Friday, July 8, 2016

The Secret Life of Pets (PG/90 Min.)

The Secret Life of Pets begins with birds flying over Manhattan.  New York.  Not Kansas.  And that was all it took to pull me in to this movie.  Though my stick-figure drawings are improving by leaps and bounds, I just don’t hold a candle to the amazingness of these artists.  The overhead view of Central Park in the Fall made me want to run home and buy a ticket for a flight to the Big Apple in September…October…Autumn-time.

And the pets!!!  But wait.  You probably want to know a little more about the story itself.  Okay.  I can dig it.  If you’ve seen the trailers, you have a general idea of what the movie’s about.  If you haven’t, you’ve done a great job of avoiding televisions, movie theaters, people in the office who e-mail links to the trailers to co-workers because, “OhmycowyoujusthavetolookatthisIcan’twaittilitcomesout!!!”  What? So I talk a tad quickly when I’m excited.  Anyway, this is basically the story of a good number of the animals in Manhattan and how they act when the humans are away.  It’s also the story of Max, who loves his human, Katie, and doesn’t want to share her with his new brother, Duke, and what happens when they push things just a little too far.

But, back to the trailers.  If you’ve seen them, you’ve only seen a tiny portion of the film and not lots of different bits of various scenes leading to what must be the obvious outcome.  Yes, that’s right, my peeps!!! Trailers that do NOT ruin the movie for you!  What a novel idea!!!  And, even if you laughed and laughed during the musical montage trailer, you’ll still laugh at it in the film.  Well, I did anyway.  As did most of the kids and adults in the theater with me.  I went with my cousin and my 6-year-old cousin, jr.  and we all loved it.  Some of us more than others because one of us…cough cough, jr. …had ants in her pants because she wanted me to get us signed up for a prize drawing that was to happen right after the movie was over.  That was my mistake.  I told her that I’d do it as soon as the credits began and those credits couldn’t get there fast enough for her.  However!  One of my other cousin jr’s. and her 3-year-old junior went to a different pre-screening of the film and junior, jr. really liked it.  So…now you know.  Kids like this film.  Unless they have their eyes on the prize.  Literally.

I have decided that whoever was in charge of creating the different pets either has these certain pets or they watch a LOT of YouTube or have many a pin on Pinterest.  They were spot on!  No pun intended.  Let’s talk about Chloe.  No, she’s not the star of the film but, as the main feline, she might as well be.  I must become friends with her creator.  She is so….cat!  From her I-don’t-care-about-you-til-I-feel-like-caring-about-you attitude, to playing with her toy mouse to, to fitting herself into different objects including bowls and way-too-small boxes.  Any time the main pets are congregated, keep your eyes on Chloe.  Okay, one of your eyes.  Because other stuff is happening too.

And then there’s Gidget.  If you’ve seen the movie Zootopia and think you’ve heard her voice somewhere before, you have!  If you haven’t seen it, you should.  It’s good.  But, enough about Zootopia.  We’re talking Pets!  Gidget pretty much stole the show.  How that can happen during an animated movie I have no idea, but there you go.  She’s a cute, little ball of floof but has a pretty decent case of tiny dog syndrome when it’s needed.  I vowed, long ago, to never EVER own a floofy dog but she came really close to making me consider the possibility.  Then the movie ended and I was over it.

Those were my two favorite characters, followed closely by Snowball.  You just can’t help but like Snowball, the sadistic little bunny that he was.  Yes, he bordered creepy-town on occasion but never totally crossed the line.  I’m almost ashamed to admit that I didn’t recognize his voice.  Almost.  I was too wrapped up to be pulled into that little game.  Which is amazing in, and of, itself.

I guess I should mention Max and Duke.  I truly liked them both and, again, firmly believe that their creators KNOW these types of dogs.  There’s nothing negative I can say about either of them.  They did funny things and were in funny scenes, and some not so funny scenes.  I just liked all the other pets so much more.  But, don’t let that deter you from seeing this.  I recommend this for just about anyone.  I say “just about” because I’m sure there are strange people out there (my sister) who don’t like animated movies. What?  I know, right?!?!?!

As far as anything that could possibly scare children, if they’ve seen the afore-mentioned movie about cop bunnies and did okay with that, this should be just fine too.  I am going to see The Secret Life of Pets  again this weekend.  At the Winchester (shameless plug for the local drive-in).  With a male-type person.  What?  I know, right?!?!?!  Oh!  And they’re showing Tarzan, too.  You should go.

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