The Secret Life of Pets
The Secret Life of Pets is a 2016 American computer-animated comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. It is directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio. The film stars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate and Albert Brooks.
Max (Louis C.K.) is a spoiled terrier who enjoys a comfortable life in a New York building until his owner adopts Duke, a giant and unruly canine. During their walk outside, they encounter a group of ferocious alley cats and wind up in a truck that's bound for the pound. Luckily, a rebellious bunny named Snowball swoops in to save the doggy duo from captivity. In exchange, Snowball demands that Max and Duke join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the humans who've done them wrong.
- All the characters are really likable, funny, and interesting. Such as Max who's a relatable protagonist (even if he can come off as mean-spirited at times, but he still undergoes character development to make up for it) and Duke who has a sympathetic backstory of having accidently ran away from his previous owner and picked up by the pound before being adopted again by Katie.
- The songs are fantastic, including Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York" or Bill Withers "Lovely Day", which also is a good way to start and end the movie.
- Amazing animation, as to be expected from 2010s animated movies.
- The talented voice acting including Louis C.K. as Max, Jenny Slate as Gidget and Kevin Hart as Snowball.
- A huge amount of funny jokes, even some hilarious jokes.
- Splendid score by Alexander Desplat.
- Great dialogue. Such as "It's poo-poo with a dash of caca."
- Creative, talented, and smart writing.
- Really good plot about a pet becoming jealous of his roommate when his owner adopts a new pet only to end up stranded away from home with the new pet and going on a journey to find his way back home.
- This movie saved Dana Carvey's acting career after fourteen years.
- Great ending where Max and Duke return home and Max, finally having learned to get along with Duke, welcomes him to his home and as his brother.
- The scene where Gidget fights the Flushed Pets was pretty awesome.
- The main problem with the movie is that most of the plot rips off elements from Toy Story.
- False advertising: Lots of posters and merchandise show Max wearing his collar, but in the actual film, he only wore it at the beginning of the film and he loses it for the rest of this film until the second movie.
- Some product placement like YouTube.
- One part where Max says he wanted to kill Duke because he never wanted a brother, which was really mean-spirited of him.
- A few of the jokes are rather juvenile:
- There was one scene where Max twerks at Duke, in a Illumination movie for kids!
- There’s also an unnecessary and disgusting re-ocurring joke about Snowball defecating.
The Secret Life of Pets received generally positive reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 73% based on 230 reviews with an average rating of 6.27/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Fast-paced, funny, and blessed with a talented voice cast, The Secret Life of Pets offers a beautifully animated, cheerfully undemanding family-friendly diversion.". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 61 out of 100 based on 39 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
- Louis C.K., the actor who played Max, had been replaced by Patton Oswalt for the sequel because of C.K. admitting to sexual misconduct with women.