Animated CGI features are big business, this film raking in over $800 million on a $75m budget which makes green-lighting such movies an easy decision to make.
“Max” a loveable dog (Louis C.K.) lives with his owner in NYC and his world is pretty damn fine. He gets love and attention, walks in Central park and plenty of food and treats.
Slight downside being his owner goes to work everyday (bummer), leaving him downhearted and sat quietly behind the apartment door, patiently waiting for her return.
We all wonder what our pets actually do the moment our back is turned, this film suggests they have their pet buddies round and then invert or confirm the stereotypes we place upon them.
A pet Poodle turns off the classical music and head-bangs with his tiny friend, fat cat eats everything in her path and then just chills out. Meanwhile “Chloe” (Lake Bell) declares her love for Max the moment he disappears into the big bad city.
Why does Max disappear, well it’s all to do with a big bundle of fur named “Duke” (Eric Stonestreet) who comes crashing into Max’s well ordered life. Once the duo are on the streets they get to meet a cast of characters including a psychotic white rabbit “Snowball” (Kevin Hart) hell bent on a leading a revolution of “non-pets”.
Once the initial amusement of juxtaposing character traits is worn out and central premise exhausted, the story descends into a chase movie. With the home loving domesticated animals out in the big bad world as their home based buddies set out to rescue them.
This is of course a recycled “Toy Story” set up but no matter, there is much fun to be had and laugh out loud moments and lines. Usually jokes about cats get the best laughs as we understand them so little, this movie again proves this theory.
Whilst skewed young in parts, there is enough to keep parents amused, we also get the almost obligatory “soon to be roller coaster theme park ride” sequence but again, this just plays to the financial side of any film of this type. Please exit through the gift shop for themed merchandise…
As you would expect and now take for granted, the animation is state of the art and it’s obvious the voice cast are having great fun, bringing the characters to life. The story flags a little in the middle but comes back with a roar and does not outlive it’s welcome at 87 minutes.
The story is sweet and largely innocent with a few scary scenes for very young children, watch out if you suffer from “Ophidiophobia” (fear of snakes). Clearly there is enough of a momentum to see a sequel and sure enough, one will be along in 2019.
Great fun for adults and kids alike, the Illumination Studio (the mastermind behind the Minions) is pushing Pixar and Disney hard on story and animation, with the cinema going public being the overall winners.