Sunday, August 25, 2019
Video review: "The Secret LIfe of Pets 2"
Movies like “The Secret Life of Pets 2” are a perfect fit with home video, because they’re the sort of thing that kids will love and parents can use to buy themselves 86 minutes of precious free time.
I didn’t much care for either the first CGI animation film or this sequel, which basically takes the “Toy Story” concept and applies it to doggies, cats and a few other pet varieties. It’s a look at the adventures they have while we leave them at home.
Max, the Jack Russell Terrier voiced by Patton Oswalt, is more or less the protagonist, though Kevin Hart puts in a challenge as Snowball, an excitable rabbit who dresses like a superhero and starts to imagine he is one, too. Each goes off on their own adventure through the big city, with a third story thread headlined by Gidget, the snooty Pomeranian voiced by Jenny Slater.
I won’t belabor you with a plot summary, other than to say there’s a lot of chases, slightly scary encounters with some tough circus animals and more than a little gastrointestinal humor.
It’s middle-of-the-road moviemaking expressly aimed at kids.
I’m not advocating for skipping movies at the theater, which would render my endeavor rather moot, or with letting your television act as a 24/7 babysitter. What I am saying is that you should spend quality time with your kids, while acknowledging there will be times you need a break from them and a grandparent isn’t around.
Bonus features are quite good, and get better the higher up the price scale you go. The DVD edition includes two short films and accompanying making-of featurette; four deleted scenes; character “pods” highlighting each of the critters; a making-of documentary short; a puppy training school trip with Kevin Hart; tutorials on drawing and making a flip book; and a pets-themed “Yule Log” for the holidays.
Upgrade to the 4K/Blu-ray version and you add “The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball,” a motion comic highlighting the further adventures of the ersatz hero. Digital access-only content amounts to four more documentary shorts.