It is an incredibly simple yet irresistible idea for a movie. It's also exactly what you think it's going to be - no more, no less.
There's something quietly therapeutic about spending 90 minutes with some nutty, heroic furballs on a hero's journey with very low stakes.
The Secret Life of Pets is strong enough that parents won't fall into a catatonic state while watching it with their offspring.
Draws on the universal experience of pet ownership to draw out the "awww" in all of us. But the film butt-scoots by on its premise. There's not much more going on, thematically or emotionally below the surface.
As the owner of a Maine Coon I've weed-whacked into a goofy lion cut, I gulped when Snowball the bunny, a former magician's assistant, bellows, "All of us have suffered at the hands of man!"
What should have been an enthusiastic tummy rub doesn't merit more than a grudging pat on the head.
While a Busby Berkeley number set in a sausage factory is good fun, too much of the film feels like hot dog filler: inoffensive but also insubstantial.
The big chase scenes and action-movie adventures are fine. But what delights here are the small details of what happens once we close the door - the standard poodle who throws a heavy-metal party, or the dachshund who gets massages.
An amusing animated adventure full of talking animals that should please both children and their parents.