The Secret Life of Pets: A Movie Review

The film's major characters gazing over the city (Google).
The film’s major characters gazing over the city (Google).

By KATHERINE NGUYEN
Staff Writer

The Secret Life of Pets, an animated movie starring Louis C.K. and Eric Stonestreet, is about a band of pets that lead private lives when their humans leave for the day. The film, released July 8th, follows Max, a Jack Russell Terrier, as his human owner Katie, voiced by Ellie Kemper, adopts a massive mongrel by the name of Duke. At first the two butt heads, disagreeing with the living situation and close proximity, but through a gang of human-hating pets, Animal Control, and near death situations, they learn to love and appreciate each other.

The film has been dubbed a buddy-adventure motion picture, a genre that entails two characters that tend to contrast in personality. Because Max, a neat and orderly house-trained pet, is so different from Duke, who has been in the shelter for the recent years of his life, they create a dynamic relationship.

Seeing as the movie recruited household names such as Kevin Hart, Hannibal Buress, and Jenny Slate, it is not a stretch to say that the actors brought new life to their characters. Each voice was given a distinct tone that set the mood for their respective storyline allowing the movie to flow smoothly.

The writing of the characters and their dialogue were well executed, with the screenplay authors opened up more doors to what the viewers’ pets may be like by adding onto the known personalities of them.

Although the movie follows a typical plot of clashing heads to family love, it manages to bring to life lessons we can all learn. As usual, you should never judge a book by its cover, but it happens regardless. However, you should always keep an open mind to the things you might learn not only about the people around you, but about yourself. It is a cheerful, humorous movie that brings to life serious issues and serves as the perfectly family feature.

The Secret Life of Pets generated $807.1 million worldwide in the box office, a feat considering the budget was $75 million. Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a rating of 78% based on 177 views, and it received  61/100 on Metacritic, specifying it with “generally favorable reviews.” With its positive reviews and impressive revenue, it became the highest-grossing non-Disney original animation of all time.

The film utilized 3D computer animation that were typical to a cartoon feature. The drawings of each character evolved from the first draft until each pet was given a unique look that matched their voices and stories.  

Albeit directed at a younger audience, many high school students found themselves enjoying the film. “I went to watch it with my younger brother and sister,” Tiffany Castaneda (Sr.) said. “We all loved it. The storyline was really cute, the actors were hilarious, and it was just great.”

A sequel has been confirmed and is set to be released on July 13, 2018.

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