It’s been a tremendous year for animated family films with Zootopia alongside Finding Dory leading the way and the recent intriguing fantasy Kubo and the Two Strings surprisingly asserting itself as a creative must see for all ages, then against all odds even Ice Age #6 was above average, now prepare yourself for more cinematic cartoon hysteria in wonderful The Secret Life of Pets.
All creatures great and small are here, animal lovers will be delighted in this kind of Toy Story for pet owners. Fast moving hectic fun with a peek at what your loyal companions might get up to when you step out of the house.
Max is a sleek Manhattan puppy adored by his owner Katie however things get disheveled when she brings home an overweight, blubbering former stray Duke to share their home. Rivalry for attention is imminent.
Meanwhile a cross section of the animal kingdom all communicate to each other in various ways by either dropping into each others apartments or singing out messages across the way.
Silky white pomeranian Gidget has a crush on Max visiting him with her fluttering kind heart and full attention, so when after a set of madcap circumstances see Max and Duke out on the street away from the seclusion of their home, Gidget eagerly rounds up a group of fellow critters to track them down.
Max and Duke get mixed up with a sewer dwelling feral bunny called Snowball and are hastily introduced to his posse of flushed pets who resent the pampered duo.
Certainly more comedy fun is directed towards kids but there are ample in-jokes that adults are sure to pick up. Slight undertones in conversations of death and abandonment is a touch jarring as opposed to the rest of the antics happening, although it is part of the broader story message.
The entire voice cast are on point, Kevin Hart is rapid fire as sarcastic Snowball, Jenny Slate uses her raspy tones to full effect as Gidget and in a rare movie appearance Dana Carvey (the lovable Garth Algar in classic Waynes World) plays Pops, an elderly Basset Hound so old he is on wheels.
Sure to be the go to film for the upcoming school holiday period, so many laughs to be had, complete escapism in state of the art animation.
If you like Minions, those mischievous yellow oddities first featured in Despicable Me, be sure to stay on at the end for a delightful extra mid-credits scene.
Shane A.Bassett | @Movie_Analyst
Animation, Comedy | USA, 2016 | U | Universal Pictures | Out Now | Dir. Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud | Lake Bell, Louis C.K, Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks