If you took the basic premise of Toy Story and replaced it with animals … but didn’t actually put any of the heart, interest or any of the things that made it more than just some animated kids film you’d have The Secret Life of Pets. Looking at the voice cast list alone makes you think that they must’ve spent so much money on that alone that a quality script seemed secondary.
Simple premise. Max (Louis C.K) gets upset when his owner (Jenny Slate) brings home a new dog (Eric Stonestreet). From there it’s wacky shenanigans involving famous voices and animals doing people like things, of course, much like Toy Story. Except this film is explicitly designed for children, and children alone, and as such it’s about as dumb as it can be because it’s not aiming to be the sort intergenerational film the Pixar product was. It’s even more depressing because Illumination, behind Despicable Me and others, has a better track record than drivel like this.
And that’s exactly what this film is: drivel young children will enjoy for 90 minutes while you do something else.
A handful of extras are included but none of them are really all that impressive.
Universal presents The Secret Life of Pets. Directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney. Written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. Starring Kevin Hart, Louis C.K, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate. Run Time: 87 minutes. Rated PG. Released on: 12.6.13
Tags: Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., The Secret Life of Pets