Directors: Chris Renaud, Yarrow Cheney
Cast: Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Hannibal Buress, Eric Stonestreet
Synopsis: The perfect life in terrier Max’s New York apartment is overturned when his owner brings a new dog home to join the family
Verdict: What seemed, from the trailer, to be a film simply about what pets get up to at home when you’re not there, descended into 90 minutes of bizarre animated antics. From an innocent outset of over-eating felines and well-preened pooches quickly altered into tattooed pigs, singing sausages and crocodiles rising up from the sewers. To say the plot was a surprise would be an understatement, although it probably aligns with other weird and wonderful plots that make it into kids films nowadays.
Admittedly there was an abundance of funny scenes and quick one-liners that worked very well and the film did feel remarkably short, so I couldn’t have been too bored! The movement of the plot did feel really fast, and the soundtrack made it a fun and easy watch. There was a standard cast of B-list celebrity voices, so nothing that stood out from that viewpoint. I did like the underlying message of pet care and abandonment, the film did rightfully highlight the throwaway nature of some pets and the inability of humans to look after their animals, a subtle message but one that worked nicely.
I think ‘nice’ is the best word I could use to describe this film. Nothing groundbreaking or exceptional, but something that is easy and funny enough to sit through. I think this film will be wildly overshadowed by Finding Dory, yet it is still a movie for both children and adults alike.
Rating: (a very generous) 3/5