By Sam Bussell
Who doesn’t love pets? They are the most precious creatures on this earth, and “The Secret Life of Pets” uses this to their full advantage. In Illumination Entertainments latest film, “The Secret life of Pets” follows the life of Max (Louis C.K) who has a special relationship with his human owner Katie ( played by Ellie Kamper) and lives a nice comfortable life. Until one day Katie decides to adopt a new dog named Duke (Eric Stonetreet). Now Max has to warm up to the fact of having a new roommate in the house. This of course doesn’t go as planned, and Duke tries to get rid of Max. However, this results in both of them getting adrift in the big city of New York. Now lost and with nothing but each other, Max and Duke must try to find their way back home, all the while becoming better friends. This film stars Lousie C.K, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan and Eric Stonestreet, and was directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney.
“The Secret Life of Pets” is the fifth feature length film to be produced by both Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures. This is another successful and fun film by both companies. The concept behind the story of the film is very original as well as being a very fresh take on the talking pets. The beginning of this film is a highlight as it shows the audiences what your pets could be doing when you leave your house for the day. It had me laughing for a good 10 minutes and the movie was just beginning. As the film plays out it does fall trap to the typical cliche plot line that we accustomed to seeing in pet films. But this doesn’t mean they have some fun along the way. While falling within a typical plot line the situations our protagonists find themselves are absolutely hysterical and fresh. The directors are able to keep the situations and laughs new and fresh and not allow any jokes to be old, boring and repetitive.
At a running time of an hour and thirty this film flew by fast. While it dos have the emotional weight as some other animated films do such as Pixar, “The Secret Life of Pets” is a fun family film for the summer time and will provide a fresh film after so many families have probably seen “Finding Dory” 4-5 times. The jokes are quick and funny and come at you like rapid fire. The cast is fantastic but the standout out of the whole cast is without a doubt Kevin Hart as the crazy but cute bunny Snowball. If Kevin Hart wanted to stop acting in feature length films and just wanted to be a voice actor and stand up comedian then he would be a perfect fit. His character of Snowball was a cute little fuzzball on the outside, yet a deranged lunatic on the inside. He may be a bit scary when crazy, he has the best comedic lines and will have you falling out of your seat in laughter. While this film this is kid friendly, do bear in mind that their are a few scary parts that could frighten some other children, such as Snowball’s personality and antics.
Overall this film is definitely a big sign as to how far Illumination Studios has improved with since their first film with 2010’s “Despicable Me.“ The animation in the film is stunning as they were able to create a whole city and it seems so realistic. It is as though the audience was actually looking at the beautiful city that was New York. Although it doesn’t have the emotional weight that Disney would have in their movies, “The Secret Life of Pets” allows for audiences to see how precious pets can be for humans as well for some good family laughs. “The Secret Life of Pets” is another fun success for Illumination as well as the summer movie season.
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