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The Secret Life of Pets 2             review by Bobby Blakey

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Most theatrically released animated films do pretty well and more often than not spawn a franchise. It comes as no surprise that the 2016 hit The Secret Life Of Pets would be getting a sequel and the trailers leading up to it were a ton of fun. Most of the cast along with some newbies are back including Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Tiffany Haddish and Harrison Ford with Patton Oswalt taking over as the voice of Max originally played by Louis C. Could this latest entry bring more of the same animal hi-jinx that made the first one so fun or will it be too far off the leash to deliver?

The Secret Life of Pets 2 follows Max who faces some major changes after his owner Katie gets married and now has a child. On a family trip to the countryside, Max meets a farm dog named Rooster, and both attempt to overcome his fears. Meanwhile, Gidget tries to rescue Max's favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment, and Snowball sets on a mission to free a white tiger named Hu from a circus. To be honest when the original opened I felt it was fun, but missed the mark a few times. Over time I have to admit that its grown on me and after revisiting it prior to this new one I really loved it making me more excited to see these characters again.

This new entry furthers the story of all these characters, but instead of just retreading they tackle new issues that the animals deal with in their alone time away from their humans. There are two stories running side by side here and both deliver. I found this one more endearing than the original because of the subject matter. Having a dog myself that actually dealt with anxiety at one point it was a great new place to take Max and his friends. Oswalt steps in and does a great job as Max bringing all the same innocence and likeability needed to make you care about his situation while making it his own. The standout from the first film was Kevin Hart’s Snowball and this time around is given a lot more to do. His usual fast talking style perfectly blends with the manic behavior of Snowball, but the characters evolution allows him to still feel a bit different.  

The rest of the cast all did a great job as well bringing their characters to life and the overall film is just a blast. There are plenty of laugh out loud moments and fun adventure that allows every character here to have their moment to shine. Much like the original the animation is vibrant and beautiful to see. I love the character designs with Duke still being my favorite visually of both films. If you loved the first film or are just an animal lover trying to figure out what your pets are up to while you are away then this is the film for you.  

In addition to the film this release features bonus content including two brand new, laugh-out-loud funny mini-movies - Super Gidget, featuring the film’s adorable Pomeranian Gidget and her best friend Max and Minion Scouts, starring everyone’s comical little helpers, the Minions as well as deleted scenes, DIY and drawing tutorials and a special interactive Captain Snowball Motion Comic allowing viewers to direct our boisterous bunny hero on his next move exclusive to the 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray™ versions!  

Dive back into the world of your furry friends when The Secret Life of Pets 2 hits digital on August 13th and then on 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD on August 27th from Universal and Illumination. While you wait check out these all new bonus behind the scenes feature clips. 

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