I was so looking forward to this one but this was not 2016's Summer blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets. It is The Secret Life of Pets 2 and there's not that much there, mediocore at best. Yes, some awwww moments and a few laughs (thank goodness) that make you think of what your own dog or cat does, but its woven together weakly with three plotlines that don't lead anywhere. It goes absolutely nowhere worth going nor remembering where you went.

The key to any movie such as this with pets needs one thing: relatability. Keep it pet compassarions that make us laugh and connect with, and they would have been much better off. It's truly is not a look behind the scenes of the minds of dogs and cats as it professes to be.

Director Chris Renaud (Despicable Me series), co-director Jonathon del Val and returning with writer Brian Lynch (Minions) are at the helm. They didn't get the memo for the formula that would have worked to make this better than the first. Since this verision comes from the same creative team, they needed to simply remember what made them a blockbuster in the first place and give us more of that. More, not less. It's odd. Very odd actually for an animated film on such a simply topic - our hysterical pets - that they tackled before tonot hit it out of the ballpark with this subject matter. Use the first as the invisible template. Mainly; remember what worked so well in their previous one and with their overall strong track records, they should have understood the audience going to see THIS animated film involves pet owner families so they should provide much more of what actually worked in that first one and think of this - why did those pet owners go to see the first one in the first place. I would have recommended, a fresh and simple large focus group - three years later now - do it once, play the original and you will see where the biggest laughs came. I can tell you it was all the "relatibility".  Had they paid close attention to where the laughs come in the first one - they would have realized what people want to see. Not just those under the age of 12. Kids will like the chaos and not realize that the storyline has three plots going but for the parents who want to enjoy it as much as children, who decided what to take their kids to, the filmakers must always remember to appeal to and respect all generations today for the high standard of animation we are now expecting. Bottom line for a story like this; when you see something that your pet does that cracks you up and what you imagine your pet to be doing when you leave the house - you then just exagerate that and THAT's how you get laughs for a film like this. That is the recipe.

Three storylines begin taking a look at bringing home a new baby and what that does to the pets. The voices are all great. Best part of this film. Patton Oswalt is terrific as the new lead voice of Max (even better than Louis C. K. who of course was not brought back as his careeer plummted while facing multiple allegeations of sexiual misconduct.) Max lives with his owner Katie (Ellie Kemper) in New York City and Katie's rescue dog Duke (Eric Stonestreet) Katie gets married, has a baby and Max doesn't know what hit his idealic life. Now Max is not the big kahuna in town and has to share the love but he becomes the protector of the baby and then goes overboard. When Katie and her family plus Max and Duke  go on a roadtip to the country,they meet up with other talking farm animals including Harrison Ford as the senior herding dog. Meanwhile back home in the city, antics ensure but there is too much going on and it gets corny and kind of stressful. That's now why we go to see The Secret Life of Pets 2.  It's funny the odd time whle back at the ranch (ok. the farm) we get some laughs such as a turkey stalking Max but then it gets repititious and old. Enough, need a new joke please. Back in the city, vicious situations with other the pets are not amusing. Whoever approved letting this plotline of three dijointed stories get greenlit definitely doesn't have a dog (or one that they understand). The three stories become to too much. The three plotlines keep happening and where they end up is not worthy, let alone so they tie togther.

Gee, the 2019 Animation Movemaking 101 Guidebook and in depth focus research seems like that would have been read and done before execution.

Anyone up to the age of 12 will find this mvie amusing. Over 12, think twice. But do wait for the credits, they have the biggest laughs.




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