Parental Guidance

How Family-Friendly is The Secret Life of Pets?

by | July 8, 2016 | Comments

Just because a film is animated, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s completely suitable for all ages. This week, Christy offers the lowdown on Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets, which is probably fine for everyone. Read on for the details on that one, as well as an Oscar-nominated animation from Brazil on DVD.



The Secret Life of Pets (2016) 73%

Rating: PG, for action and some rude humor.

What do your pets do all day while you’re away? That’s the premise of this animated comedy from the folks who brought you the Despicable Me movies and Minions. It’s essentially the same idea behind Toy Story, but without the emotional complexity; Pets is basically about friendship, and it’s more interested in lively, colorful antics. Max (voiced by Louis C.K.), a loyal Jack Russell terrier enjoying a comfy life with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), ends up with an unwelcome roommate when Katie brings home a big, shaggy stray from the pound named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). Max and Duke become separated from their dog-walking group at the park and go on an adventure through the streets, alleys and sewers of Manhattan and Brooklyn. Along the way, they’re pursued by mean dogcatchers (who are slapsticky and silly) and they reluctantly team up with an underground group of wild animals led by a diabolical bunny named Snowball (Kevin Hart). Max and Duke are frequently in danger and nearly drown at one point, and there are a few references to death of both the animal and human kind. There are the obligatory bits about butt-sniffing and nervous peeing. And a perky Pomeranian named Gidget (Jenny Slate) unleashes martial-arts fury on a bunch of creatures to protect her beloved Max, but it’s played for laughs. This movie is high-energy and harmless and, for the most part, fine for the whole family.



Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo) (2015) 93%

Rating: PG, for thematic material and images.

Viewers of all ages will be fine watching this beautiful, strange and wondrous animated film from Brazilian writer-director Ale Abreu. It tells the story of a boy who dares to wander from his country home to the big city in search of his father, who has traveled there seeking work. As he ventures farther from his family’s farm and closer to the teeming metropolitan center, the boy encounters overworked field hands, cramped favelas, miserable commuters and the general destruction industrialization can cause. As a cautionary tale, Boy and the World isn’t saying much that’s new (and isn’t saying it in a way that’s terribly subtle). But as an artistic exercise, the film is dazzling, full of vibrant hues and rich textures. It looks like a slightly more sophisticated version of children’s color-pencil drawings come to life, and its aesthetic is constantly evolving and surprising. I watched the film with my 6-year-old son, who asked lots of questions because there’s no dialogue and many of the characters essentially look the same. But he also loved the film’s colorful, playful vibe and the infectious, samba-infused score.

Tag Cloud

YouTube Apple TV+ Rock teaser Marathons Film BBC worst TCM blockbuster RT21 south america GLAAD best comiccon jamie lee curtis cops crime DC Comics Fox News SundanceTV 2016 FOX Turner TCA theme song GoT Drama Family TV renewals Amazon Prime Video New York Comic Con Winter TV kids Superheroe Calendar BET binge versus Lifetime Mary poppins political drama composers laika Valentine's Day 71st Emmy Awards adventure Acorn TV batman serial killer Comedy TV Spike Box Office crime drama Super Bowl Mary Tyler Moore Apple TV Plus what to watch ghosts Writers Guild of America Disney+ Disney Plus rotten obituary Emmy Nominations Summer news mutant slashers Universal Holiday satire documentaries Black Mirror series Apple Polls and Games Toys Tubi Captain marvel See It Skip It twilight stop motion tv talk Sundance Now AMC DGA franchise psychological thriller Pirates mockumentary Teen canceled biography festivals strong female leads Amazon Studios Schedule Spectrum Originals Netflix 24 frames blaxploitation vampires romance nature Film Festival Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Star Trek zombie movies CW Seed 72 Emmy Awards dark robots indie period drama boxoffice cars DC Universe American Society of Cinematographers Lucasfilm E! docudrama 21st Century Fox Trivia nbcuniversal Mindy Kaling thriller 4/20 ITV spider-man spain Warner Bros. CNN spy thriller science fiction DC streaming service National Geographic President Lifetime Christmas movies supernatural Biopics cooking CBS All Access Watching Series Tomatazos TCA Winter 2020 Disney asian-american reviews WGN Cosplay historical drama Avengers Pop TV History SXSW cats ABC zombies video sitcom scary movies E3 a nightmare on elm street Music Mudbound die hard MSNBC Logo breaking bad The Witch singing competition Action harry potter MCU justice league DirecTV First Look Disney Plus Premiere Dates sag awards travel TCA 2017 elevated horror Mystery rotten movies we love USA VOD critics BET Awards criterion toy story medical drama IFC finale Marvel Studios Pixar Comic Book Kids & Family Pet Sematary stand-up comedy Crunchyroll fast and furious Extras transformers dragons Amazon Prime foreign TV Land screen actors guild renewed TV shows Trailer sequel hist WarnerMedia sequels Hulu Food Network PlayStation sports Comics on TV hispanic Turner Classic Movies BBC One SDCC canceled TV shows Marvel Sundance cults Year in Review Interview green book documentary Red Carpet spinoff Opinion VICE reboot Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Countdown Sneak Peek social media witnail child's play Nominations indiana jones Nat Geo Paramount name the review dogs GIFs Sundance TV CMT crossover anime Mary Poppins Returns screenings classics Emmys Creative Arts Emmys Comedy Central Pride Month ratings natural history Photos RT History facebook Western A&E stoner TLC Rocketman Shondaland BBC America talk show Nickelodeon quibi Musical Superheroes movie space cartoon LGBTQ Disney Channel emmy awards Funimation Showtime LGBT crime thriller Awards Tour book APB Trophy Talk war FX YouTube Premium 2015 Starz technology children's TV Infographic YouTube Red Christmas Holidays free movies romantic comedy HBO Go Adult Swim Vudu USA Network revenge Sony Pictures diversity Classic Film TIFF Cartoon Network Disney streaming service cancelled television Shudder christmas movies OWN disaster Walt Disney Pictures Esquire television doctor who Grammys 2018 Freeform Oscars parents Bravo 2017 Star Wars Character Guide BAFTA Masterpiece werewolf OneApp Fantasy Martial Arts Baby Yoda Tumblr comics Horror San Diego Comic-Con FX on Hulu PBS Women's History Month YA Rocky aliens Podcast animated all-time VH1 universal monsters comedies Peacock miniseries The Walking Dead FXX Television Critics Association TCA Awards superhero Hear Us Out Song of Ice and Fire halloween Election Tarantino 20th Century Fox dramedy politics Country Awards Black History Month Dark Horse Comics Crackle Best and Worst Britbox streaming Thanksgiving Epix The Purge true crime NBC Anna Paquin TNT independent TBS PaleyFest concert Lionsgate TruTV psycho video on demand award winner Ovation zero dark thirty Amazon X-Men hollywood IFC Films police drama latino Quiz 2019 game show Travel Channel golden globes directors CBS El Rey 007 HBO game of thrones Binge Guide cancelled Arrowverse cancelled TV shows Marvel Television Hallmark Christmas movies Certified Fresh richard e. Grant Animation The Arrangement Stephen King Paramount Network chucky HBO Max Reality unscripted adaptation comic Brie Larson Musicals First Reviews joker dceu Video Games Netflix Christmas movies ABC Family The CW films Endgame Spring TV Chernobyl A24 Fall TV Discovery Channel Ghostbusters MTV Heroines discovery Winners cancelled TV series Columbia Pictures Elton John Set visit based on movie anthology cinemax 45 Academy Awards ESPN Rom-Com spanish language casting NYCC 2020 dc Sci-Fi Television Academy Ellie Kemper Syfy Reality Competition Pop Cannes Hallmark mission: impossible