Words by Heather Co
Pets are man’s best friends as they are by our side with each of our milestones in life. We enjoy having them around, bringing them to places, and taking them on little adventures. They play a big role in our lives–and yet we do not know much about what they do when we’re not there. What if our pets’ lives did not revolve around us like we thought it did? This movie explores the idea of what could possibly be happening in a pet’s life and how they have their fair share of adventures and misadventures as well. The Secret Life of Pets 2 brings back our favorite group of pets as they live out their thrilling journeys and face a whole new set of conflicts in this new phase of their lives.
The last time we saw Max and his friends, he had just gone on an unexpected adventure with a newly adopted dog, Duke. They both survived navigating the bustling streets of New York while at the same time managing to team up with the rest of his friends in stopping a group of abandoned animals from taking revenge on their owners.
This time around the gang returns a few years after when Katie, Max’s owner, has her own child. Seeing how precious and fragile the new baby is, Max makes it his job to be the baby’s personal bodyguard and protect the baby from the dangers of the world. His anxiety sets in as he notices more and more threats and it also doesn’t help that Katie decides to take her family on a weekend vacation in the countryside, worsening his fear. Meanwhile, back in the city, the rest of the gang are dealing with other things as well. Chloe shows Gidget the ins and outs of being a cat. Snowball, on the other hand, joins forces with Daisy, a brown Shih Tzu, in attempting to rescue a white tiger from a malicious circus owner.
The bright and colorful visuals will definitely capture the attention of both kids and kids at heart, keeping them captivated throughout the film. Much detail was incorporated into the drawing of the characters, placing a good amount of consideration into the respective characteristics, movement, and mannerisms of each character in order to portray them realistically without reducing the cute and aesthetic value. Most of the voice actors reprised their roles and were able to match their respective characters’ personalities, bringing them to life. These visuals were also accompanied by an upbeat soundtrack which complemented the overall vibe of the movie well.
However, one downside is that in attempting to tell three separate stories in one movie, this hindered the stories from reaching their full potential. Some characters were limited in developing their own storylines and having their own breakthroughs. The plot had focused mainly on Max that the storyline of the other characters did not get the resolution they deserved and it felt quite abrupt.
Although the movie had an interesting story, it was very fast-paced and felt as if everything was crammed into its 1 hour and 32 minutes run time. If they had shown audiences more of what happens to each character, it could have significantly improved the movie. Aside from this, many of the scenes which were intended to be comical fell flat with the audience due to how cliche they were.
The plot contained lessons applicable to both children and parents alike. The different stories incorporated into the movie shared a common theme: to be brave no matter how daunting things can get. It teaches its audience to trust in themselves and in their capabilities. First-time parents will also be able to relate to Max and his anxiety as he tries to always protect the child from the dangers of the outside world.
Overall, the cute illustrations, energetic cast, and the characters’ charming personalities make Secret Life of Pets 2 an enjoyable movie to watch for children. Despite the countless iterations there have been of animated movies with animals as the main character, this movie still stands out with its interesting plot and the portrayal of the characters. The overarching theme on bravery is also a welcome reminder for everyone, regardless of age. Catch The Secret Life of Pets starting June 5, 2019 in cinemas nationwide.
Have you watched The Secret Life of Pets 2? Tell us about it in the comments!