Disclaimer: Some spoilers are to follow!
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is the June 2019 sequel to The Secret Life of Pets, an adventurous film that exposed what our beloved pets do when we’re not around. The plot followed Max who had to learn how to share his owner and belongings with a new dog named Duke whom he did not initially get along with. After many fights and mistakenly getting captured by animal control, they work together as well as accept aid from Snowball, a bunny who helps stray animals, in order to return to their owner Katie. Through many laughs and tear-wrenching moments, the film brings Max and Duke together as “brothers”, as Katie calls them, while making new animal friends along the way.
The sequel to the first movie mimicked the similar element of forming new bonds, but much of this plot followed different adventures. In the new film, Katie has a husband and baby boy. Max and Duke take a trip to the countryside with their owners, and back home, Gidget watches Max’s favorite toy for him. Snowball, now a superhero as per his owner’s costume, has his own story line as he and some friends help a tiger escape from circus cruelty. I thought Snowball’s mission was important because even though it’s an animated movie, it could raise awareness to both children and parents to not fund real life circuses and related exhibitions like zoos and aquariums.
I also picked up on Max’s diagnosis of stress/ anxiety. On the farm, he discovers way to overcome these factors, like being around friends, talking to uplifting people like Rooster who made Max confront his fears, and spreading motivation onto Liam, the toddler, who was nervous to go to preschool. Bringing awareness to mental health in kid-friendly movies show kids that it’s okay to feel certain things, but you shouldn’t let them hold you back like how Max restricted himself from having fun by always worrying about Liam’s safety. Liam has to take risks to learn and Max learns to be okay with that.
Overall, I rate this 9/10 and would recommend to give this movie a go with the entire family! This feel-good family film will make you laugh, “aw”, and possibly cry if you’re a crier because of how heart-warming it is. Animals and sweet little kids just have a soft spot for me, so maybe I might be alone on that one! Nonetheless, you won’t regret it the experience with your family.