Rating 3.5/5 

Another animated film hit theaters this summer along the lines of “Toy Story,” “Finding Nemo,” and this summer’s “Finding Dory.” The writing credits for this film go to Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch. It is directed by Chris Renaud, who directed the “Despicable Me” films and 2012’s “The Lorax,” among others, and Yarrow Cheney is credited as co-director.

The animation is this film appeared to be a slice of the animation for “Despicable Me” and the story had elements of the “Toy Story” series. But all in all it was an enjoyable film, even with the familiarities.

The first several minutes of the film showcased a series of bits and scenes in which we see how a pet might actually spend their day while the owners are away. These clips essentially filled the trailer for the film before its release. In the opening, the audience meets Max, voiced by Louis C. K., a Terrier who is living a happy life with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper). The story picks kicks up when Katie brings home a new friend for Max. Instantly, Max does not like his new friend, Duke (Eric Stonestreet), who appears to be bossy and boisterous and so Max develops a plan to get rid of Duke. The next day on their walk, they slip away from their dog walker and have a run in with an alley full of stray cats. During the confrontation, their collars are ripped off. Max and Duke are then picked up by animal control. They escape with the help from Snowball (Kevin Hart), a rabbit with a vengeance towards humans. They are lead back underground where they find Snowball to be the leader of gang of animals who have been abandoned. As Max and Duke work together to make it back home, Gidget leads her own search party with the help from some other friends.

The film had its share of fun humor and touching moments blended with some action sequences that would keep children and adults alike entertained with the story. The animals such as dogs, cats, birds, a pig, a snake, and so on were brought to life by their actions and dialogue. Other familiar actors provided their voices to help bring some of the other main animated characters to life on screen like Albert Brooks, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, and Steve Coogan.

The film stands on its own as a new animated adventure with lively characters and a tender story about friendship and the longing to love and be loved. And coming in at just under 90 minutes, it’s a good length to where the story is not too drawn out and still can keep the audience’s attention. All in all, it is a fun, family film.



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