Illumination Entertainment has been taking the animation world by storm after the success of Despicable Me, and Secret Life of Pets is just another wonderful example of what the studio is capable of. All pet owners wonder what their fur children are up to when they are at work, running errands, or on vacation, and Max’s adventure doesn’t disappoint. This is a tale of adventure, love, humor, heroism, and acceptance.
The film introduces Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), the protagonist of the story, as he explains the touching story of how he and his person Katie (voiced by Ellie Kemper) met in the urban jungle of New York City. Immediately, you become connected with the heroic furball and his companion, but everything goes out the window when Katie brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet) from the pound. Any dog owner knows that, when you bring a new dog into the house, there is going to be a power struggle between the two. Who will be alpha Dog? Well, that time will tell.
Duke and Max’s quest begins when they get lost after escaping the dog park (who doesn’t get lost after a good run around the streets of the Big Apple?). The dynamic duo runs into a wild pack of cats and a crazed white bunny who used to be a magician’s prop (and who believes in an evolution against humans). Audiences also get a look at the other side of the fight by following Max’s friends Gidget the white pomeranian, Buddy the dachshund, Mel the pug, Sweetpea the budgie, and Chloe the gray tabby. All of them live together in the apartment building and have made it their mission to get their friends back home. The group explore the sewers of New York City, and take their job of patrolling the street of the city seriously, as anyone would if they were looking for their pals. Shenanigans occur when the group breaks into a sausage factory, and end up getting chased by the dog catcher.
In a world where we forget to enjoy the small things, this story is one to have you second guess that errand and to maybe take some extra time with man’s best friend. Take a walk to the dog park, grab a new toy, and make some memories with your pets. You never know what you have until you lose it, so go home and show your fur babies how grateful you are for having them in your life. Max and the gang warmed the hearts of the audience, and a few tears trickled down blushed cheeks by the end of the film.
This film is appropriate for all ages, and is definitely worth the every penny!
5 paws out of 5!