The Secret Life of Pets (2016) Review

Verdict: Let down

Cute animation and voice acting, but Snowball was too much.


Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) waits by the door everyday as his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper) goes to work. One day, Katie comes home with a new friend, Duke (Eric Stonestreet) from the pound. While Duke and Max try to assert dominance with one another, they run into Snowball (Kevin Hart) who seems to have quite an organization going on. Noticing Max’s absence, Gidget (Jenny Slate) enlists the help of neighborhood pets, Tiberius (Albert Brooks), Chloe (Lake Bell), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Norman (Chris Renaud) an Pops (Dana Carvey) to search for him. Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.

I’m going to be honest, (not that I would be anything other than honest), the trailer is the best thing about this film. It shows all the best scenes, which depicts and deceives a different story. I would have definitely liked it more if the film was just about pets at home, rather than making it into an adventure.

The pets, for the most part, have fun characters. Max and Gidget, are for sure my favorite two. Max is the ever loyal [human’s] best friend, and Gidget has the most character out of all. Her persistence is admirable, and Slate does a great job with dialogue. On the other hand, the other group of pets – led by Snowball, was a bad choice for the film. When Snowball is introduced, it just brought the film down so much in my standards. I have nothing against Hart (he is a rather funny guy), but his voice and the character did not fit at all into the overall tone of the film. He is just so much more vulgar than a kids show should be, and his character was so obnoxious and loud, it made me cringe.

The animation itself is vibrant and colorful, which fit well with the characters. The scene settings had great detail, and the characters’ movements were smoothly done. Filmmakers definitely did their research (in which they may have just observed their pets), and it was great to see the little things that dogs and cats usually do. The way Max’s ears droop is so cute, and how Chloe plays with the toys around her reminds me of my cat. It was also fun how they contrasted the attitudes between cats and dogs.

As I said, the main issue I have with this film is the character of Snowball, and how typical the plot is. Everything else was enjoyable and cute to watch. It was just a disappointment to watch a film that promised to show what pets do at home when they’re alone, but didn’t deliver. Would have liked to see more of that, and more of the owners too.

To sum-up:
PROS: Animation, Max and Gidget, cute
CONS: Snowball – too vulgar, meh plot

I give this a 6/10.

Have you seen The Secret Life of Pets? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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