July 11, 2016

“The Secret Life Of Pets”

Animated features continue to be popular with movie goers this summer, with the latest case in point being the new film “The Secret Life of Pets.”

The offering from Illumination Entertainment, the family arm of Universal Studios, brought in more than $103 million during its opening weekend.  Illumination is the company behind such other animated hits as “Despicable Me,” “Minions,” and “The Lorax.”

The early box office success of “The Secret Life of Pets” is not a bad return for a film that reportedly cost $75 million to produce and is, in fact, a record debut total for an original animated film. It surpassed the previous mark of $90.4 million, set last year by Disney-Pixar’s “Inside Out.”

“The Secret Life of Pets” comes on the heels of other successful animated features this season, including “Zootopia” and “Finding Dory,” which was knocked to third place at the box office by “The Secret Life of Pets” on its opening weekend. 

The animation of “The Secret Life of Pets,” is terrific, and despite a rather lean plotline, the voice talents, including Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart, help propel the story of what pets do during the day when their owners are away.

The characters are, for the most part, fun and interesting, and when combined with wonderfully colorful New York scenes and a soundtrack that runs the gamut of songs from artists such as Taylor Swift to Pharrell Williams, there’s little reason the film is finding an audience. 

The film is directed by Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney, and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.  Although its running time is a bit over an hour and a half, it feels a bit too long. 

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