There’s an age-old question that could be suggested throughout time, “What do our pets do when we’re not around at home”? Many thoughts could be surrounded in it’s played out in The Secret Life of Pets. Illumination Entertainment, the same company from the Despicable Me franchise, takes the idea of what pets do on a daily basis when their owners aren’t around.
Following on Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) who lives a carefree life with his owner, a new dog Duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet) is now his brother and must adjust to having another dog in his space. After a few mishaps of sorts, they become lost in the city and must find their way home.
This sounded like a pretty good idea at first because it should take on lots of things about what pets do all day. As it stands, it didn’t succeed. If you watched the first trailer, the first 5 minutes is basically that. They should’ve explored that aspect more so there could be more humor thrown in the 86-minute feature. So when they go on this adventure, it wasn’t that exciting because of one of those stories that have been played out before.
There weren’t many scenes that were funny or even gut-busting hilarious. The positive highlights were the animation was really good. The texture on the pets wasn’t that bad and it makes for good looking pets of all kinds. And this has a very good talented comedic cast here. You got Louis C.K., who always funny and Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet. Both of them did have good comedic timing here and there. Kevin Hart as Snowball, the lunatic bunny, didn’t do anything for me and after a while, he just became annoying. Just proves that Hart isn’t that funny. But the talents of Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Dana Carvey, etc were good in their roles for what they’re given.
With a premise like this, it could’ve been handled better. It had a good setup is it was trying to be like Max trying to get rid of Duke. But instead, it turns into the animal version of Toy Story. It follows the same beats and the predictability of it all didn’t really save it for being all that memorable.
This is one of those movies that really geared to kids and they will really enjoy it and not meant for adults. For a kids film that surprisingly original as it can get, it’s just okay in the end. This could also be really good to animal lovers out there. There’re better animations out that are much better than this.
Though it’s beautifully animated and a good talented cast involved, The Secret Life of Pets was just fine for a predictable family film overall.