Review | The Secret Life Of Pets | Spoiler Free!

Ever since The Secret Life Of Pets by Illumination Entertainment studios was announced, I was so excited to see this movie! The trailer featuring pets getting up to all sorts of crazy antics was a great selling point for getting children and adults alike. However, it actually didn’t give away much of what the main story plot is about, keeping us in a little suspense…

Max (voiced by Lewis C.K.) is a spoilt terrier who has lived his whole life in a New York apartment building with his beloved owner Katie. However, the tables soon turn when Katie comes home from work one day with a new “brother” for Max in the form of a giant stray dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Max quickly becomes jealous of Duke and sets out to get Duke into trouble with Katie in various ways. Hurt by his, Duke runs away with Max in tow whilst out on a walk, and what ensues is a whirlwind adventure that sees the duo confronted by wiry alley cats, caught by the dog pound, and rescued by a maniac bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), who, along with his own sewer gang, plans to take revenge on all human beings. Max’s friends Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), Mel the bulldog (Bobby Moynihan), Buddy the Dachshund (Hannibal Buress), Chloe the obese cat (Lake Bell) and a little bird named Sweet Pea set out on a journey to find Max and Duke, and bring them home.

I’ll be honest; I’m not a massive fan of the Despicable Me/Minions movies previously created by Illumination Entertainment, so for me, The Secret Life Of Pets was an improvement. It does have some brilliant laugh-out-loud humour that can be enjoyed by all ages and the soundtrack contained some awesome songs. The animation itself could not be faulted, each character is animated gorgeously and there are clear distinctions between the many different breeds portrayed in the film. Character wise, Max and Duke are both lovable leads, and Gidget is one tough cookie who kicks butt while still being adorable. My personal favourites were cool cat Chloe, who’s sarcastic one-liners stole the show, and psychopath Snowball, because, let’s be honest; who doesn’t love a cute, comically evil bunny?

However; I found the plot to be very much a recycled version of Pixar’s Toy Story. Just replace the toys with pets, and the story follows pretty much the same; two opposite personalities forced to live together, both go missing and have their friends search for them, and over the course of the movie’s various perilous situations, the two grow to appreciate each other’s differences and become friends. Then there is also the obvious “what your toys/pets get up to when you’re not home” plot device too…

Of course, as a huge fan of Toy Story myself, this doesn’t have to be a bad thing; it’s a story that has proven to work incredibly well, and let’s not forget Toy Story is 20 years old, so it’s good to have something similar for a new generation of children. There is a few differences that sets the two stories apart, so while I’ve made the comparison, you don’t have to go into the cinema expecting to see a scene by scene retelling. At the end of the day, if you’re a lover of all pets cute, cuddly, or even scaly, The Secret Life Of Pets is worthwhile guaranteed to make you laugh and smile.

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Author: Mandy Jean

My name is Mandy Jean, I’m 23, and I’m probably likely to be in the top 5 of the most nerdy people you’ll ever meet (I’ve been personally informed of this on more than one occasion). I’m also obsessed with Disney movies, an avid comic reader and pastel colours are my Kryptonite. When I’m not blogging, I’m a cosplayer under the name Enchanted Rose Cosplay, and have been working part-time as a pro make-up artist for 7 years. Oh, I also enjoy sketching in my downtime and chilling with my dogs, Maggie May and Minnie Bow.

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