Michael Scott

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Apr 4, 2017
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The Secret Life of Pets 2

Movie: :4stars:
Video: :5stars:
Audio: :4.5stars:
Extras: :4stars:
Final Score: :4.5stars:


I was wildly excited for 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets due to being a rabid pet lover, as well as the trailer being flat out hysterical (in my opinion). Sadly the movie itself slightly underwhelmed as it was a fairly derivative animated pet film with fantastic audio and visuals. So you can be pretty certain that I failed to see The Secret Life of Pets 2 when it came to theaters and instead just oped to wait for the home video release being that I fully expected it to be worse than the middling first movie. Well, I have to eat a little bit of crow though, as The Secret Life of Pets 2 is actually a lot more fun and charming than I ever expected it to be. The film itself has less of a plot than it’s predecessor, but this actually works in the film’s favor being that The Secret Life of Pets felt over bloated and too busy back when I reviewed it 3 years ago. The sequel is more simple and lighthearted, making for a more enjoyable watch in this reviewers household.

Well, it’s been a few years since Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Stonestreet) have laid their grievances to rest and become friends. Their owner has now gotten married and something new has arrived. A little baby who’s is a terror to our canine friends. But low and behold, that little baby grows into a young child who adores his puppers and the two friends have a human buddy to take care of. But as with all children, they grow up and start leaving the house. In the case of Duke and Max’s little boy, its time for him to go off to preschool, and Max isn’t exactly taking it well. The little dog begins acting out and scratching, prompting his owner to take him to a behavioral therapist, which does minimal good. The real healing begins when Max and his family take a trip out to a relatives farm, where he meets an old farm dog named Rooster (Harrison Ford), who teaches him the real meaning of being a dog.

Simultaneously the rest of the New York apartment building’s animals are having their OWN adventures. A new dog by the name of Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) comes in with a sob story about a poor white tiger cub by the name of Hu who is being dragged off by a cruel circus owner named Sergei (Nick Kroll) to be mistreated. Little Snowflake the bunny (Kevin Hart) is here to save the day though, and he and his new client Daisy are off to rescue Hu. This goes as well as can be excepted, with Snowflake barely making it out of their alive, but with Hu in tow and the circus owner hot on their tale. Now it’s up to Snowflake and the newly inspired Max to try and save Hu from a life of imprisonment from the evil circus owner.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a lot less busy than it’s predecessor. The story is much lighter, much less intense, and more of a personal journey for Snowflake and Max. It’s a more introspective tale with max taking up a majority of the first half of the film, learning how to deal with being a dog and gaining his confidence back. The second half of the story with Snowflake is where the story’s “adventure” happens, and this is a bit goofier than the previous part with Max’s journey to self discovery. There’s the obligatory animal chase scene thrown in there, and it’s silly and goofy, but still quite a lot of fun.

I was a bit worried that after Louis C.K. was fired from the script back in 2017 (his big #MeToo scandal) that the movie would suffer, but Patton Oswalt actually does a really good job as Max. Oswalt always makes his roles his own, and Max is so well written that after the first few minutes I actually forgot that there were different voice actors playing him in both movies. The rest of the cast is fabulous, with Lake Bell and Jenny Slate taking the cake with Chloe and Bridget, and Kevin Hart’s screaming antics actually work for the craziness that is Snowflake.


Rated PG for some action and rude humor

Video: :5stars:
Holy cow. This is pure digital yumminess on disc. The Secret Life of Pets 2 was supposedly shot digitally and then transferred to a 2K digital intermediate for the home video release, and the resulting Blu-ray image is nothing short of digital perfection. Everything is so fantastically detailed from the texture of Max’s nose down to the individual blades of grass and clumps of dirt as he’s tries to scrabble up an embankment at the farm. The colors are bold and vivacious with powerful depth and wonderful saturation levels. Everything is so bright and colorful that it’s just a cornucopia of vivid colors. This is just pure magic on a visual front, with not a sign of crush, banding or any other digital artifacting in sight. In short, this is a perfect looking Blu-ray that is simply spectacular to see.

Audio: :4.5stars:
Universal has given the disc a very VERY nice Dolby Atmos track to enjoy, just like it’s predecessor. The mix is vibrant and full of life, as the New York City dogs are thrust into a farmhouse environment, as well as Snowflake’s adventure with the circus. The surrounds are used quite extensively with the sounds of the outdoors, or the screeching of tires and yelling of pedestrians in the city. The heights are used moderately well, with a few shouts from above and the ending train ride putting in some discrete and panning effects. Bass is healthy and powerful, with several standout moments (such as when Max leaps onto the train) really putting some low end umph into the track. it’s a great sounding mix and complements the movie’s stellar video quite well.

Extras: :4stars:
• Mini-Movies
— Minion Scouts
— Super Gidget
• The Making of the Mini-Movies
• Deleted Scenes
— 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
• How to Draw
• Frame by Frame – How to Make a Flip Book
• Character Pods
— Patton Oswalt – Max
— Kevin Hart – Snowball
— Eric Stonestreet – Duke
— Jenny Slate – Gidget
— Tiffany Haddish – Daisy
— Lake Bell – Chloe
— Nick Kroll – Sergei
— Dana Carvey – Pops
— Bobby Moynihan – Mel
— Harrison Ford – Rooster
• My Buddy and Me
• The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball
• Pets with Jobs – A Documentary
• A Party Fit for a Pet
• Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pet Massage
• Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart
• Production Pets
• Pet’s Yule Log
• Lyric Videos
— ‘Panda’ Lyric Video
— ‘It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2)’ Lyric Video
• A Party Fit for a Pet

Final Score: :4.5stars:

Yes, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a kids movie, and no it’s not AS GOOD as some of Universal’s big ones like Despicable Me and The Minions Movie. However, it’s a light and fluffy adventure movie that is actually a good deal better than the first movie (which is kind of a shocker). I had a good time with the laid back kids film and the audio and video specs are completely to die for. Pure digital eye and ear candy for home theater nuts. The Blu-ray is stacked with quite an array of special features and if you like what you see in the trailer, this is well worth checking out. Definitely a fun watch.

Technical Specifications:

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Harrison Ford, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Nick Kroll, Pete Holmes, Henry Lynch
Directed by: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val
Written by: Brian Lynch
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Core), Spanish, French DD+ 7.1
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Studio: Universal
Rated: PG
Runtime: 86 minutes
Blu-Ray Release Date: August 27th, 2019

Recommendation: Entertaining Watch

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Thanks for the review. We will get this for the kids. :)
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