Details: Released in 2016. Stars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart. About an hour and a half long.
The Secret Life of Pets is an animated children’s film that centers on talking pets who are left at home when their owners go to work. The premise is this: Max, a terrier, does not get along with Duke, the new dog his owner has adopted. The two get into trouble, lose their way home, and must learn to get along if they are to find their way back.
It’s a simple premise. If you are a child or the type that just likes watching cute, animated animals talk, then you’re probably going to like this movie. For the rest of us, there are a few things to enjoy.
The plot is paper thin, as most of these animated talking animal movies are. Fortunately, the cast is pretty great. The cast is filled with actors and comedians known for their existing personalities which come through in the movie. You have Louis C.K. who essentially plays a terrier with Louis C.K.’s personality. Also extremely noticeable are Jenny Slate and Kevin Hart, who both were actually funny by virtue of their comedic personas. If you like these comedians and their comedic stand up performances, you may like the movie.
Also worth mentioning is the orchestrated soundtrack. I was surprised by how many recognizable New York-y melodies were woven into the music. It definitely helps to create this big city, New York vibe that the film somewhat tries to convey. The melody that surprised me the most was a short bit from West Side Story. I think there are lots of little musical inclusions like that (even thought I couldn’t identify them all) and it’s fun trying to pick them out.
Overall, an okay kids film which has something for adults who are fans of the cast’s comedy.