The Secret Life of Pets

What do pets get up to while their owners are away?

What do pets get up to while their owners are away? Yes, the premise of this lively animated action comedy is essentially Toy Story with domestic animals. Instead of Woody and Buzz, Illumination studio, makers of the Despicable Me and Minions movies, give us rival dogs, cuddly eager-to-please Jack Russell Max (voiced by comedian Louis C.K.) and lumbering Newfoundland Duke (Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet), both of them competitors for the affections of owner Katie (Ellie Kemper).

Naturally, they have to learn to work together after they end up on the streets, at risk from relentless dogcatchers and from an army of sewer-dwelling animals led by a rabble-rousing rabbit revolutionary (a surprisingly good fit for motor-mouth comic Kevin Hart). What ensues is basically one long, frenetic chase, but kids will enjoy the slapstick silliness while pet owners may find themselves chuckling in recognition, or possibly even cringing, at many of the gags.