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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Secret Life of Pets, The (12/6/2016)


Rated PG for action and some rude humor.

Starring the voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks and Bobby Moynihan

Directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me and The Lorax) and Yarrow Cheney


Todd's Rating: A Coaster

Dynamic ImageThis is not your Disney/Pixar style animated film.

It’s a question that all pet owners have asked themselves at one time or another: What exactly do our pets do when we’re not at home? Chances are that the answer to the question is not particularly exciting, for the obvious answers would appear to be eat, roam around the house, and, of course, sleep. But what if they did much more than we ever thought they did? This is the kind of scenario that director Chris Renaud and company have imagined for their new animated film, The Secret Life of Pets, a film that speculates on what our pets really do when the humans aren’t around.

This movie is called a comedy but there were very few laughs in our house. In fact, there were several times my wife and I looked at each other with that same, “was that too far” look. Between the toilet humor and the “gang” scenes we just did not enjoy this one.

The cast, including Louis C.K., Ellie Kemper, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks and Bobby Moynihan, reads more like the lineup of a raunchy PG-13 comedy than an animated movie for children.

As for the animation, it is top notch. The colors provide a bright and energetic life for the images. Unfortunately, this only makes you wish that a little more thought had gone into the adventures that the writers send these characters on. The movie is 80-minutes long, but I was look at my watch way sooner than that.

It wasn’t the worst idea, but it needed a little more originality to give it the extra something it required to be effective. For me it was a “Coaster.”


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
I was surprised by how not kid-friendly this movie was. I feel that the PG rating for action and rude humor was spot on.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. What were some of the things the pets did when they were alone?

  2. What are some things that we do when no one is watching?

  3. C.S. Lewis once said, “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”
  4. How can we do the right thing, even when no one is watching?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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