The trailer for "THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS" had this reviewer laughing aloud and excited. Another animated film for the whole family? Well, upon finally seeing it, ....not exactly. Sure, the kids who viewed the 4K presentation with adults over the past holiday season loved it, but the plot wore thin for this reviewer within the first 30 minutes. There are occasional laughs for adults, but this is truly a movie for kids and for adults that can deal with the numbing environment through its 90 min running time.
Max and his new companion must set aside differences to defeat the nefarious plans of a seemingly loveable rabbit named Snowball. The visual design to the film is incredible. From the opening credits(with a terrific song by Taylor Swift) the audience is swept into the hustle and bustle of New York in a remarkably fresh manner.
The characters are warm and attractive and will likely become favorites of younger viewers,(there must be stuffed animaly toy tie-ins everywhere!) and the narrative, while simple, isn't annoying. It just comes up short compared to the depth found in the best PIXAR animated films that this and others will inevitably be compared to.
UNIVERSAL has released the 4K as well as a separate Blu-ray 3d version. Both come with the standard Blu-ray and Digital HD.
The 4K has been up-converted from a 2K DI. The HDR offers richer colors and a tad more brightness in comparison to the excellent looking standard blu-ray. But, overall the difference between the 2 formats isn't nearly as distinguishable as it is on a title like "EVEREST." Detail is only slightly more distinguished on the 4K in a few scenes.
The Dolby Atmos mix is fully immersive and packs a whallop throughout! Panning effects have seldom been as impactful as they are when the pets are careening through and around objects during a variety of scenes. While the deep bass effects are impactful, even the more subtle ambient effects are terrific. Overhead channels create an environment that adds a real kick to whatever's going on. This is a sensational mix!