Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets

Movie Name: The Secret Life of Pets
Year of Release: 2016
Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Stars: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Renaud, Steve Coogan, Michael Beattie
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Adventure
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 6

"The Secret Life of Pets" is the latest release from production company Illumination Entertainment, who has released successful films such as "Despicable Me", "The Lorax" and "Minions". "The Secret Life of Pets" follows the story of Max, an adorable little dog, who lives with his owner Katie in NY. Max has a nice routine in place: he gets to hang out with other pets from the building where he lives, enjoys alone time with Katie eating nice treats, until things dramatically change. Katie brings a new dog from the pound, by the name of Duke, and their sibling rivalry immediately starts. During their park excursion, they both get into a brawl, that sends them in an adventure all over New York and Brooklyn.
"The Secret Life of Pets" is the latest in a series of animated features that places the focus of the adventures on animals, but unlike other features where the animals are the target of anthropomorphism, in this case, the pets remain as such, only with very distinct personalities. The film places our hero through a series of hurdles with the intent of teaching him the power of compassion and sharing. It's not the most imaginative of the animated features being released (particularly when compared to the wonderful "Inside Out"), but it tries to compensate that with a lot of humor and an array of supporting characters that represent the perfect behavior of pets as we have come to know them. The talented voice cast does a good job of bringing these characters to life, particularly Lake Bell and Jenny Slate who are wonderful in their roles. The animation and character design is simply fantastic, as is the score of the supremely talented Alexandre Desplat. A good, yet easily forgettable, animated feature.