The Secret Life of Pets Japan, USA 2016 – 87min.
The Secret Life of Pets
Max has the perfect life. He lives with his beloved owner Katie in a Manhattan building and spends his days with other pets in the building awaiting her return. But then Katie adopts another dog named Duke and Max becomes disillusioned. When he tries to get rid of Duke, they are both captured by Animal Control and subsequently get lost in New York. Then they get taken in by a gang of rebel animals. Meanwhile Max’s neighbors, led by Gidget the cat, go out in search of them...
There’s a reason why one of the animals wears a Minions costume at one point. Illumination Entertainment, the studio behind The Secret Life of Pets, is best known for the phenomenally popular Despicable Me, which launched two sequels and a spin-off. Before producing Despicable Me 3, director Chris Renaud has made an efficient kind of Toy Story with animals that is packed with energy and action, which makes for dynamic entertainment. This distracts from a simplistic story and expected gags, as it successfully pushes the limits of the absurd, shooting down any attempt at pseudo-realism. The result is an enchanting animated film that overcomes its weaknesses.