Back in 2016, audiences were introduced to Max the terrier (then voiced by Louis C.K., now voiced by Patton Oswalt), Snowball (voiced by Kevin Hart), Duke (voiced by Eric Stonestreet) and Gidget (voiced by Jenny Slate) in The Secret Life of Pets. It was a cute look into the lives of pets when the owners are at work and pulled back the curtain on what kind of trouble the pets get into when nobody is home. Some mischief led the gang on an adventure and it was fairly entertaining with some laughs along for the ride. Three years later, The Secret Life of Pets 2, basically continues where the first one left off. Max’s owner fell in love and had a kid and Max takes it upon himself to raise the child as much as he can in order to develop a bond with the newest addition of the family. More or less, it is the same movie. If you attached it to the end of the first movie, you would really think that it was all just one movie. The beginning shows the lives of the pets and even introduces a few newcomers to the cast. Daisy and Rooster, voiced by Tiffany Haddish and Harrison Ford respectively, join the pets as they embark on various adventures taking place within the movie. Each character has a different story arc and different adventure to overcome. The pets do not really work as a team until the 3rd act when it all ties together.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 does differ from the first offering in one area. The humor is mildly aimed at adults more so than the children. There was an unexpected allusion to drugs that will totally fly over the kids’ heads. It was funny but it has been done many times over in other movies. To avoid spoilers, I will not go into detail of all the types of jokes used but, The Secret Life of Pets 2 does use a pretty good assortment of them. I do believe it was a tad bit funnier than the first movie if I recall correctly.
What really stands out in The Secret Life of Pets 2 is the animation. Everything was incredibly detailed from the dirt in the dogs’ coats to the reflections in their big puppy eyes. The movie is incredibly bright and colorful and just a joy to watch. The dogs and cats in the movie are animated in such an adorable way, you will be dying to grab them right off the screen! Maybe it is the dog lover in me but, pretty much every dog (fine, and cat) on the screen was extremely cute and you can’t avoid the heartwarming sensation given from the pets.
I must admit that the hour and twenty six minute runtime did start to feel a bit long towards the end of the movie but I was laughing during a good chunk of it. The audience seemed to be enjoying themselves as well. Kids and adults were laughing at all the silly antics that occurred on screen. There were a few parts that I felt might be too intense for the real young kids but I did not hear anyone crying because of the scenes.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a fine movie to take a child to in order to get some free air conditioning to beat the summer heat. When I do not think it is better than the first movie, it is entertaining and it will hold your child’s attention for the duration of the movie. It is also a pretty good movie for the adult crowd to flock to with their friends. Make sure your dog or cat’s food and water bowls are filled and escape for a bit to see The Secret Life of Pets 2, you will have a pretty good time and it just may make you question what your pet has been doing while you were away!