The Secret Life of Pets

Theatrical Release: July 8, 2016
DVD Release: December 6, 2016
The Secret Life of Pets


A terrier named Max regularly invites his friends to hang out at his place while his owner is gone, but his quiet life is upended when said owner also takes in Duke, a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes.

Dove Review

“The Secret Life of Pets” is a fast-paced and frolicking film, filled with fun! The audience is introduced to various pets, such as Gidget the dog, who has a crush on Max. Max, a small dog, loves his owner Katie, but when Katie brings home a new — and big — dog, named Duke, Max is jealous. Little does he realize that, despite breaking several vases and items in the home in an attempt to blame Duke, they will soon both be on an adventure and become very good friends. Leonard the poodle cranks up the rock and roll as soon as his owner leaves. Also, a rabbit wants vengeance and dislikes all humans but changes his mind when a sweet girl adores him and makes him her pet at the conclusion of the film. This film shows character growth, as many of the pets mature in their relationships with others.

It also has a lot of “fantasy-violence,” with a lizard and rabbit who drive vehicles and crash several times, as a result. A few of the animals get into some fights, and not all of them are “cat and dog” fights but include other creatures, too, such as a hawk and a viper. The characters also start name-calling in some scenes. The dog catcher nabs the animals more than once, and escape becomes their plan of action. Parents should consult the content listing to make their own informed choices regarding their kids seeing the movie, but we are awarding it our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal for ages 12-plus. The film features a positive theme of teamwork among the animals, as well as some comedic scenes, including a small dog using a blender to massage his back and tummy. “The Secret Life of Pets” reveals the pets have a lot more going on with them than their owners would realize, once the owners have left the house. These pets are entertaining for sure, and they offer lots of chuckles along the way.

Content Description

Faith: None
Integrity: None
Sex: A rabbit quickly kisses a dog he likes.
Language: Dumb Human-1; Geez-1; Shove it-1; What the...? (Not finished)-1; Sucker-1; Dummies-1; Idiot/Idiots-2; Cry baby-1; Poo poo and caca-1
Violence: A lot of fantasy violence, with animals chasing and hitting each other; chase scenes in vehicles, which result in crashes; a dog breaks vases and other objects in order to blame another dog; a rabbit says he hates all people and his goal is to kill all humans, but he does change his mind by the end; a dog catcher is thwarted in his plan to capture the dogs, and he is soon rolling on the street; a dog smacks a cat; large bricks and rocks fall on a mean viper; a dog is hit with a flyswatter; boxes fall on dog catchers; a rabbit fights a dog; a cage with animal in it falls under the water and a few dogs almost drown.
Drugs: A dog says he was given a pill and he describes hallucinating to his friends.
Nudity: None.
Other: The animals are mischievous -- for example, one dog eats another dog's food and takes his bed, and a cat eats all the chicken that is left in the refrigerator; a squirrel shakes its rear at dogs; a few dogs tell a lie out of fear to a human-hating rabbit and say they also hate humans; tattoos on a character and a pig and a comment about a tattoo parlor; a cat spits up a dog collar it ate; dogs sniff each other's rears; dog drinks from toilet; a rabbit poops; comment that a dog owner died some time in the past, and the dog is sad at the news; an excited dog urinates.


Company: Universal Pictures
Director: Chris Renaud
Genre: Animated
Runtime: 90 min.
Starring: Voices By: Jenny Slate, Kevin Hart, Albert Brooks, Louis C.K., Hannibal Buress
Reviewer: Edwin L Carpenter