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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Intended to entertain, rather than educate.
Life is constantly changing; you can either run away from it or run at it. Teamwork is a clear theme; the animals have to work together.
Positive Role Models
Two female dogs are brave and confident; Gidget goes the extra mile to keep her commitment, and Daisy acts with compassion to save a mistreated animal. A male dog, Max, acts maternally to a human baby. Snowball and Daisy work together to help a tiger.
Violence & Scariness
Slapstick animated comedy, such as cats punching each other for a toy. Two animals throw knives at each other. It's implied that a circus animal is being mistreated (he cowers; the villain cracks a whip near him). Menacing wolves chase characters, snapping their jaws. Characters are in peril. A fox attacks a dog, is then attacked by another dog. A bad guy is hit by a car. Animal shot out of a cannon. Dog bites a pig's tail; it reacts in pain. In all instances, no one is really injured. Animal is shot with a dart gun; it goes to sleep. Dog in a rural area hears sounds of nature, is scared. Red Riding Hood story is told (including the getting eaten part).
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Pet's owner gets married, has a baby. Gidget is in love with Max; she fantasizes that they're married and kiss.
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"Pissed" is the strongest language; the rest are mostly insults meant to get a laugh: "dope," "jerk," "idiot," "oaf," "stupid," "turd."
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Products & Purchases
Associated product tie-ins outside the movie: toys, books, games, apparel, etc.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A cat who says her owner gave her catnip acts high for comic effect.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Secret Life of Pets 2 is the sequel to the 2016 animated comedy about what pets do when their humans aren't home. It continues the story of Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt) as his owner gets married and has a baby. A subplot has Snowball (Kevin Hart) and new dog Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) working together to rescue an abused tiger from a Russian circus that has menacing wolves and a cartoonishly villainous lion tamer. The dark humor and peril are toned down from the original, with more of a shift to slapstick violence that's meant to be funny. Animals punch and throw knives at one another, and a bad guy is hit by a car, but no one is ever really injured. Language includes "pissed," put-downs ("jerk," "idiot," "stupid," etc.), and potty humor ("turd"). And there's a scene in which a cat is high on catnip. Messages for parents revolve around Max's anxiety about keeping his owner's toddler safe; his helicopter ways are questioned by a dog named Rooster (Harrison Ford), who's more of a let-them-get-hurt-and-learn kind of canine. For kids, though, the main moral of the story is to face and embrace the changes life inevitably brings. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This animated sequel is basically a reworking of City Slickers, but that's the beauty of making movies for kids: Old stories are all new to them. At the farm, Max -- who's full of anxiety about the baby's safety -- meets gruff, tough older dog Rooster (Harrison Ford), who herds cattle with ease and isn't having any of Max's overcautiousness. Parents will get that the film is contrasting different kinds of parenting, but to make it more kid-relatable, Max says that the lesson is about embracing change -- even though that message doesn't exactly match up with the story.
Meanwhile, the pets who are left behind get involved in two different rescue missions, which are even lighter on messages and heavier on humor. Pomeranian Gidget (Jenny Slate) must recover a coveted toy from a nest of cats, which means going undercover as a feline -- complete with training from the aloof and seditious puss Chloe (Lake Bell). The other team is led by Snowball (Kevin Hart), who, believing he's a superhero because his child owner dresses him as one, is given a mission by a new dog, shih tzu Daisy (Tiffany Haddish). Haddish proves once again that she's the perfect foil to Hart, and their chemistry creates lots of laughs while also showcasing their unique sense of teamwork. People who watched the original The Secret Life of Pets generally fell into two camps: those who loved it and those who found it to be average (and maybe a little too scary). This sequel is a slight departure and most likely will result in those camps switching their opinions.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.