A sequel to a largely forgotten animated feature, 'Secret Life of Pets 2' manages to elevate itself higher than its original counterpart with better storytelling and more enjoyable humour.
The sequel continues the story of the original film, placing viewers in front of Max, the same lovable dog which led the first film. As the original did, this film also concerns itself with what pets do when their owners aren't around (hence the title), think 'Toy Story' but with pets instead of sentient toys. Max is now put in a wholly different situation where he has to adapt to his owner now being married and having a toddler. Max becomes incredibly protective of the child and develops a nervous tic. The side stories of the film involve Snowball, a rabbit that is deluded into believing he is now a superhero that gets dragged into an actually dangerous situation. The second B-story concerns Gidget, another dog that is trying to rescue Max's favourite toy from a home full of felines. These stories each posit great examples towards kids, such as each of the characters consciously facing their fears and looking out for the well being of those around them.
In my opinion, I find that the strongest parts of this film are the way in which it appeals to it's younger audience, carefully and clearly showing kids real-life experiences and lessons with a mild dose of fun slapstick humour and inventive action sequences. All of the voice actors deliver solid performances that are perfectly able to embody the cartoonish personalities of their characters. In addition to this, Illumination Studios' excellent animation helps truly sell the "Secret Lives" of these characters to the audience.
That being said, there isn't exactly much to say about 'The Secret Life of Pets 2', it is a standard fun, silly and humorous family animated feature that younger kids will love, however, I wouldn't recommend taking your 12-year-old to this one.
CRESCENT FINE FOODS.