotion. The animation for the film was also absolutely beautiful as I don't watch animated films as much these days and it certainly amazed me. The city of New York was particularly glorious as they opened with a wide shot of the entire city and many other city shots over the course of the film. The animals also looked great with a wide variety of pets covered that should make everyone feel included in the film and they were each given their own quirky looks. The main cast of pets was really well captured and they did a great job at finding a range of pets to work with that brought their own traits into use.
The Secret Life of Pets was a great film that explored a comedic side of how pets spend their time away from humans. It had all the funny little things that certain animals do and captured the wild side as well. It also did a great job of humanizing the pets as well giving them a good set of human traits for extra laughs. The film didn't really explore any new territory for its narrative being somewhat predictable, but the journey was enjoyable and the cast hit the comedic notes well. This will be a particularly great film for the younger audience in attendance as they children loved the screening and for adults there's also good laughs to be had as well with a number of well snuck in references.
Review for The Secret Life of Pets at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by NBC Universal