The Secret Life of Pets is as adorable as it gets, especially if you have a pet at home. The animated characters range from sweet, comical, adorable to almost naughty at times. With that said, I still felt the adult humor was very minimal, especially if you compare it to popular animated motion pictures that leave parents with a lot of explaining from inquisitive children.
The film focuses on dog Max, who loves his owner more than words can describe. Life is good until Max’s world is turned upside down when his owner brings home rescue, Duke. The two must now learn how to get along. Things get even more complicated when Max and Duke are separated from the rest of the furry gang when their dog walker gets distracted. Now, the two must work together to find their way home. Meanwhile, their neighborhood of pampered and sheltered pets leave the comforts of their high rise to find their friends. The adventure only gets more complicated when everyone has to escape the (hilarious) terror of a pint size bunny, played by Kevin Hart, and his group of fellow bitter, abandoned pets. In addition to Kevin Hart, you may recognize the comedic voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Albert Brooks and Dana Carvey. My daughter instantly connected the voice of the female furry character, Gidget, to Zootopia’s Bellwether (the lamp) whose voice talent is Jenny Slate.
Lessons and Themes
The 90-minute animated adventure incorporates familiar themes around getting along, friendships, family and even first crushes. Parents should know that human death is part of the script and while it’s not a huge chunk of the film, it may result in questions or confusion for young children.
Overall, my husband and I thought it was a great film and our 5 and 7 year-old gave it an A without hesitation.