‘The Secret Life of Pets’ Review

‘The Secret Life of Pets’ finds a genuinely innocent tone among the vividly massive state of its setting, and it’s all thanks to its relatability.

‘The Secret Life of Pets’ is a simple story as genuine and as lovable as the furry friends that it successfully depicts.

the secret life of pets
Photo courtesy of Steven Zang.

As if it was really too much of a secret, this summer’s slate of animated blockbusters is officially animal-friendly. From virtual birds with an attitude to the return of a forgetful fish, audiences worldwide are becoming more and more prone to stylish features built on the premise of personification. Nevertheless, despite each’s successes, none has mastered the level of bona fide adorability found in Illumination Entertainment’s newest story arc: The Secret Life of Pets.

After coming off the pedestal of the Minion’s success, the animation company was looking for a new approach, something to dig them out of their yellow-hazed rut. Hence, one simple thought came to mind: What do your pets do when you’re not around?

It’s in this premise that we meet Max (Louis CK), a Jack Russell Terrier with a selfish love for his owner and his life in the Big Apple. When his owner brings home a Newfoundland named Duke (Eric Stonestreet) to be his brother, Max does not take lightly to the situation. This rivalry leads to their capture by Animal Control, bringing them on a wild adventure across most of the city’s boroughs in retaliation to an anti-human sewer community called the “Flushed Pets.”

With such a strong supporting cast (Kevin Hart, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress, Ellie Kemper, Jenny Slate and even master-impressionist Dana Carvey), this 90-minute family comedy has the look of Despicable Me with the heart and soul of an early Pixar movie.  It’s witty with animal humor, straight down to the wordplay. Nevertheless, what really stands out is the sentiment that is being toiled within each of us for that span of time. Many, if not all of us, have had pets of our own. It’s in this connection that any audience member can find refreshing honesty and fondness for the archetypes at hand.

The Secret Life of Pets was really adorable. It made me smile ear to ear being not only a dog owner, but a passionate animal lover as well,” said Jenna Stuiso, a 20-year-old Nutley native. “After it was over, I honestly could not wait to get home and hug my dog.”

From cats and dogs to even birds, rabbits, pigs and reptiles, this film makes a crucial attempt to span all kingdoms of the animal world. Thus, it might not be as distinctive as The Angry Birds Movie or as anticipated as Finding Dory. However, The Secret Life of Pets might be the most genuine tribute to animal-lovers this summer movie season.

The Secret Life of Pets is now playing in movie theaters everywhere! Some local venues include AMC Clifton Commons 16, AMC Loews Wayne 14 and even Bow Tie Bellevue Cinemas in the heart of downtown Montclair! For a list of even more theaters and show times, visit fandango.com today.

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