By Zachary Flint (Kent, Ohio)
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The Secret Life of Pets is a fun family adventure that anyone, especially children, can love. The Secret Life of Pets stars a dog named Max (Louis C. K.) who has to get used to sharing the love of his owner with a new dog in the house named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). The two are forced to embark on an adventure together, all while meeting other wacky pets along the way.

As a personal fan of Louis C. K.’s stand up, I was particularly excited to see how his voice acting in a kids film would hold compared to his other various works. Upon viewing, Louis really delivered. I was very pleased with just how much personality he gave to the performance. His distinct voice really added character and humanity to Max.

Not only Louis, but almost every voice actor in this film stood out to me, and each was unique in their own way. That, for me, was the strongest point throughout The Secret Life of Pets. It’s rare to find an animated movie where just about every voice is utilized to its fullest potential. When each voice is able to encompass the entire personality of the animated characters.

The animation is bright and colorful, typical Illumination Entertainment style. However I find that the story is more engaging then most of their past productions like The Lorax (2012), Minions (2015), or, dare I say it, Hop (2011). I was invested in the characters and their quests, and I wanted to see a happy resolution. I genuinely cared more about the pets in Secret Life of Pets than I ever did the minions in their movie.

There are plenty of different cat and dog personalities portrayed in the film. Every audience member is bound to find at least a few relatable traits to their own pets, which is really where The Secret Life of Pets gets its charm. While watching the film I would catch myself thinking things like, “that’s exactly how my dog acts”.

One of the weaker points of the film would be that it takes on such a standard plot. With the main plot being that the protagonists are lost and trying to get back to their owner. Therefore certain situations and scenes could get very predictable very fast. And with a plot so used before, the message doesn’t end up anything special either.

However the core audience for Secret Life of Pets, families and children, will be satisfied with this film regardless. When the movie gets good, it gets good. The personalities of the pets and the voice actors are what pick Secret Life of Pets up and carry it away.

The Secret Life of Pets answers the long asked question of, “what exactly are my pets doing while I’m not home?” The film tells a simple adventure story that children will easily enjoy and that adults will find cute and silly. However, those that will be most satisfied with The Secret Life of Pets will be those with crazy pets.

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