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The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

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The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.

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3 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Max (voice)
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Duke (voice)
...
Snowball (voice)
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Gidget (voice)
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Katie (voice)
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Tiberius (voice)
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Chloe (voice)
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Pops (voice)
...
Buddy (voice)
...
Mel (voice)
...
Norman (voice)
...
Ozone (voice)
Michael Beattie ...
Tattoo (voice)
...
Maria (voice) (as Sandra Echeverria)
...
Fernando (voice)
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Storyline

Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max's life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of lost pets determined to take revenge Written by Supermikey71

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

rodent | animal | dog | pet | terrier | See All (49) »

Taglines:

Think this is what they do all day? See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for action and some rude humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 July 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Pets Movie  »

Box Office

Budget:

$75,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$104,352,905 (USA) (8 July 2016)

Gross:

$368,305,960 (USA) (23 December 2016)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | | | (DTS: X)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Max and Duke are escaping from the animal gang, a turtle starts bouncing around ahead of them knocking animals out of the way with the video game sound effect of the turtle-like Koopa Troopas that kill enemies in the Super Mario Brothers video games. See more »

Goofs

When Sweetpea turns on the TV at the beginning of the film, it uses an Xfinity remote. Chromecast service is not available in New York City. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Max: [narrating] I've lived in this city all my life. I'm Max. And I'm the luckiest dog in New York because of her. That's Katie. Katie and I, well, we have the perfect relationship. We met a few years ago and, boy, let me tell ya', we got along right away. You know, it was one of those relationships where... where you just know.
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Crazy Credits

In a post-end credits, Pops says "All right! Party's over." See more »

Connections

Referenced in Blackcatloner: Another Year, Another Super Bowl (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Good Day
Written by Alan Wert, Vito Tisdale, Melvin Adams, and William Hughes
Performed by Nappy Roots
Courtesy of Interscope Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Flavorless but You Could Do Worse
20 July 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I start this review by first acknowledging there's nothing wrong with this film from a family-oriented entertainment point of view. It's colorful, it's fun at times, provides a positive message about acceptance and provides a clever enough high concept to keep the kids on their keesters for 80 minutes. As a rudimentary children's film, you certainly can do worse.

The problem with The Secret Lives of Pets stems from its complete inability to marry story, character and concept into a discernible package. As it stands, the film is rushed, bulky and is chalked full of nonsensical choices that cripples any verdant ideas that could have been. It's a first draft; not a final product.

The story begins with a happy Jack Russell Terrier named Max (C.K.) who lives with his owner Katie (Kemper) in a surprisingly roomy Manhattan apartment. Things change drastically and suddenly with the arrival of Duke (Stonestreet) a large, shaggy Newfoundland whose introduced as a "new brother" to Max's chagrin. They, of course don't get along and after a series of confrontations find themselves lost. The first to notice they're missing is a lovestruck Pomeranian named Gidget (Slate) who recruits the rest of Max's friends among others to recover them from the vast streets of New York City.

The rest of Max's friends are barely worth mentioning as they're mostly utilized to push the buttons and pull the levers on some uninspired comedic set-pieces. They're not really useful to the plot, nor do they succeed in being the Toy Story (1995)-inspired resilient and diverse gaggle the movie hopes they are. Part of the reason for this is none of the side characters actually solve any problems. They jet here, they jet there but when faced with any obstacles they just seem to rush it. Gone is the creativity of having Mr. Potato Head fashion a new body out of a tortilla; now we have elderly Basset Hound, Pops (Carvey) hobbling through construction sites with stalwart confidence.

Frankly focusing on the story's tagged-on villains might have paid more dividends. The broad machinations of Snowball (Hart), a bunny with delusions of grandeur are easily the best part of the film, even if they remain painfully underdeveloped. Additionally his "Flushed Pets" group could have complicated Duke's allegiance to his new owner or more easily pegged Max as a fully socialized pet and therefore in need of re-education. Snowball was the best chance the movie had in getting audiences to truly know the characters we're supposed to be rooting for but instead they blew it on prolonged chase sequences and a sausage factory bit that goes absolutely nowhere.

And that gets me to the biggest problem I have with this film; the creators' approach to the high concept itself. The film tries to have its cake and eat it to, portraying characters with innately human characteristics but still clinging to the charming pet-like idiosyncrasies we know and love about our furry friends. For example, Gidget recruits the help of Tiberius (Brooks) a hawk who at first tries to eat her. She barely escapes his talons only to trust him once more because that's just what a peppy little dog would do. Max's friends Mel (Moynihan) and Buddy (Buress) don't even notice Max is gone because, being dogs, they're distracted by butterflies and squirrels. They're certainly not a rag-tag group of lovable rogues, they're a confederacy of dunces, successful only because of the ever changing allegiances of the main antagonist. Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention Snowball at one point joins forces with Max to save Duke in a climactic sequence so blithely unnatural it renders the friends search and rescue completely moot.

This film is a rushed, characterless, flavorless kids film that just barely stretches its plot over the skeleton of its story structure. As I said before, if all you're looking for is a bland and forgettable family film, you could do worse. Yet provided it's appealing concept, you'd really think the animation studio that made Despicable Me (2010) could do better.


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