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The Secret Life Of Pets

Opening Date
01 Sep 2016
91 mins
English with Chinese subtitles
Animation, Comedy, Family
Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Lake Bell, Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Dana Carvey, Jenny Slate, Eric Stonestreet
For their fifth fully-animated feature-film collaboration, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures present The Secret Life of Pets, a comedy about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day.
By Freddy  01 Sep 2016
If you expect a funny, action-filled animated movie with cute talking animals, that is exactly what you will get.
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The plot of the movie is very similar to the first ‘Toy Story’, but with pets instead of toys. It certainly does not make watching it any less fun, though.

The movie follow two dogs, Max (Louis C.K.) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) as they overcome danger to get home to their owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper). There are lots of fast-paced chase sequences throughout the movie, but it is not without its heartwarming moments as well.

As Universal Studios would not intend to traumatise young children, we all know that the two main leads Max (Louis C.K.) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) would get along and be safe in the end. While the story gets predictable at times, there are twists and turns along the way to keep the story fresh and exciting. 

The characters in the movie, even the villains, are likeable, thanks to the talented voice cast. While Max and Duke often lack personalities as they are busy running from danger, the other characters feel more fleshed out. Some interesting personalities are the cute evil bunny, Snowball (Kevin Hart), Max’s love interest, Gidget (Jenny Slate), and a hawk fighting his killer instinct, Tiberius (Albert Brooks).

Judging from the laughter in the theatre throughout the movie, most people will find it funny. The movie occasionally has a quirky sense of humour which I found refreshing. The apathetic cat Chloe (Lake Bell) gets the funniest snarky one-liners. Both children and adults will enjoy the comedy.

The animation looks great and moves smoothly, with a good amount of details on textures, especially fur. The character designs are distinctive and cute while reflecting their personalities well. The movie will be preceded by a hilarious short film, “Mower Minions”, featuring the Minions from “Despicable Me” films.

Parents need not worry as “Secret Life of Pets” also imparts moral values. It has a blatant message about pet neglect and abandonment. The movie also emphasises the significance of friendship and teamwork. The unique relationships between pets and their owners are also explored.

Don’t expect the movie to be on par with Pixar and Disney’s animated films in both animation and story. It will not be a movie that people will still talk about in 20 years, but it proves that Universal Studios and Illumination Entertainment has more than Minions in its arsenal.
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