The Secret Life of Pets

Director: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney (2016)

Furry foes compete to be top dog in this irresistible animated adventure guaranteed to get your tail wagging.

It’s powered with a manic zeal to please its audience and full of infectious sunny mirth and giggly silliness.

Created by the demented makers of the Despicable Me movies, it shamelessly milks brand loyalty to encourage you into the cinema.

This means we’re treated to a marvellous mini minion adventure prior to the film and lots of references throughout.

Max is a Jack Russell Terrier who lives in domestic bliss with his owner Katie and considers himself the luckiest dog in New York and.

His happiness is disturbed when Katie brings home another rescue pet and Max is forced to share his turf with the much larger dog called Duke.

They must bury their bone of contention when they become lost in the big city, are chased by animal catchers and hunted by a revolutionary rabbit and his gang of rampaging recruits. Huge snakes, hungry crocodiles and feral cats add to the madcap chaos.

Meanwhile the posse of friends who set out on the rescue include a hawk, a tabby, a budgie and an elderly basset hound on wheels.

As Max and Duke bark, bicker and bond in adversity as their situation begins to bite, the action rockets through the city, veering from vertiginous skyscrapers to the depths of the sewers.

There’s violent slapstick, bright colours, wall flattening pace and a fabulously funny fantasy in a hot dog factory.

The voice talents of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Steve Coogan and Lake Bell are great fun but my pet hate Kevin Hart never stops shouting his suspiciously ad libbed sounding lines.

Be warned; if you kids don’t have a pet now, they’ll want one after watching this.

@ChrisHunneysett

 

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