By Cynthia Ayala
“The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.”
Where should I start? As an animal lover, I adored this movie, and as a filmgoer, I loved it. This movie had a compelling story to it that also didn’t shy away from what it means to be an animal and an animal lover. Pets get lost all the time, their collars break off, they get taken by animal control, or they are just abandoned. This film touches all of this making this a dynamic movie to behold. The best part about that is that it has a lot of heart, it has a lot of strength, and it has a lot of humor in it. This film is an adventure in the eyes of lost dogs and his friends as they try to find him and bring him back home.
This movie provides a magnificent story, and the heart of the film lies within being honest. Animals are silly, and they are very crazy, and this film delved into why, giving them a voice to be heard that many do not hear. It was adorable, and it not only gave a voice to pets everywhere but it also gave a voice to the homeless and abandoned animals out there.
Animals are not creatures that should be taken advantage of, they are creatures that should be loved and cherished, and the writers of this film got that. They gave a voice to these animals through the furry Snowball, the crazy bunny abandoned by his owner, and his crew of abandoned pets. They all had stories that were painful to hear, and that’s good because it serves as a teaching moment for kids to grow up knowing that their pets, they have the same feelings we do, that once they enter the home, they become part of the family, not just a pet. That is the biggest lesson the film offers its viewers, both young and old.
As for the characters, there is such a large assortment of character in the film, and the voice actors here, they were great. These actors knew just how to give life to the characters before them; they knew how to bring the emotions to the front of the film to draw the viewers in. There is no one actor here to isolate because they were all phenomenal voice actors, they fit their characters perfectly. It’s so easy to look at these characters and say “yeah, a white Pomeranian would totally sound like Jenny Slate,” or even “Ellie Kemper is totally a cat.” That goes for everyone in this cast; their inner selves resemble these characters so perfectly making the viewing experience even more enjoyable.
The Secret Life of Pets is simply an adorable movie that has a lot of heart and a lot of laughs. (★★★☆ | A)
Starring: 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, Sandra Echeverría, Jaime Camil & Kiely Renaud
Distributed by Universal Pictures