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The Secret Life of Pets

(Illumination Entertainment / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)

 

Ever wonder what your pets do when you're not home? The answer is in The Secret Life of Pets.

 

Rated PG, for Action and some rude humor.

Genre: Animation / Comedy

Viewer Appeal: Ages 5 and up.

 

The folks who created Minions (from the Despicable Me franchise) have come back with a humorous take on something a little closer to home: The pets we keep in our lives. The basic premise is fun: What do pets do when we're not home? The Secret Life of Pets reveals all. Here's the official description: 

"The Secret Life of Pets is a comedy about the lives our pets lead when we leave for work or school. Max, voiced by Louis C.K., is a loyal terrier living a perfectly happy existence until his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper) brings home Duke (Eric Stonestreet) a big, boisterous mutt she finds at the shelter. When Max and his unruly new “roommate” slip away from their dog-walker, they find themselves lost in the urban jungle of New York City. In an attempt to stay ahead of animal control and a rebel band of abandoned pets led by an unhinged bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart), they put aside their differences to survive the epic journey back home."

The script for this movie was definitely written with your grade-school child in mind, with plenty of slapstick, loud, funny characters, and just enough heart to make kids care. But don't assume this is just another kids' flick. The wry humor, witty banter, and New York City backdrop offer plenty for parents to enjoy too. And hey, we've got to talk about Kevin Hart as the bunny; this was brilliant casting because Kevin Hart is, well, Kevin Hart. The result? Snowball is the most entertaining part of the film.

 

The Secret Life of Pets could have been just another "what if animals could talk?" rehash, but thankfully this film avoids that fate to deliver 87 minutes of creative animation that really is fun for the whole family. Sure, parents may only watch it once, but your kids will happily watch it (and quote it!) all year long. Enjoy it with a child nearby. You'll be glad you did.

Bonus Features

• How to Make an Animated Film – A behind-the-scenes look at how to make an animated film from the various departments that make up Illumination. (Blu-ray only)

•  Anatomy of a Scene – Filmmakers and animators take us through the multi-step process it takes to create a specific scene in the Secret Life of Pets (Blu-ray only)

• Three Mini-Movies:

--Norman Television

--Weenie

--Mower Minions

• All About The Pets – Kevin Hart and Eric Stonestreet, with the help of animal trainer Molly Mignon O’Neill take you on an educational journey to learn more about your average and not-so average, household pets.

• Animals Can Talk: Meet The Actors – The comedy superstars who give voice to the film’s menagerie of characters talk about their roles and the process of bringing them to life. 

• Hairstylist To The Dogs – Inspired by “Hairspray Live!,” Eric Stonestreet, with the help of a professional dog groomer Jess Rona, will take you through the basic steps to help your pups look as awesome as possible when they’re hanging out with their pet pals.

• The Best Of Snowball – A rapid-fire, fun and oddly musical mash-up of all the best Snowball one-liners

 

• Hot Dog Sing-Along – Join Max and Duke as they perform for their dinner in the sausage factory. This straightforward sing along is fun for the whole family to enjoy.

Sing Trailer

• “Lovely Day” Lyric Video

• The Humans that Brought You Pets – Producers Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, and writer Brian Lynch discuss what went into creating The Secret Life of Pet’s compelling characters and non-stop action.

• GoPro®: The Secret Life of Pets

• The Making of the Mini-Movies – A fun and interesting take on the Making of the Mini-Moviesm exploring the themes of each of the mini-movies through the eyes of the artists who made them. 

 

--AS

 

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