Illumination Pictures brings us their first movie to be made that doesn’t involve the hugely popular Minions. After making a huge ton of money from three outings of the little yellow nutters, we have a film about the goings on of pets after their owners leave them alone at home. Main character Max voiced by Louis C.K is the only dog at his home and is loved dearly by his owner. Then, a new dog, Duke, is rescued and brought back to his home to live with him. Struggling to get along during the first day, Max decides to stamp his authority on the new, disobedient dog by trashing the place. Explaining that the owner would blame the new dog, Duke agrees to play ball and get along. While being taken out for a walk by a dog walker, Duke and Max get split from the pack of other dogs and run into some trouble when they get their collars stolen by some street-wise cats. With no collars, the pet patrols are after them to take them to the pound. Max and Duke have to come together to work as a team to find their way back home.
After their huge success with the Minions, it was always going to be a tricky sell by Illumination to see if they have life in the studio outside of Despicable Me. Thankfully, they have given us a great animation that gives us a fresh and enjoyable animation that everyone can enjoy. Following the life of pets while their owners are away is an enjoyably inventive idea that continued to keep me entertained throughout. The voice actors in the film were all brilliant especially global superstar Kevin Hart. Coming from one of his least favourite fans, Kevin Hart is the scene stealer and star of the film. His charisma and energy burst through the screen and brings to life Snowball the Rabbit.
The animation itself is very impressive. After gaining lots of revenue from all things Minions, Illumination pictures now have the freedom to make other films and pump some decent money into other avenues. Illuminations are only at the start of an impressive start to their early life as a studio and I believe will only get bigger in time. Unfortunately, for a film like this, I find it difficult to see a sequel being made from it, so the longevity of The Secret Life of Pets is very low. Studios like this live and breed on franchises and sequels alike just like Despicable Me to keep them alive. So I hope that they continue to deliver fresh films with the chance of sequels and more from them because I very much enjoy their animation.
The voice cast were perfect for each and every one of the characters in the film, the animation is brilliant and the story itself is very smart! The Secret Life of Pets is hugely original, enjoyable and a great barrel of fun for the kids and adults alike. 3.5 out of 5 stars.