Skip to main content

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

The Secret Life of Pets is a made for kids animated comedy directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul, and Ken Daurio.  The film tells the story of what our pets are getting up to when left alone at home by their parent owners.  Hmmm…
Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is adored by his owner and loves her right back.  Hmmm…
Unfortunately for Max, his owner adopts a newer, bigger, cuddlier dog called Duke (Eric Stonestreet) who threatens to steal the limelight entirely.  Hmmm…
The two end up lost, fending for themselves in a scary city.  Hmmm…
Eventually they come cross what appears to be an evil gang of animals, hidden away from the rest of the world.  Hmmm…
Eventually they see past their earlier grievances and form a team, becoming good friends in the process.  Hmmmmmm…
The Secret Life of Pets is an unoriginal 90 minutes of cute animals relentlessly moving from one slapstick scenario to the next without any real care put in to the bits in between.  I couldn’t name one character walking out of the cinema, and that’s because you’re really not bothered about them or the plot.  The character decision making and story are really incoherent, and it's all just a vehicle for a cat to fall off a table and a dog to run in to a wall.  The voice acting’s good (Mel Brooks a personal highlight) and I did laugh at bits, but although it will keep the kids entertained for the duration it’s pretty unmemorable and unremarkable.  When you have films such as Zootropolis (2016) showing that kid’s films can be challenging as well as extremely entertaining, why lower your standards?

I would advise you watch the trailer for The Secret Life of Pets (as that is essentially the film's opening 10 minutes anyway, and its best bit by a mile), and then go and pre-order Zootropolis.


  1. This type of pets movie is what kids love. Thats what made toy story such a great success.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

The Secret History of Hollywood Podcast

A while back for my previous job I had to drive from the office near Manchester, down to London, and then back again after a couple of days.  Rather than sitting through the same songs on my iPod during the journey, I thought I would search for a decent podcast to listen to.  The previous time I had made a similar journey I had listened to an audiobook of Oscar Wilde's 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' and although it was a great listen I was up for something for cinema themed this time round.  Having searched through iTunes, I came across 'The Secret History of Hollywood.'  The 'Universe of Horrors' episode in particular caught my eye, and although the 7 hour run time would put many off, it was exactly what I was after.

@philpotts89 Thank you! — Hollywood Histories (@moviehistories) September 4, 2016
As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, the podcast's examination of the role of the monster movie in the rise of Universal studios really caught my imagination a…

Manchester by the Sea (2017)

If there is one way to get me giddy for a film, it’s having Friday Night Lights' very own Coach Taylor (Kyle Chandler) in it.  Although other fans of one of the greatest TV shows ever may also be hoping for a 2 hour Chandler motivational speech, that isn't how Manchester by the Sea pans out.  Instead Kenneth Lonergan (who writes and directs) has created a deeply moving and realistic look at grief, family and loss.  A comedy it ain't, but Manchester by the Sea was a film I could have watched for another 5 hours so attached was I to it's characters and story.  It's subject matter makes it a difficult sell, but I really hope this finds an audience as it was an enthralling piece of work.

The story is a difficult one to tell while avoiding certain spoilers, but I think that is important so as not to lessen the impact of particular scenes.  Essentially, Manchester by the Sea is about Lee Chandler (Casey Affleck) - a man forced to care for his nephew (Lucas Hedges) followi…

Baby Driver (2017)

Shaun of the Dead (2004) is somehow one of my favourite ever comedies, as well as making it on to my list of favourite ever horror films.  Hot Fuzz (2007) is brilliantly funny too (always thought it would make a great cinema double bill with Bigelow's Point Break, the 1991 thriller from which it took a lot of inspiration), but I don’t remember reacting to The World’s End (2013) in anyway near the same way.  While the first two in Wright’s ‘Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy’ heavily referenced films I knew very well to comedic effect, I remember thinking that I would find The World’s End funnier when I’m older… so its terrifying to think that soon may be the time to give that another go.  I'm a huge fan of Edgar Wright’s snappy style and cuts, and there’s actually a great analysis of his visual comedy which I recommend checking out here.  After he backed out of doing Marvel's Ant-Man in 2015, the release of Baby Driver crept up on me a bit this year.  Had I known one of the m…