Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of lost pets determined to take revenge
Fast-paced and Funny! Lots of Laughs and action ….. The good guys always win! ….. This out does Disney by far Not too scary for kids, scenes move and change fast, so their little minds don’t really grasp the couple of sad parts …..Attention is fixed on their Brooklyn adventure underground .. Great voice-overs, each character comes through as an individual, so you can pick your favorite “PAL”… Our theater was full of laughter almost all the way through … except when the kids were cheering for the pets as they managed to outsmart Animal Control .. It’s always fun when a rag-tag group of mis-fits out smarts the bad guys..Most of the pets are available through local toy stores with the exception of “Tatoo” the pig … why he is not included seems to be an oversight on the part of the studio.. Not that he had a major role but nonetheless he was still an intregal part to the plot No matter which your favorite pet is in the movie, it was well written and deserves to be seen by all
Inside of a Manhattan apartment building, a terrier named Max (Louis C.K.) lives a pampered life with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) and hangs out with other pets like Chloe (Lake Bell), Mel (Bobby Moynihan), Buddy (Hannibal Buress), and Sweet Pea (Tara Strong). One day, Katie adopts a large, sloppy, hairy dog called Duke (Eric Stonestreet) from the pound. Max gets jealous when Katie pays more attention to Duke. Annoyed with Max’s condescending attitude, Duke tricks Max into traveling far into the city, where they are attacked by a gang of cats, including Ozone (Steve Coogan). The cats remove Max and Duke’s collars, causing them to both be caught by Animal Control. Duke fears that he will now be put down if he ends up back at the pound. They are rescued by a white rabbit called Snowball (Kevin Hart), who Max and Duke convince that they are vicious, abandoned pets.
Snowball brings Max and Duke into the sewers where they meet his cult of abandoned or mistreated animals called “The Flushed Pets,” who despise humans. Believing that Max and Duke hate humans, they invite them to join the group. They go through an initiation which involves being bitten by a one-fanged viper. Max and Duke kill the snake and Snowball finds out they’re domesticated; the Flushed Pets chase them out and Max and Duke escape to the Brooklyn harbor. Snowball vows to kill them for lying, and sets off to find them.
When Gidget (Jenny Slate), a white Pomeranian who has a crush on Max, finds out that he is missing, she recruits a savage red-tailed hawk called Tiberius (Albert Brooks) to help look for him. After being interrogated by the pair, Ozone directs them to the sewer. Gidget, Mel, Buddy, Chloe, Norman (Chris Renaud), Sweet Pea, and Tiberius trek across the harsh metropolitan environment in search of Max and Duke, with help from a paralyzed elderly Basset Hound called Pops (Dana Carvey). The group encounters Snowball, who vows to kill them as well. They escape, but Norman is later captured.
Having worked together to escape from their misadventures with Animal Control and Snowball’s Flushed Pets, Max and Duke begin to see a more positive side to each other’s company. They raid a sausage factory, indulging in large amounts of sausage, and Duke opens up to Max about a previous owner of his named Fred, who lived in Brooklyn. Fred had adopted Duke as a puppy and raised him lovingly, but one day when he ran outside the house to chase after something, he became lost and was taken by Animal Control, and Fred seemingly never came for him. Although Duke isn’t sure about whether or not Fred would want to see him again, Max convinces him that Fred would rejoice upon seeing him again and convinces Duke to set out in search of his former owner. They arrive at the right house, only to find out from a cat living there that Fred has died after Duke left. Morose and hurt, Duke accuses Max of trying to get rid of him and barks at the new owners of the house, who report him as a stray. Once again he is caught by Animal Control, while helping prevent Max from the same fate.
Max follows the truck, planning to rescue Duke, but he is pursued by Snowball and some of his Flushed Pets. When Snowball’s henchmen are subsequently also taken by the Animal Control as a result of the pursuit, Max and Snowball join forces to rescue their respective cronies. They chase down the Animal Control truck using a city bus, crashing it on the Brooklyn Bridge and stopping traffic. More of Snowball’s gang appear and, unaware of Max and Snowball’s new alliance, they try to kill Max on the Brooklyn Bridge until Gidget and the others save him. The truck starts to slide off the bridge; Snowball’s captured Flushed Pets escape, but the truck falls into the East River with Duke and Max inside. Max tries to unlock Duke’s cage, but the keys float away. Snowball jumps off the bridge into the water and brings Max the spare keys. Max rescues Duke and they get back to the surface, as the truck sinks to the bottom.
Using a taxi, all of the pets go back to the apartment district. Max displays his admiration for Gidget, who returns his feelings. Snowball reluctantly allows himself to be adopted by a little girl and the other Flushed Pets return to the sewers. The other pets return to and embrace their owners when they return and Max and Duke finally reunite with Katie, sparking a new friendship.
In a mid-credit scene, Snowball invites Mel and Buddy (dressed as a Minion from Despicable Me and a Barbaloot from The Lorax, respectively) to a party hosted by a rock obsessed poodle named Leonard. However, it is immediately interrupted when Leonard’s owner shows up. Although Leonard attempts to cover it up completely in presence of his owner, a chandelier crashes on the floor with one of the Flushed Pets, Tattoo, who had attended the party and attempted to hide in it.
I saw the trailer for this movie last Summer and the first thing I said was “I have to go see this movie.” So, needless to say I’ve been looking forward to this film since last summer and I had very high expectations for it. I am pleased to say it went above and beyond and met these expectations, I absolutely adored this movie and would recommend it to anybody of any age.
First things first is starting from the beginning and the introduction of the characters and I thought Illumination Entertainment did a fantastic job in presenting each individual. As an audience we knew after the first ten minutes who each character was, their relationships with each other, and the individual personalities. For an animation film I was really pleased with this because you normally don’t get that character depth in the beginning and sometimes you never get it in the film. As the story went on the characters developed at an individual level as well as a relationship level with others which added to the plot line drastically. Not to mention the actors and actresses who portrayed each character were spot on with the voices.
However, the icing on the cake for the entire film for me was the soundtrack. The soundtrack is very important because it not only sets the pace for the film on screen but it also changes your emotions and tells you when you need to be sad, scared, happy, etc. That is exactly what this soundtrack did and it pleased me because without that human interaction happening on the screen, because it was animated, the music filled that gap and allowed your emotions to change.
One problem I did have with the movie, and this was more towards the end, was the humor. The humor made me laugh in the beginning quite a bit but by the end of the movie the humor was starting to become more outrageous. Almost as if they were trying to hard to make it funny. Now even though this humor was changing a bit as the film went on it was not enough for me not to suggest seeing this movie for its laugh value.
Overall, if you have a family, kids, husband, or just want to see this movie with friends I would definitely recommend. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry a little bit, but most importantly you will leave the theater happy.
When well-developed setups lead to brilliantly executed gags, throw in some adorable house pets and endearing street animals and you get Universal Pictures and Illumination Entertainment’s answer to what toys do when the owners aren’t around, The Secret Life of Pets. More precisely, this movie could be described as Toy Story meets Oliver and Company meets Homeward Bound. Backed by an exquisitely talented cast of voice actors and excellent writing, The Secret Life of Pets could be what ushers Illumination Entertainment (an NBCU company) into the ring with Disney- Pixar. Prior to this movie, Illumination/Universal certainly created some fantastic animated films including The Lorax, Despicable Me, and others; but this film is the first to really be on par with the Disney-Pixar quality that many of us have come to love and expect. Fast-paced and comedically timed very well, this movie is sure to entertain and warm the hearts of anyone who sits down to watch it. Is it quite as endearing as Toy Story? Not exactly; but it is very close and serves as evidence that we should come to expect this quality and higher of animation from Universal/Illumination. Although the movie is marketed to kids and teenagers, there is certainly enough comedic subtext, easter eggs, and nods to films that adults will greatly appreciate as well. One of my personal favorites is in the Millions short film before the feature. One of the minions is wearing a hat that states “let it grow” while he’s cutting the grass.
When Max (Louis C.K.), a spoiled terrier living in a New York City apartment building with a beautiful view meets his new roommate, his perfect world is rocked. New roommate Duke (Eric Stonestreet), a giant rambunctious dog, mixes as well with Max as oil does with water. They are complete opposites in nearly every way. Max soon gets the idea to set Duke up for failure by sabotaging the house. Unfortunately that idea backfires and just serves to stoke the fire of animosity. After a prank in the park takes a turn for the worst, both Max and Duke are lost in the seedy underbelly of New York City.
The Secret Life of Pets’ success is in-part due to the successful setup and payoff of gags. This can be a dangerous platform on which to build an animated comedy because there is a high risk of the narrative primarily resting upon the gags instead of the gags enhancing the diegesis. Fortunately for audiences, this film successfully pairs a well-developed and paced narrative that will keep your attention and deliver laughs for the entire runtime. Sometimes comedies, whether animated or live action, can spend too much time in the development of gags rather than on the visual storytelling. For instance, some movies write the gags first and then try to integrate a story that attempts to tie all of them together. What I appreciate about The Secret Life of Pets is the strong story inclusive of sight gags and double entendre humor to satisfy a diverse audience from different backgrounds and ages. In addition to the writing, the vocal talents are also instrumental in the success of this animated feature. Leading the “pack” are of course comedians Louis C.K. and Kevin Hart, but the entire cast is perfectly pairs with his or her animated persona. For the cat lovers out there (and yes, I am one of them), there are deftly come good comedic jabs at dogs. But the dogs also get in some good ones on the cats. Haha.
The setting of the movie is New York City, or an idealistic surreal New York City slightly augmented to fit the pacing, genre, and feeling of the film. I’d like to know what job Katie has to be able to live by herself in an apartment with such a beautiful view. But I suppose it’s just as well that we don’t since the focus is on the dogs. On the view from the apartment, though. Much like the view from Frasier’s upscale urban trend-setting apartment in Seattle faced a view of the Seattle skyline that doesn’t actually exist, unless you are looking at downtown from the surrounding mountains and hills, I am not entirely sure the view from Katie’s Manhattan apartment exists either. The view of the city seen from Frasier’s apartment was selected in order for the Space Needle to have a prominent placement in the skyline. In the same vein, I believe that the unrealistic view from Katie’s apartment was selected in order for the Freedom Tower to have a strong presence. I know, I am analyzing an element that doesn’t really have an affect upon the film; but since the film is actually very well done, I thought it would be fun to look at the setting of the movie.
Although I can almost guarantee you that his film won’t see an Oscar nom in the animated feature category, much less a win, since the Academy believes that only Pixar can create Oscar-worthy animated films, I find The Secret Life of Pets to be a fantastic animated feature filled with action, adventure, comedy, and some touching moments as well. All around, it is enjoyable for the whole family and will cause many owners to wonder what their pet does while he or she is away at work. One of my favorite parts of the movie is the musical sequence at the sausage factory. So much symbolism to discuss. Haha. So, yes. This movie even includes a musical number worthy of–I am sure–many memes to come over the next few months.