Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy| Release: June 7th 2019 | Director / Creator: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val | Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford
Illumination’s tenth animated feature, The Secret Life of Pets 2, is the highly anticipated sequel to the 2016 comedic blockbuster that had the biggest opening weekend ever for an original film, animated or otherwise.
Packed with Illumination’s signature irreverence and subversive humor, this new chapter explores the emotional lives of our pets, the deep bond between them and the families that love them, and answers the question that has long intrigued every pet owner: What are your pets really doing when you’re not at home?
Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with some major life changes. His owner (Ellie Kemper) is now married and has a toddler, Liam. Max is so worried about protecting the boy that he develops a nervous tic. On a family trip to a farm, Max and mutt Duke (Eric Stonestreet) encounter canine-intolerant cows, hostile foxes and a terrifying turkey, all of which only elevates Max’s anxiety. Luckily, Max gets some guidance from veteran farm dog Rooster (Harrison Ford, making his animated-film debut), who pushes Max to ditch his neuroses, find his inner alpha, and give Liam a little more freedom.
Meanwhile, while her owner is away, plucky Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip.
And crazy-but-cute bunny Snowball (Kevin Hart) gets delusions of grandeur that he’s an actual superhero after his owner Molly starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s only been pretending to be.
Can Max, Snowball, Gidget and the rest of the gang find the inner courage to face their biggest fears? Illumination Synopsis
Secret Life of Pets 2 (SLP2) continues many years after the first installment ended. With the same crazy and adorable cast, the audience is given a chance to see the characters they love explore different emotions and life lessons as they are faced with different obstacles that can be easily translated back to our own lives.
What I love the most about this franchise is how it gives younger viewers the chance to explore their own emotions and fears and grow from them. Each main character goes through a situation that makes them face a struggle and an emotion that we can all relate to: fear.
Through the eyes of this adorable animals, we watch as each of them tackle fear head on and come out greater and stronger because of it. With humor and adventure laced into a message of facing your fears head on, audience members–both young and old–are given the opportunity to take something away from this movie.
SLP2 can be broken down into three different plot lines. There is the plot line with Max (Patton Oswalt) where the newest addition to family has brought out a case of debilitating anxiety. Which brings us to our next plot line, where after a decision from the humans to go on a family get away, Max entrusts his favorite toy to our lovable and bubbly Pomeranian named Gidget (Jenny Slate), who in the process of guarding the beloved toy–loses it to the worst place a dog could lose something…in a home full of cats. The last plot line this film takes on, follows our crazy but dearly loved bunny, Snowball (Kevin Hart), who ever since his new owner dressed him up as a superhero, believes he is indeed a superhero. However, when a new dog in town (Tiffany Haddish) requests help in saving a abused circus tiger, Snowball must find the courage to be an actual superhero.
By far, my favorite thing about these movies apart from the moral message that it gives, is how no matter how insane the obstacle is–everyone has each others back. Like no matter if you are gerbil, tiger, dog, cat, snake, etc. you are basically family. I loved the development we received from each of the characters–both the main cast and the supporting– and how the development felt natural and not rushed. The plots flowed and merged seamlessly as we got to see everything unfold and fold together again at the end.
A lot of the film contained the same elements from the first movie, so apart from diverging plot lines and more humor, there isn’t anything much different from these two films. I felt myself craving something different as we got further and further into the film, but was placated as we got even crazy situations and witty one liners that had me laughing in my seat.
Charming, funny, and beautifully animated with a message that anyone can relate too, Secret Life of Pets 2 is one I recommend to anyone who is looking for a good laugh for the entire family.
Are you going to see Secret Life of Pets 2? Let me know!