March 3, 2023

The Secret Life of Pets 2016 Movie Review


The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets is a 2016 American 3D computer animated comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. The film is directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. The Secret Life of Pets is scheduled to be released in the United States on July 8, 2016 by Universal Pictures.

The Secret Life of Pets 2016 Movie Review
The Secret Life of Pets 2016 Movie Review

The Secret Life of Pets feels especially manufactured, even by the pretty low standards of modern movies aimed at families, but specifically their six to 10 year old children. Their mutual contempt and jealousy eventually leads to them being separated from their dog-walker. And sent on an adventure into the sewers, streets, and rivers of New York. As they try to find their way home and learn a little more about each other along the way.

Any plot is mostly secondary, and Pets wisely follows in the footsteps of Illumination’s. It is equally manic Despicable me films by keeping the focus on the action and the jokes. Lessons are learned, enemies become friends, and it’s all kind of beside the point. The Secret Life of Pets is pitched as a fleet footed adventure. If the whole thing feels just a little bit disposable after a point, it’s still an enjoyable enough family film.

Like every modern family film, Pets has to slip in some jokes for the adults, most of which come through Kevin Hart’s precious rabbit Snowball, a perfect marriage of character and performer if ever a kid’s movie had one. Full of great moments, funny jokes, off-the-wall characters, and some beautiful imagery, The Secret Life of Pets is sure to amuse many filmgoers. It is, however, a movie that amuses in spite of itself.

It is a collection of funny scenes, but ones that don’t come together as well as they should. The movie is at its best not in the telling of the main chase, but in exploring what might actually be happening in our homes while we are away and in showing the dynamics between various types of animals. These elements though become secondary to a story that is unworthy of them.

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