The Secret Life of Pets: The Best Family Movie of the Year
The Secret Life of Pets is easily the BEST family movie of the year and a must see for animal lovers. It tells the story of the secret life our pets lead and one particularly crazy adventure a few animals have. The film follows Max (Louis CK) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet), two dogs who recently became roommates. Their relationship starts out sordid and tense, but develops throughout the film as they embark on an adventure to get back home to their owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper). The film is as star-studded as they get with a ton of really great and memorable characters. Snowball, the slightly psychotic evil bunny is voiced by Kevin Hart. He leads the group of “Flushed Animals” in a revolution against humanity when Max and Duke arrive, seeking shelter. In order to stay, they try to convince Snowball that they hate humans. When it is discovered that they are domesticated, Max and Duke are now on Snowball’s bad side and must flee to stay alive. While Snowball is leading the charge to capture Max and Duke, Gidget (Jenny Slate), Max and Duke’s neighbor, is leading a group of friends to help save them and bring them home. She is helped by Chloe the apathetic cat (Lake Bell), Tiberius (Albert Brooks) the falcon, Buddy the Dachshund (Hannibal Buress), Sweet Pea the Bird, Mel the bull dog (Bobby Moynihan), and Norman the Guinea Pig. They are led by Pops (Dana Carvey), the old and ailing dog who knows everyone and everything in New York. As you can see, the cast is extremely talented and funny, which translated really well to the film.
With animated films there is often a huge concern that all the funny parts are in the trailers and I can thankfully tell you that it is not true in this case. The humor in the film transcends generations and will make the youngest and oldest audience member laugh and smile. The comedy in the film is so well executed and delivered that it makes The Secret Life of Pets one of the funniest movies of the year. There are many moments in the film where I was laughing out loud for extended periods of time. Yes, it is that good. The humor is consistent and on point during the entire film. Each line and joke lands perfectly and precisely. The characters are developed and interesting, giving the audience something in which to believe, thus making the emotional points pack even more punch. There are scenes where you really truly feel emotional and I even teared up while watching it.
Another really great aspect to the film was the incorporation of music. There are some great songs that are really well used in the film. The music of the film is done by Alexandre Desplat who has done so many great films such as The Danish Girl, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button among many others. There is a scene where we hear “We Go Together” from Grease that is really upbeat and entertaining, adding even more fun and joy to the film. You also can’t argue with a family animated film that can use The Beastie Boys “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” with a bunny driving a bus and a poodle rocking out to System of a Down. There is some level of beauty to that mélange.
The animation is on point with beautiful crisp colors and characters. The movie is bright and visually appealing. The over exaggeration of the animals features only enhance their emotional strength as characters. New York is also shown in a very forgiving and beautiful light. As the film begins by showing New York City and Central Park while playing “Welcome to New York,” you are filled with a level of nostalgia and pride for the city. The animators treat New York with all the love and care that they treated each of the characters.
All in all, The Secret Life of Pets is a joy to watch. The characters are sweet, funny, zany and memorable. The story is sweet and lovable, accented with great humor, interwoven with uplifting and fun music. It is a must watch for animal lovers and people of all ages. The Secret Life of Pets will steal your heart and remind you of that special love between animal and owner.