The Secret Life of Pets review: This one’s an ideal rainy-day matinée
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS
Direction: Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney
Voices: Louis CK, Kevin Hart
Displaying the same striking combination of sight, sound and story as their two Despicable Me movies, co-directors Chris Renaud and his former production designer Yarrow Cheney bring to life a veritable menagerie of domesticated animals in The Secret Life of Pets.
Another in a long line of family-centric animated escapades, the computer-generated romp is reminiscent of Pixar’s pioneering Toy Story franchise.
As with the toys, the pets too constantly vie for their owners’ affection. But what do they get up to when the master isn’t around? Left to their own devices, the critters run rampant through the streets, alleyways and sewers of New York City.
Watch the trailer
Chief among the cast of charming characters is a cheerful canine (delightfully dubbed by Louis CK). The devoted terrier lives a pampered life with his petite owner (Ellie Kemper) in her Manhattan apartment. That is, until a new pooch arrives, an excitable mongrel (Eric Stonestreet) that threatens his status as top dog.
A game of one-upmanship ensues as the rival pets engage in a series of captivating misadventures.
Soon enough, though, they are forced to set their differences aside when a gang of abandoned animals, led by a psychotic white bunny (Hart), ignites a revolution against heartless pet owners.
The feuding mutts also have to contend with overzealous officers from the dog pound.
Besides the protagonist duo and their prime adversary, animals of all stripes -- including a lovelorn Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), an obese feline (Lake Bell) and a ravenous hawk (Albert Brooks) -- are on hand to provide the requisite fun quotient.
On the downside, there are some lame attempts at humour such as a fantasy sequence set in a sausage factory. The frenetic, anything-goes approach tends to become tedious after a while too.
Although the 3D effects aren’t top-notch, the replication of the bustling New York skyline is artful. The animation and design teams have also taken commendable care to capture the quirkiness of an entire cast of animal characters.
The jazz-inflected background score by veteran composer Alexandre Desplat is supplemented by musical selections from Taylor Swift, Bill Withers and Pharrell Williams.
Kevin Hart, the voice of the vendetta-seeking bunny, is a standout even in the prolific array of vocal talent.
All seen and savoured, Secret Life of Pets makes for an ideal rainy-day matinée.
Enter your email to get our daily newsletter in your inbox
- Here's a video of almost-baby Tiger Shroff, taking to the stage with his father, Jackie, back in the early 1990s.
- Kishwer Merchant and Suyyash Rai announced on Tuesday that they are expecting their first child. Check out their Instagram posts.
- Amazon Prime Video has issued a new apology over the legal cases surrounding the political drama Tandav. Read it here.
- The creatives behind an apparel advertisement featuring Deepika Padukone have been accused of plagiarism by Yeh Ballet filmmaker Sooni Taraporevala, who has called the incident 'intellectual theft'.
- BTS singer V released his vlog on YouTube, which featured a few behind-the-scenes glimpses at his song Snow Flower with Peakboy, his workout session, and more.
- Fans have once again spotted similarities between Tiger Shroff's character in Heropanti 2, and Agent 47 in the Hitman video game series. A new poster for the film debuted on Tuesday.
- BLACKPINK member Rosé shared posters to confirm that she will make her solo debut on March 12. Her fellow BLACKPINK members Jisoo, Lisa and Jennie extend their support.
- Kajol celebrated the completion of one year of her short film, Devi. She mentioned how the film could still make her emotional.
- Several Twitter users pointed out that the poster for the upcoming Saina Nehwal biopic, starring Parineeti Chopra, appears to show an incorrect serve action.
- John Abraham and Disha Patani have begun working on their upcoming film, Ek Villain Returns. See pics.
- Tiger Shroff, who turned a year older on Tuesday, was spotted with rumoured girlfriend Disha Patani and his mother Ayesha Dutt on a dinner outing.
- Ankita Lokhande has shared several pictures and videos from a house party she had with Rashami Desai on Monday.
- Shaza Morani and Priyaank Sharma's Hindu wedding ceremony has been postponed, in light of the increase in Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra. The couple and their families and friends are currently in the Maldives.