Following the 2016 animated hit, Universal Studios is releasing the sequel of Secret life of Pets and it does not disappoint. After the success of the original, audiences may be skeptical of how much more the writers could expand on a seemingly saturated concept. Much like Toy Story, The Secret Life of Pets uncovers what adventures take place when no one is home. However, SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 is arguably more entertaining, funny, poignant, and cinematically impressive than the original.
A major achievement of the film is the charming narrative and witty writing that allows the film to be enjoyed by a wide array of audiences spanning all ages. The film branches into three different storylines creating a dynamic narrative which all ties back in together at the end. The use of multiple storylines offers themes of friendship, resilience, bravery, and fun to be greatly emphasized. Writer, Bryan Lynch, creates characters that are both comical and relatable to our experiences with many of our own furry family members. The exaggerated nature of the pet behaviors lends itself to many humorous scenes throughout the film. However, for the most part, the characters are not multidimensional and can seem a little one-note. Additionally, a critique of the film may be that the characters rely heavily on stereotypes. In a positive way, the commentary is made about the unnecessary anxiety that Lawnmower parents experience when attempting to mitigate all obstacles and dangers from affecting their children. A negative stereotype that may be perpetuated by the film is the “pure evil” villain who happens to have a Russian accent. Although this can perpetuate anti-Russian sentiment following the widely politicized suspicion regarding meddling in the 2017 presidential election, this character may be based off a 2018 report of a tiger having a seizure in a Russian circus (Toliver, 2018). Overall the narrative and charismatic characters make this film particularly enjoyable.
Beyond the adorable narrative, it’s no surprise that the animation, cinematography and production quality are major highlights of the film. The animation is extremely well done in this film and is visually stimulating. Beautiful shots of the New York City skyline and cherry blossoms are highly impressive. There is also a scene that includes comic-book style animation which is also very appealing and enjoyable to watch. It is evident that a great amount of thought was put into the particular framing and individual shots leading to high production quality.
Fans of the original The Secret Life of Pets and any animal lover will likely highly enjoy this endearing sequel. The courage, kindness, and comedy of these adorable personified animals will touch your heart and have you holding the ones you love a little bit closer. THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 is coming to a theater near you this June 7.
Zachary, T. (2018, September 26). Tiger Convulses After Being Forced to Perform in Circus. Retrieved June 6, 2019, from https://www.peta.org/blog/tiger-collapses-circus/