The Secret Life of Pets is the latest animated film from Illumination Entertainment, the team behind Despicable Me and Minions and poses the question, what do our pets get up to when we’re away?
The film opens with an impressive, swooping shot of New York, followed by a sneak peek at what a handful of the city’s pets get up to when their owners leave. We then focus in on Max (Louis CK), a spoiled terrier whose happy life is disrupted when his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) brings home another dog named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) from the pound.
The pair’s disdain for one another leads them to be captured by the city pound whilst on a walk and together (along with the help of fellow pets from the same neighbourhood) they must figure out a way back home, all the while trying to avoid Snowball (Kevin Hart), a ruthless white rabbit who leads a mob of abandoned pets.
The plot wanders into familiar territory from here and laughs become few and far between. Combined with the lack of emotional involvement with any of the furry characters, the film is hollow and one-note, but with solid work from the voice cast and a reasonable runtime, the movie at its worst is simply forgettable.
Brilliantly animated but predictable, The Secret Life of Pets is a light-hearted look at a thought we’ve all pondered, but is missing the spark that sets the likes of Pixar films above many other animated flicks.