I can vividly remember the first time we watched the blockbuster hit The Secret Life of Pets together as a family. We were in the comfort of our own livingroom, munching on popcorn and laughing our heads off! It was packed with such a star-studded comedic cast! Once the sequel, The Secret Life of Pets 2, was announced, the boys made their desperate plea to see it on the big screen. However, we missed that opportunity and had to wait for it to arrive on digital or DVD. Well ~ fortunately, I was asked to screen an advanced copy of the DVD…and here we are! I have to say, the sequel was JUST as funny as the first!
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The Secret Life of Pets 2
It is a reunion of talent as Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet and so many others return to bring us another irreverent, yet heartfelt story of our beloved pets. This NEW chapter explores the emotional lives of our four-legged friends and the deep bond between them and their growing families who love them. It also answers the begging question: What are our pets really doing when we’re not at home loving on them?
In The Secret Life of Pets 2, we are given three different story-lines to follow that ultimately come together in the end.
- First and foremost, we have Terrier Max. Max (voiced by Patton Oswalt) faces some major life changes in this film and learns to cope after his owner’s marriage and the arrival of a little one.
- Right alongside that, we have Gidget (voiced by Jenny Slate). Gidget, who is madly in love with Max, has to go on a recovery mission for Max’s favorite toy. See, she loses it while “babysitting” the noisemaker while Max is away. While in pursuit, she finds herself having to rescue “Busy Bee” from a cat-packed apartment. Yeah, I’m not a fan of that many cats! Fortunately, she manages to get a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (voiced by Lake Bell), who, strangely enough, is under the influence of catnip at the time.
- In the third story-line, Snowball (voiced by Kevin Hart) believes that he is a superhero. Why? Well, his owner started dressing him in superhero pajamas and the rest is history. While the other pets tease him about it, Daisy (voiced by Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission. Snowball has to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.
What I liked about The Secret Life of Pets 2
I am actually very fond of the story-line that has Max coming to terms with Liam entering the family. It is also endearing to watch Max’s journey as he faces his anxieties during a family trip to visiting a relative’s farm. In fact, if I were to be honest, that particular story-line is ultimately my favorite part of the movie. However, that could have a lot to do with Harrison Ford playing Rooster, too. Hmmm….
I can also appreciate the intriguing blend of seriousness and total insanity, as well as how they come together in the end. There are endearing moments that pull you in and then those that leave you with a crooked eyebrow or a belly laugh. Honestly, Kevin Hart’s role as Captain Snowball will leave you in stitches!!
What I didn’t like about The Secret Life of Pets 2
Yup – I have to go there. I like to keep it real for you guys. So, I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of the story-line with Gidget, but she has never been a favorite of mine from the beginning. Of course, there’s a Gidget in every friend group, so we learn to cope and love them as they are. I’m also not a huge fan of cats (gasp, I know!!), so seeing THAT many of them in that scene……gave me the shakes!
I also wasn’t a huge fan of the animal cruelty displayed in Snowball’s story-line. It pained me every time I saw Sergei mistreat that beautiful tiger. I mean, I know that was the intent (so it was effective), but why? Why was it necessary in a movie our children will enjoy seeing?
Would I Recommend?
While I admit it’s a funny movie to watch, there are some scenes that may be disturbing for littles. There are several scenes of peril and quite a few scary moments with wolves chasing and snarling at smaller animals. As noted above, there were several acts of animal cruelty demonstrated and I myself even had trouble with those. Not to mention, there are quite a few fight scenes between a monkey and a rabbit and between several crazy cats.
With regard to language, that is fairly mild in comparison to many films. However, there are a good handful of insults thrown out. There is also a reference to the inebriating effects of catnip, as Chloe is given some by her owner (noted above)
Of course, the movie does provide some opportunities to chat about some tough topics with your children. Whether it’s talking about family structure, worry, anxiety, animal rights, jealousy, courage, teamwork or learning how to survive in different situations, it’s safe to say the movie is a genuine conversation starter.
“In life you can either run from challenges or overcome them.”
I would personally see it again (in fact, I already have!). So, with the above warnings taken into consideration, I’d recommend it for families with kiddos 7 and up (again, you know your children better than I do!!!)
CHECK OUT THIS FUN CRAFT!!
DIY CAPTAIN SNOWBALL EARS
Have some fun with one of our favorite rambunctious hares and create these adorable ears!! Simply click on the graphic below ↓ for supplies needed and instructions!
Secret Life of Pets 2 is now on Digital and arrives on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™, DVD and On Demand August 27, 2019
So, this is pretty cool. Check this out…
The 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray™ and Digital versions of the film pack in 90+ minutes of bonus content! The DVD version holds about 75 minutes of bonus material. This includes two brand new, laugh-out-loud funny mini-movies, deleted scenes, DIY and drawing tutorials, and a special interactive Captain Snowball Motion Comic. The latter allows viewers to direct our boisterous bunny hero on his next move (exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray™ versions)!
BONUS FEATURES ON 4K ULTrA HD, BLU-RAY™, DVD & DIGITAL
- Minion Scouts – When Margo, Agnes and Edith return from Badger Scout camp, three of the Minions are entranced by the girls’ merit badges. They attempt to create their own scout camp. However, this results in attracting a bear, eating poison berries and eventually blowing up a dam, creating a massive flood. When they arrive back home, however, the girls share their badges, encouraging the rest of the Minions to try their hand at scouting.
- Super Gidget – When Max is kidnapped by an army of squirrels, Super Gidget is the only one who can save him. It turns out that Max’s captor is a flea with the power of mind control. Gidget must use her pluckiness, strength and smarts to save her one true love. Of course, that is until it turns out it was all just a dream.
The Making of the Mini Movies
- Every Illumination film is accompanied by mini movies that are a production all their own. Each film’s directing partners will explore the making of each mini movie.
- Wake Up – Max and Duke have a new morning routine with Liam.
- Duke Explores the Farm – Duke has a funny interaction with a goat.
- Snowball Karate – Snowball does his superhero warm up.
- Secret Confessions – Dogs gather to talk about their deepest secrets
A Tapestry of a Tail: The Making Of
- The plot of The Secret Life of Pets 2 involves multiple storylines ultimately coming together to create a larger than life tale. We talk with the filmmakers, editor and cast about the delicate dance of juggling multiple narratives in one movie.
How to Draw
- Hosted by Head of Story, Eric Favela, follow the step-by-step tutorial to learn to draw Max, Snowball and Chloe.
Frame by Frame: How to Make a Flip Book
- In this DIY-style vignette, Head of Story, Eric Favela, will teach viewers about the essence of animation and how they can create their very own flip book animations at home.
- Get a closer look at your favorite characters of The Secret Life of Pets 2 with some delightful character pods that might just give away a few more pet secrets.
A Party Fit for a Pet
- Using stop motion animation, this step-by-step guide teaches you everything you need to know to throw the very best party for your pet!
Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart
- Join Kevin Hart as he shows off his dog training skills.
Pets Yule Log
- Sit back and relax in front of this exclusive The Secret Life of Pets 2 themed animated ‘Yule Log.’
- ‘Panda’ Lyric Video
- ‘It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2)’ Lyric Video
EXCLUSIVE TO 4K ULTrA HD & BLU-RAY™
- The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball (Interactive) – This animated ‘Motion Comic’ expands the world of our furry hero, Captain Snowball. Using a ‘superhero’ comic book style and custom animation, we discover more about the secret world of our caped crusader with a little help from our viewers. At key moments in the story, the viewer must decide: left, or right? Fight or flight? Their choice determines our hero’s next move!
EXCLUSIVE TO 4K ULTrA HD & BLU-RAY™ & DIGITAL
- My Buddy and Me – Check out these interviews with the Illumination cast and crew. They talk about The Secret Life of Pets 2 while holding (or trying to hold) their pets.
- Pets with Jobs: A Documentary – We find and profile animals with special jobs. For instance, we look for a service dog that detects when its epileptic owner is about to have a seizure. We search for ponies that provide comfort to children with cancer. We even find police dogs that go the extra mile to catch the bad guys. Meet some of the many animals who make the world a better place every day!
- Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pets Massage – A professional pet masseuse shows the cast how to read signs of tension in their pet. With the use of massage techniques, the masseuse teaches them how to keep their furry babies relaxed and happy!
- Production Pets – It takes hundreds of people to make an animated movie. A lot of those people have pets that can’t wait for them to come home. This piece is dedicated to all those faithful companions.
The dog days of summer are almost over. It’s the perfect time for gathering on the couch and watching this endearing cast of four-legged friends for a quality family movie night. Who knows? It may just remind you of why you love your own pets and what makes them so very special to you.
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