Movies For Juniors – The Secret Life of Pets
Cinema: The Secret Life of Pets (2016)
Stay at home dog, Max, is very happy with his life. He loves his owner and is surrounded by an assortment of animal friends including an obese cat, a squirrel hating dog and an adrenaline junkie budgie. Max’s comfortable life is threatened when his owner brings home a boisterous stray dog called Duke who, (if you’ll excuse the pun), attempts to be top dog.
During a routine walk, Max and Duke are separated from the group and thrown into an adventure where they are pursued by dog wardens and a psychopathic bunny rabbit called Snowball. Will their friends save them and will they learn to work together instead of hating each other? Maybe the more relevant question is will you care?
The Secret Life of Pets is one of those animated movies that suffers from the problem that if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve pretty much seen the best bits of the film. It’s not a terrible movie but, it isn’t particularly memorable either and lacks the subtly and layered sophistication of recent Disney efforts like Zootropolis. The story reminded me a lot of Toy Story except just not as good. I suppose the fact that I’m thinking about other movies whilst I was watching it tells you exactly what I thought.
The Secret Life of Pets is made by the same people who created Minions and Despicable Me. I have to confess that I don’t get the whole thing around Minions and I actually fell asleep during their last movie.
The other thing that stood out for me was the voice acting. Again, it’s not terrible but there wasn’t one voice that made a lasting impression on me. Except for Kevin Hart that is, who voices Snowball the psycho rabbit. Unfortunately though it was for all the wrong reasons. If voice actors are capable of over acting then he definitely achieved it and his voice grated on me every time he was on screen.
I know it sounds like I’m really slating the movie but I did laugh at points and I appreciated the nods to Super Mario and The Fugitive. I think my daughter shared a similar opinion as she appeared to be restless during the course of the movie. The best analogy I can use to sum up The Secret Life of Pets is that it was like a Big Mac. You kind of enjoy it at the time but then shortly afterwards you’re left empty and wanting more.
Despite high hopes The Secret Life of Pets was a bit of a let down and ultimately, I don’t think we will be rewatching it anytime soon.