The Secret Life Of Pets (2016)
Directed by Chris Renaud & Yarrow Cheney
Starring: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks
Production company: Illumination Entertainment
Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
A terrier named Max’s quiet life is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray, who Max instantly dislikes.
Ah, Illumination Entertainment… They gave us the Despicable Me movies (love those!) and Hop (awful!). Oh, and The Lorax (meh) and Minions (disappointing movie but Minions are one of my favorite cinematic creations so I can’t complain too much). Luckily, The Secret Life Of Pets is closer to Despicable Me than Hop. I thought it was fun & think I actually enjoyed it even more than my kid did. It will never be a personal favorite of mine the way Pixar movies and Despicable Me are, but it’s nice to go to an animated kids’ film that I can get some enjoyment out of too. I’m so selfish… 😉
The Secret Life Of Pets starts out really strong with our main character (a dog named Max) and the owner he adores. We then meet his friends: the neighbor pets who are all left home alone each day when their owners head off to work. We see the pets interact & watch how they keep themselves and each other entertained all day. These scenes were cute with some genuinely funny moments & they really could’ve stayed within this one building for the entirety of the movie and it would’ve been great. Unfortunately, it all goes a little too over-the-top once they leave the building & the story gets more complicated. I think the simplicity of the first half of the movie worked much better.
The second half was still fun, though. This movie has LOADS of characters, which kind of takes away from our main set of pets from Max’s neighborhood. But I suppose it also means that every kid will easily have a couple of favorites as there are so many different types of animals & personalities going on. My kid loved Gidget. Not sure who my favorite was… I liked Gidget as well as Max & Pops (an old dog with wheels voiced by Dana Carvey).
I have to say that one bit with the “bad guys” (previous pets abandoned by their owners) & a big viper is a bit intense for the very young. My 7-year-old didn’t like this part & she’s not one to really get too scared by movies. So bear that in mind if you’re wondering if it’s suitable for a toddler (I’d say it’s not).
I was surprised that my kid said the movie was “just okay” afterwards & that she preferred Zootropolis. Zootropolis really rubbed me the wrong way by being far too preachy (I bitched about that HERE). I don’t mind messages in kids’ films but don’t like when they’re forced down our throats. Plus, I just found that movie really boring. The Secret Life Of Pets is a straightforward animated kids’ movie with funny characters, some good laughs & no preaching (Although I suppose you could say there’s sort of a message to not discard your pets). Unlike Zootropolis, I thought it was funny and had far more memorable characters. But, hey – the kid liked it less so what do I know?? I was just happy to watch a decent kids’ movie that didn’t bore me to tears or annoy me. It’s a fun popcorn movie that was more enjoyable than I was expecting but certainly not a timeless classic like many Pixar & Disney movies. But very few movies are as good as those, right?
My Rating: 7/10
If you’re curious, this is how I’d rank the cinema movies I’ve seen with my kid in 2016. It’s summer vacation now so I’m kind of stuck seeing only kids’ films now until September. Oh well – at least I’ll finally be seeing Finding Dory this weekend. Can’t wait!!!
My 2016 Kids’ Movies – Best To Worst:
– Kung Fu Panda 3
– The Secret Life Of Pets
– The Jungle Book
My Kid’s Best To Worst Order As I Suppose Her Opinion Is More Important: 😉
– Pan (went with her father – she loved it)
– TIE: Kung Fu Panda 3 & Zootropolis
– The Secret Life Of Pets
– The Jungle Book
no desire to see this one… 😦
Your life will still be complete if you never see this ; )
Took the kids to see The Secret Life of Pets this weekend and we all enjoyed it. I had somewhat low expectations based on the modestly positive reviews and was pleasantly surprised. I haven’t yet seen Zootopia (as it is called here in the States), but I have heard nothing but good things about it. You are literally the first person I have seen say something negative about that movie. I’ll throw out there that I love The Lorax. Very funny, catchy tunes and a message I can get behind. As for SLoP, I agree it’s a decent animated movie adults won’t regret watching once.
Yeah, I suppose I enjoyed The Secret Life Of Pets since I went in with low expectations as well. : ) I’m the only one I’ve seen be negative about Zootopia too… Lol. I should watch The Lorax again sometime. I just remember Hop being awful! : )
Looks cute! I think this will be a rental for me. 🙂
Yeah, it’s pretty cute. And had plenty of funny moments too. I don’t think it’s one anyone needs to go to but it’s a renter. : )
My kids never went in for these kind of movies. Maybe that’s because they were raised on The Three Stooges
Lol. Well, yeah – I suppose that’s quite a different type of thing. I don’t think my kid likes slapstick much. I tried her on Home Alone & she really didn’t like it! : (
Great review! The trailer looked cute, but I felt it would probably be a straightforward kid movie. and seems it was!
Thanks, Natasha! : ) It is but it still had funny moments & is one that adults won’t “hate”, at least. It’s no Pixar! But it’s an okay kids’ movie. : )
Still need to see this!
Well, it was better than I was expecting but it’s one you can really wait to see at home. : )
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Glad you enjoyed this one well enough. Saw the trailer and (shocker) was not interested. You know me and animations…
Haha! Yeah, I know you don’t like to watch these things too often. I have to say you’ll be perfectly fine skipping this one – there are plenty of better ones out there. : )
The first bit was so awesome. Shame it all got a bit far fetched (no pun intended)
Agreed! I wish they’d just stayed in that apartment building. : )
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I actually really wanted to see this one but we’re not exactly cinema friendly at the moment.
Well, you’ll be seeing plenty of things like this by the time the kid is 2 or 3… ; ) Seriously, though – I obviously love movies & so does my hubby so we really didn’t want to miss out on them once we had a kid. We don’t really have anyone who can babysit so we often take turns going to a movie. We call it a “switcheroo”. Usually one will take the kid to a kid movie while the other goes to a grown-up movie at the same time. Then we switch. The other one does something else with the kid. Or the other one just goes to the grown-up movie another time. : )
I wanted to see this but I missed it. It sounds much different than what I saw advertised in the trailers. I also don’t like preachy films. In fact, I’m probably one of the few people who has only seen Fern Gully one time and doesn’t love it. I was in either Jr high or high school when it came out at really liked it until it got preachy on me. Blah.
This was okay but meh. It’s probably gone down a little in my estimation since my review. I DO hate preachy, though, so at least this one isn’t like that! : )
And the only thing I liked about Fern Gully was the link to Slater & Mathis also being in Pump Up The Volume. ; ) LOVE THAT FILM.