So what do your pets do when you’re not at home?
That’s the premise behind the animated film The Secret Life of Pets, which is cute, charming and a little hyper — just like a new puppy.
When the two-legged New Yorkers leave their high-rise apartment building, their pets rule the roost. The fat cat raids the fridge, the poodle switches his mp4 from classical to heavy metal music, pets visit and gossip about their owners and lounge around watching reality TV — Animal Planet, of course. Loyal terrier Max (Louis C.K.) doesn’t want to bother with the four-legged crew. He would much rather spend his entire day waiting for his beloved owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), to come home.
By all accounts, Max is leading a charmed life until Katie brings home a rescue dog, Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who threatens to upend Max’s only-child lifestyle. In the midst of the sibling rivalry, the pair get lost and must evade not only animal control but a human-hating gang of former pets led by the cunning bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart).
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The dynamic canine duo have to set aside their differences and unite against the bad bunny.
With all of the comedic stars, the film has a fair share of LOL moments. And while you won’t find any revelatory insight into the mind of your pet, parents and children alike will fall for this fun, fast-paced furry tale.
Sometimes, the storyline strays too far from home and the multitude of commercially cute characters may make your head spin. But it’s to be expected from the folks who brought us Despicable Me.
In fact, it may have been a disservice to Pets to remind audiences of the well-done Despicable Me franchise by showing a new animated short film, Mower Minions,before the feature film. In a few minutes, the animated short accomplished what Pets did in 90.
The Secret Life of Pets
☆☆☆1/2 (out of five)
Directors: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Cast: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart
Rated: PG (action and rude humor)
Running time: 90 min.