Blu-ray/DVD, Illumination Entertainment, Reviews

[BLU-RAY REVIEW] ‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’

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Especially for an Illumination property the recent film The Secret Life of Pets kind of flew under the radar this summer. While it certainly made a profit, it did not generate the splash most of the studio’s offerings do. It’s funny because in my opinion it is one the better ones they’ve made.The film takes our animated pet friends from the first film and divides them into 3 stories, which are loosely combined together to make a feature film. I’ve heard some criticize it for that, but I didn’t mind it. I thought 2 out of the 3 stories were charming and the 3rd was watchable but not great. It was overall a cute little group of stories.

If you enjoyed The Secret Life of Pets 2 or didn’t get chance to see it in the theaters, the dvd/blu-ray comes out August 27th. Unlike many new releases these days, this release has a ton of bonus features including 2 all new bonus shorts. I love when studios make a blu-ray purchase worthwhile and this certainly does.

Bonus Features ✮✮✮✮

  • Super Gidget – The first of the shorts focuses on my favorite character Gidget who must come to Max’s rescue when he’s kidnapped by a bunch of evil squirrels. This is a simple yet cute short (storywise at least. The animation is quite good!), and if you like Gidget like I do you will really enjoy it.
  • Minion Scouts – In this short the Minions go to the girl’s Badger Scout Camp and create all kinds of shenanigans while there. I’m not a big fan of the Minions but I certainly prefer them in small doses than a feature film. This short is harmless with some creative animation. Fans of the Minions will love it.
  • The Making of the Mini Movies – I love behind the scenes featurettes and in this one Illumination founder Chris Meledandri walks us through the process of creating both Minion Scouts and Super Gidget including interviews with the directors. It’s always interesting how Illumination gets things done with their cross-continental operations.
  • Deleted Scenes – 4 deleted scenes are shown. I always like looking at animation in process. It would have been nice to have some audio commentary on these deleted scenes so we could learn why they were cut.
  • The Tapestry of a Tail: The Making of The Secret Life of Pets 2– Like I said, I love behind the scenes featurettes so I really enjoyed this 7 minute short. It’s so fascinating to hear about the production process from the directors, actors and animators and it helps me appreciate the film even more than I already did. Also seeing all the animals roaming around the Illumination offices was a lot of fun.
  • How to Draw –In this bonus Head of Story Eric Favela show us how to draw Max, Snowball, and Chloe, which as a lover of animation was a lot of fun.
  • Frame By Frame: How to Make a Flip Book– Eric Favela is back to teach us how to make an animated flip book. This is a really creative fun bonus option.
  • Character Pods- In this series we are introduced to of all of our characters with the voice actors talking about what they like about their animated alter-egos.
  • My Buddy and Me– The team behind The Secret Life of Pets 2, including some of the actors, show off their pets
  • The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball-  The film has several 2D fantasy sequences where Snowball envisions himself as the ultimate superhero. In this Chose Your Own Adventure style short viewers are given several options of what Captain Snowball will face as he tries to defeat evil in the city.
  • Pets with Jobs: A Documentary- In this 7 minute short we learn about service and police dogs, yoga goats, and mini-therapy horses. Kids will love watching these dogs working.
  • A Party Fit for a Pet – This bonus goes through the steps to hosting a party for your pet including recipes and crafts
  • Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pet Massage– Several of the actors learn how to massage their pets in this informative short.
  • Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Heart- In this bonus feature Kevin Hart attempts to train a dog with ineffective results. I think they should have had the voice actor of Pops, Dana Carvey do this one?
  • Production Pets-  In this bonus we get to see all of the pets owned by the Illumination team.

Final Thoughts

As you can see the folks at Illumination have worked hard to make The Secret Life of Pets 2 a blu-ray purchase worth your time. The only thing missing is some behind the scenes segments with the film’s composer Alexander Desplat. I would love to learn more about his process especially on a more quirky film like this. Nevertheless it is a very stacked blu-ray to accompany a sweet and charming film.

What do you think of The Secret Life of Pets 2 and do these bonus features sound fun? We’d love to hear your thoughts below.

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About Rachel Wagner

Rachel is a rottentomatoes approved film critic and podcaster. She loves all things animation and does a monthly podcast on classic Disney films and on obscure animation at Rachel's Reviews. She also is the founder and lead host of The Hallmarkies Podcast. She grew up with mainstream classics like The Little Mermaid and The Simpsons but also loves indie and anime fare like Song of the Sea and Your Name. Most important to her is discussing all kinds of film and TV shows with her friends and all of you. Follow Rachel on twitter at @rachel_reviews and on her blog