The Secret Life Of Pets Blu-ray Review
“The Secret Life Of Pets” is a generic animated film.
“The Secret Life Of Pets” revolves around a Jack Russell Terrier named Max who is displeased that his owner has brought home another dog (a shaggy mongrel named Duke). The two do not get along and their distaste for one another lands them in hot water as they face all sorts of problems in Manhattan including Animal Control and the Flushed Pets gang. Amidst their troubles, however, the two begin to bond. Elsewhere in the story, Max’s friends (led by Max’s love interest Gidget) band together to try and find him in the big city. Can all of the pets get home before their owners return home from work? That would be telling.
When I saw the first trailer for “The Secret Life Of Pets,” it looked like a charming “When the owners are away, the pets play” animated feature. As it turns out, ‘Pets’ is indeed charming when the pets see their owners leave and return to their home (which bookends the film). Unfortunately, the middle portion of the film completely negates those moments.
For the vast majority of the runtime, Illumination Entertainment’s “The Secret Life Of Pets” is the type of film which features the best jokes in the ads. The material that isn’t in the ads tends to be rather dreadful ala the pig lady costume, the irritating Snowball character (played by an over-the-top Kevin Hart), pets driving cars (what is with this lately?), and hot dogs singing a “Grease” musical number (don’t ask). Add in the fact that the story plays like an inferior version of Pixar’s greatest works and it all feels rather lackluster. Granted, I’m sure many kids will find it to be a hoot, but for viewers expecting something more sophisticated or original, they won’t find it here.
“The Secret Life Of Pets” isn’t all a downer, however, as there are a few characters who manage to provide some much needed laughs. Buddy the Dachshund, Mel the squirrel hating Pug, and the old basset hound Pops (perfectly voiced by Dana Carvey) steal every scene they are in. They make you wish they weren’t the supporting characters but rather the stars.
Presentation: 1.85:1 1080p. How does it look? Say what you will about the film, but there’s no denying that the hi-def transfer is flat-out stunning. The colors are so rich in 1080p.
Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? This is a loud and lively track and that’s the way it should be.
* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* Universal trailers including one for “Sing.”
* 3 Mini-Movies titled “Norman TV,” “Weenie,” and “Mower Minions.” If you like those yellow oddities known as the Minions, you’ll likely dig “Mower Minions.” “Norman TV” is a silly but slightly amusing animated short with the guinea pig observing apartment residents. Finally, “Weenie” is a short revolving around hot dogs. There’s also a making of about these shorts which contains interviews, behind-the-scenes footage, and discussions about the 3 shorts.
* “GoPro: The Secret Life Of Pets”- Footage of human feats done with a GoPro camera compared to scenes from ‘Pets.’
* “The Best of Snowball”- A collection of scenes from the annoying character.
* A “Lovely Day” music video and a sing-along to the hot dog musical number form ‘Pets.’
* “Fandango: Brian The Minion On Pets”- A 3 part extra with Minions watching scenes from ‘Pets.’
* “The Humans That Brought You Pets”- Individual interviews with Chris Meledandri, Janet Healy, Chris Renaud, Brian Lynch and Yarrow Cheney.
* “Hairstylist To The Dogs”- A featurette about pet grooming tips.
* “Animals Can Talk: Meet The Actors”- A featurette on the cast of voice actors.
* “All About The Pets”- An animal trailer shows off some animals for Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart.
* “Anatomy Of A Scene”- A look at how an animated scene is created.
* “How To Make An Animated Film”- Pretty self-explanatory.
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