‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ has ready-made audience of fans


Shirrel Rhoades


By Shirrel Rhoades

Friday, June 7, 2019

Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households own a pet , according to the 2017-18 National Pet Owners Survey. About 85 million families in all.

That’s a pretty good target audience for a movie.

This proved true in 2016 for a heartwarming animated adventure called “The Secret Life of Pets.” In it, “The quiet life of a terrier named Max is upended when his owner takes in Duke, a stray whom Max instantly dislikes.”

The film earned $368.4 million at the domestic box office and grossed $886.7 million worldwide. Enough to encourage a sequel.

As you might expect, this movie picks up where the last one left off, a continuation of the story of Max the Jack Russell terrier and all his neighboring pet friends.

This menagerie includes his housemate, ol’ Duke (Eric Stonestreet); an angry white rabbit named Snowball (Kevin Hart); a precious little white Pomeranian called Gidget (Jenny Slate); a Shih Tzu known as Daisy (Tiffany Haddish); Chloe, a fat and lazy gray tabby (Lake Bell); Pops, an elderly Basset Hound (Dana Carvey) on wheels, Rooster; Mel, a frenetic pug (Bobby Moynihan), Sweetpea, a colorful parakeet (Tara Strong); and a Welsh sheepdog (Harrison Ford no less); among several other critters.

All of these are returning voices from the first cartoony film.

The newcomer is Patton Oswald, voicing our lead dog Max. The former star, Louis C.K., got dropped following his #metoo scandal.

The humans in the movie include Max and Duke’s owner Katie (Ellie Kemper), Katie’s new husband Chuck (Pete Holmes), and their son ( Henry Lynch). Plus, there’s a crazy cat lady (Meredith Salenger) and a circus owner (Nick Kroll).

This time around Max is adjusting to his owner’s marriage and the addition of a child in the apartment. The sheepdog coaches Max on overcoming his fears. Gidget curries Max’s favor by retrieving a toy from the cat lady’s apartment. And Snowball the white rabbit sets out to free a white tiger from a circus.

Enough to entertain the children in the audience. Adults too.