The Secret Life of Pets – Film Review by Frank L
Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheung
Writers: Ken Daurio, Brian Lynch
Stars: Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, Ellie Kemper, Louis CK
This is animation in the Big Apple. The Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park look colourfully splendid. Playing centre stage are not the usual collection of neurotic New Yorkers. The important players are the pets of the over-analysed New York inhabitants. They have a life of their own once their owners go off to their day jobs. In particular there is a delicious collection of pets in one apartment block. When the owners are gone the pets can get up to all sorts of mischief. They are a delicious collection: Maxi a Jack Russell (Louis CK) who is all bounce and whose proud owner is Katie (Ellie Kemper), Chloe (Lake Bell) a large pear-shaped pussy cat of a rather fetching blueish hue, Gidget (Jenny Slate) a fluffy, whiter than white, Chihuahua with a pair of alluring eyes she uses to advantage, Duke (Eric Stonestreet) a large shaggy mongrel imposed on Maxi against his will and Mel (Bobby Moynihan) a not overly bright pug. Being New York, there are other pets apart from mammals such as goldfish and budgerigars.
They gradually get involved in a series of scrapes including a run in with a couple of dog wardens and a rather fierce rabbit who is organising the unowned pets of New York. It all moves at break neck speed as a Noah’s Ark of animals scamper around the Big Apple going hither and hither including a big splash into the Hudson River. It is all great fun and there are many delicious moments such as when a dachshound finds a novel use for a cake mixer and when Chloe the cat is faced with temptation having rejected her cat food. She then discovers far more appetising fare within reach within the fridge. Satan is at work as he tempts poor Chloe. While Gidget’s appearances are a constant delight as she never gives up on the main chance with those eyes.
The so-often filmed New York manages to take on a fresh, new dimension with its glorious colours.. It is an hour and a half of pleasure. Parents will enjoy bringing their kids to see this one or maybe the children will enjoy bringing their parents.