THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS Blu-ray Review
When we leave for work during the day, what do our pets do all day long? Sometimes they are in exactly the same spot as when we left but don’t they do anything all day? Max is a Jack Russell who loves his human, Katie, and the time they spend with each other. After she leaves, he hangs out with the other pets in the building like Gidget the Pomeranian, a pug Mel, a dachshund Buddy, budgerigar bird named Sweetpea, and the grey tabby cat Chloe. They hang out and talk about what they’ve been up to since they’ve seen each other last. Max has the perfect life with Katie and she has such a big heart that one day she brings home a new friend for him named Duke. He is a mutt and the size of a bear. He is pushy and rude to Max but Max has a plan to get rid of this new dog and reclaim his human.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS has been animated by Illumination Entertainment and directed by Chris Renaud & Yarrow Cheney. Renaud has directed the majority of the big named Illumination Entertainment films such as DESPICABLE ME and THE LORAX. The art has a stylized look where it is taking real-world objects and settings that give them look like caricatures. The world also looks like it is a shared universe with the Gru and his Minions from the DESPICABLE ME series. The pets are done in the same way and I think you need that with animated family films. Yes, there should be a level of realism and you get that however the artists want to make the audience lose themselves in the this universe.
Louis C.K. – Max, the Jack Russell Terrier
Eric Stonestreet – Duke, the mutt
Kevin Hart – Snowball, the rabbit
Jenny Slate – Gidget, the Pomeranian
Ellie Kemper – Katie, Max and Duke’s human
Albert Brooks – Tiberius, the hawk
Lake Bell – Chloe, the tabby cat
Dana Carvey – Pops, the paralyzed Bassett Hound
Hannibal Buress – Buddy, the Dachshund
Bobby Moynihan – Mel, the Pug
Chris Renaud – Norman, the Guinea pig
Steve Coogan – Ozone, the alley cat
Michael Beattie – Tattoo, the pig
The film is a 1080p AVC presentation and it looks amazing. Being that its a CGI movie and went straight from a digital source to a digital media, it’s going to look top notch. This is a very colorful world with a lot of stylized art to keep things cartoonish. Not only are the backgrounds colorful but also a few of the main characters like Chloe’s bright purple stands out. The images are always sharp and you can see the details in each frame. The best example of seeing their fur is on Duke. The texture of his hair in particular is different than a lot of the other animals. All in all, this is a clean transfer and Universal has authored another beautiful release.
ULTRA HD BLU-RAY 4K:
This movie is a perfect companion to that of an Ultra HD Blu-ray release in that the color palette for the flick is immense, bold, and beautiful. The High Dynamic Range shines through on your 4K tv allowing to pick up the smallest of details while the colors pop and or show deep dark blacks. If you have 4k capabilities then the Ultra HD Blu-ray version of Pets comes highly recommended.
The audio is a Dolby Atmos mix that defaults to a TrueHD 7.1 mix in non-Atmos systems. The sound is nothing short of amazing with all of the speakers being utilized. There are layers of effects, music, and dialogue. The ambient sounds of the city make all of the outdoor scenes come to life. LFEs are rich and have some force behind them when they are needed. Like the video, the mix is solid and shows off the HD format.
SUPPLEMENTS & PACKAGING
-The Humans That Brought You Pets: This is a few interviews with the crew that brought the film together.
-Animals Can Talk: Meet the Actors: This featurette shows some conversations with the voice actors.
-All About the Pets: Kevin Hart who voices Snowball and Eric Stonestreet who voices Duke work with animal trainer Molly O’Neill to interact with some animals.
-Hairstylist to the Dogs: Eric Stonestreet and Stylist Jess Rona talk about grooming.
-How to Make an Animated film: This featurette shows how all of the parts come together to make a film like this one.
-Anatomy of a Scene: This is a breakdown of how a scene is made for the movie.
-The Best of Snowball: These are some of the funny moments with the craziest bunny ever.
-Lyric Video: This video is of “Lovely Day” with set against the film.
-GoPro The Secret Life of Pets: This is an ad for the camera with clips for the movie.
The Making of the Mini-Movies
-Hot Dog Sing-Along
-Trailer for the upcoming film SING
2-disc set w/ 1 Blu-ray and 1 DVD
1080p AVC MPEG-4
Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
English Dolby Atmos
English Dolby TrueHD 7.1
Spanish Dolby Digital Plus 7.1
French Dolby Digital 5.1
THE BOTTOM LINE:
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS is a fun film and is really entertaining. You can tell that the animators and storytellers are either pet owners or really took the time to study people’s pets. The Blu-ray has a stellar transfer and the audio is as strong as most Universal releases tend to be. There is a decent set of extras that, like the movie, has a little bit for everyone. If you’re looking for a movie that your household can watch together or if you’re a pet owner, I highly recommend picking it up.