The Secret Life of Pets is a movie I heard about but didn’t quite have the urge to see it in theaters. It’s actually made by the same company that produced the Despicable Me/Minion movies which mostly were pretty good but not quite up to par with Pixar. I also liked how the main dog is actually a Jack Russel Terrier as my now late dog Zelda was a Jack Rusell Terrier mixed with beagle, but her whole personality was more Jack Russell. I do find the irony of watching this movie now since I no longer have any pets of my own since the death of my dog Zelda in October of last year. But anyways, how was The Secret Life of Pets for me?
The main pet of the movie is Max, a Jack Russel terrier who lives with his owner Katie in an upscale New York City apartment. Max thinks his life is perfect and couldn’t be any better. However dreams often turn to nightmares as Max sees a new dog named Duke for the first time. Katie says the mutt Duke will be his new “brother” and Max seems to be more friendly towards Katie than he is Duke. Max keeps thinking of ways to get Duke sent back to the dog pound. Once Duke finds out, he shows his true colors and tries to get Max out of the picture.
Duke tricks Max in running away from a dog-walker, and that lands them in trouble. They get lost and attacked by stray cats. The dog catcher snatches them up in their truck and that’s when a gang of unwanted pets breaks in the truck to free one of their members. The leader Snowball is a cute bunny with a horrid attitude. He hates humans with a passion and Max and Duke pretend to be human haters to be set free. However Snowball wants Max and Duke to be in their gang as well, and that’s where the real trouble begins. However they do have hope as Max’s neighborhood friends led by his sorta-girlfriend Gidget are forming a search party.
Overall I thought The Secret Life of Pets wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped. The story is good, the characters are interesting, and it does have its key moments. It’s just rather predictable, and the humor is more on kid-level than smart-for-all-ages level except when it comes to the sinister rabbit Snowball. Illumination Entertainment made The Secret Life of Pets and Sing in the same year, and makes me wonder if they’re more worried about pumping out films than making sure they are good.