The dog form of Louis C.K.’s life is violently shook up when the dog form of Eric Stonestreet is brought home their owner (Ellie Kemper). Both engage in a game of one-upmanship that gets so out of hand they eventually find themselves mixed up in a rabbit (Kevin Hart)’s dastardly plot to rid the world of humans.
From the people that brought you the Despicable Me and Minions movies here is another bit of light family entertainment that is big on slapstick and faced paced narrative, but tends to skim over the finer details one is accustomed to seeing in family animations thanks to Pixar.
So while this is not in the top league of family animation with the Inside Outs and the Toy Stories (the first of which Secret Life of Pets owes a great debt to plot wise), and it’s also probably not in the second division of family animation with the likes of How to Train Your Dragon and Zootopia, I think it is towards the top of the third tier. For my money it is a marked improvement on Illumination’s most recent outing – the not very good Minions. I also find it to be a slither better than the first Despicable Me (which means of course it is head and heels above the second one).
It is funny throughout, if never hilarious. And I found myself never bored with all of the crashing about that the group of pets go through. I think I could have done with perhaps a smaller selection of better flashed out central characters rather than the huge ensemble of pets with one slices of character given to each. Within this massive selection of notably very well voiced pets standouts are Albert Brooks as Tiberius the Falcon, Lake Bell as Chloe the cat and Jenny Slate as Gidget the miniature poodle?
Overall, The Secret Life of Pets is a very solid and successful family animation movie, if not a spectacular one.