May 25, 2024

‘The Secret Life of Pets’ illustrates true meaning friendship

Tiara Holt reviews the latest family flick: “The Secret Life of Pets.”

//Photo by Ryan McGill

I’m sure pet owners think about how lonely their pets are, how much they miss them and what goes on whenever they’re not there. I’m also sure that it doesn’t involve wild dog parties or big adventures out in New York City like “The Secret Life of Pets” did.

Although it has somewhat of a cliché “dog gets lost in a big city and then makes his way back again” plot, this film was able to take wild imaginative fantasies from the minds of children and adults alike, and turn it into an exciting narrative about how an unexpected adventure can illustrate the importance of teamwork and friendship.

The film starts of by showing the relationship between Jack Russell Terrier Max, voiced by Louis C.K., and his owner Katie, voiced by Ellie Kemper. Everything seems to be going good in Max’s world, that is until she picks up another dog Duke, voiced by Eric Stonestreet.

At first, these two get off to a bumpy start, with Duke being inconsiderate and a bit mean to overprotective Max. To make matters worse, they end up getting lost in an alley full of stray cats after they break away from a neglectful dog walker. However, it’s not over yet. They are captured by animal control only to be conveniently saved by Snowball, voiced by Kevin Hart, a white bunny and leader of a gang of disregarded animals with a mission to kill pet owners.

Max and Duke join Snowball and his crew until they find out that they are domesticated animals and not strays. This causes Max and Duke to become targets of these stray animals, leading to even more trouble, and things only get worse from here. The loyalty between these two is tested as they come together in order to find their way back home and escape the wrath of Snowball.

As if Max and Duke didn’t have anything else to worry about, Duke is captured by animal control again, only this time help comes from another dog, Gidget, voiced by Jenny Slate. She rallies Max’s friends Mel, Buddy, Sweet Pea and Chloe together in order to save him and Duke, even becoming an ally to a predatory hawk named Tiberius and Basset Hound named Pops along the way. Another unexpected ally teams up with Max, Snowball, only because his friends are also captured by animal control again. Everyone ends up saved, they all go back home in time, and soon everything is back to normal.

In the end, this film shows that sometimes in order to get important things done, you have to have determination, and you definitely have to make sacrifices. At first Max and Duke get off to a rough start, but then join together when they need help the most. This proves that no obstacle is big enough to stand in your way as long as you have a trustworthy friend.

This also illustrates pets coming together and risking it all in order to all achieve a common goal and how important it is to have someone else’s back in their time of need because that’s what a real friendship is all about. Don’t you think that if pets can do it in a fictional movie, then humans can  do it in real life?

Featured image by Ryan McGill

Edited by Taylor Owens

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Tiara Holt is a senior at the University of Tennessee majoring in Journalism and Electronic Media with a minor in Cinema Studies. Aside from being a rock music enthusiast and food lover, her pastimes include drawing, painting, reading and watching The X-Files.