Our loyal and furry four legged friends (some with two legs and some with wings!) are coming to the big screen this weekend as directors Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud and Illumination Entertainment bring “The Secret Life of Pets.”

Max (voiced by Louis C.K.) is a happy dog who absolutely loves his human Katie (Ellie Kemper) living in Manhattan. Spending his days waiting or napping, Max also has other animal friends like pink bowed and seriously fluffy doggy Gidget (Jenny Slate).

Excited that Katie is finally home, Max is about to get the surprise of his life when she introduces him to Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Duke isn’t exactly apartment trained and Max is not thrilled to be sharing his home so their relationship doesn’t start off well.

When the dog walker collects the group for a walk to the park, Max gets it in his head to get rid of Duke. It quickly backfires and both dogs are swooped up by animal control. The only thing that saves them is an accident created by an adorable big eared white bunny named Snowball. It doesn’t take long to realize that Snowball (Kevin Hart) has serious issues!

Accepting Max and Duke into their sewer group, the two dogs learn that there are many species of animal living below ground. Snowball wants to bring anarchy to the human-pet system and sees Max and Duke as new recruits.

Meanwhile, Gidget realizes that Max is missing and decides to take it upon herself to find him. Unlikely helpers are Tiberius (Albert Brooks) the hawk who sees everything as food, Pops (Dana Carvey) a hound who doesn’t let aged legs stop him and more.

It’s about knowing who your friends are no matter how many legs you have!

C.K. as Max is absolutely lovely! His voice is so animated and fits this furry character so well and it’s a nice change. Capturing the personality of this little dog who clearly loves his human is so heart warming. Watching the relationship grow between Max and Duke is a lot of fun.

Stonestreet as Duke is a big lug of a dog who just wants a home and somebody to love. When Max doesn’t exactly welcome him with open arms, a not-so-nice Duke comes out to play. He’s a lot like Max in that he is more bark than bite.

Slate as Gidget is hyper, funny, okay actually hilarious and serious. It’s pretty clear that Gidget is harboring feelings for Max and if anything else it motivates her more to find her friend! Don’t let the fluff and bows fool you though because between taming a hawk and taking on a psycho-bunny, Gidget is definitely a worthy pup-ponent!

Hart as Snowball is, of course, hilarious and a bit psychotic actually. I mean bunnies are strange creatures as it is and Hart gives us a reason to question their cuteness from this moment on!

Other voice cast include Jaime Camil as Fernando, Sandra Echeverria as Maria, Michael Beattie as Tattoo, Steve Coogan as Ozone/Reginald, Chris Renaud as Norman, Bobby Moynihan as Mel, Hannibal Buress as Buddy and Lake Bell as Chloe.

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give “The Secret Life of Pets” four tubs of popcorn out of five. I love the characters and so did my granddaughter who couldn’t stop laughing at Gidget’s hyperness.

During the film I could hear adults laughing and saying that several of the characters reminded them of their own pets and I couldn’t agree more. My own cat has an attitude and knocking things away and being a fussy eater is high on his list of things to keep me on my toes about.

The animation by the same folks that brought us “Despicable Me,” Illumination Entertainment clearly knows what fans of animated films want in story as well as amazing and colorful animation. This is one studio I’d love to visit just to watch their creative process and flow of ideas – okay I also want to know what they are doing next!

Gather up the family because the theatre is the place to be this weekend to enjoy the absolutely entertaining and wonderful “The Secret Life of Pets.”

In the end — ever wonder what your pets do when you’re not home?



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About the Author

Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.