secretlifeofpets_trailer secretlifeofpets_trailer
Feature Film

Illumination Unveils First Look at ‘The Secret Life of Pets’

What do our dogs, cats, and birds do when we leave home to lead our individual lives? The new trailer for Illumination and Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets, arriving July 2016, has a few funny ideas.

Some are predictable, like the overstuffed cat raiding the fridge and chowing down a whole chicken and half a cake. Or the dog happily licking his crotch, and then sliding butt-first around the carpet. Others are a bit more clever, like the bird who turns on the game console and the apartment fan to play a flying simulation without pesky humans getting in the way.

But predictable or unexpected, The Secret Life of Pets’s trailer makes no bones about its aim to launch an arsenal of non-stop animal gags at audiences trained to wonder what happens to their toys, cars, planes, and other objects of affection while they are away.

It’s a tried-and-true formula that should well serve co-directors Chris Renaud (co-director of Illumination’s Despicable Me series and The Lorax) and Yarrow Cheney (production designer on those same films). For good measure, the writers — Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio — are the writers of the Despicable Me/Minions franchise. They will be helped out by an all-star cast, including Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, and Eric Stonestreet, who are making their animated feature debuts, as well as Albert Brooks, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Lake Bell, Bobby Moynihan, and Jenny Slate.

The Secret Life of Pets marks Illumination’s fifth animated collaboration with Universal, and its sixth animated project overall. The studio’s next film, the Despicable Me spinoff Minions, infiltrates theaters next month.

  • jhalpernkitcat

    Okay, this could be pretty promising. They got the pug down perfectly. My favorite gags in there had to be the dachshund using the mixer to give him a massage–almost like a mechanical petting machine, and the bird setting up a flying simulation was very clever.

    However, the bit with the sophisticated looking poodle headbanging at the end left me in stitches.

    I just wonder if there’s more to this movie then just a bunch of gags centered around what our pets do when we leave them home. Watching that as a short would be perfect, but I’m not so certain if it would work as an hour/hour and a half long premise.

    • Tobias

      I don’t think you have to worry about whether or not what you saw in the teaser can hold up as a feature length film, because over on the wikipedia page here’s the films synopsis.

      “Taking place in a Manhattan apartment building, Max’s life as a favorite pet is turned upside down, when his owner brings home a sloppy mongrel named Duke. They have to put their quarrels behind, when they find out that an adorable white bunny named Snowball is building an army of abandoned pets determined to take revenge on all happily-owned pets and their owners.”

      Essentially, the teaser showed absolute bupkis in terms of the plot. So we’ll have to wait for the full trailer to get a better look on things.

      • jhalpernkitcat

        Thanks, I now know what the plot is as well, due to reading comments on the youtube video for the trailer. It still sounds good–I can’t resist an evil bunny.

      • That’s quite interesting, so I guess this trailer teased us good!

        That bit with the dachshund getting a massage, I sorta expected his tail to get caught in the mixer by accident and it didn’t happen, but maybe it’s my fault for giving my hopes up on such an silly idea as that.

  • I hate to be *that* person, but the cat really shouldn’t be eating chocolate cake, since chocolate is toxic for cats.

    Also, butt-scootching for dogs can often be a sign of medical issues.

    Again, sorry to be *that* person.

  • Hurricane1976

    Looks Great, only thing reminds me of Toy Story!

    • Matthew Koh

      Hey! That’s exactly what I said when I first saw Wreck it Ralph!

  • Meowchelle

    Looks cute

  • This trailer has already got me excited, as I was excited for the Zootopia’s trailer. Some interesting films coming out next year, even a little more than this year’s (Right now Inside Out and Peanuts have my attention).

  • AnimationGuy

    It certainly is refreshing that it’s not trying to disguise its simplicity as something more.

    The dachshund segment is really great, makes me want to get a massage…

  • Jamie

    Some dumb kid will try feeding it to their cat, no doubt

  • Looks like it’ll be a really fun film! Loved the head-banging poodle at the end!

  • Jonathan Lyons

    I have been working in animation for 30 years, and I loved it.

  • I felt the same way too. This looks like something that would work as a series of 3-5 minute episodes instead of a feature-length movie. I think I would’ve enjoyed it more that way than to expect to pay $15 or more on this. Whatever, someone’s going to go away happy in the end.

  • slowtiger

    It made me laugh, especially the poodle’s companions showing up in the end. This film caters my baser human instincts, I think I will like it.