I went to see The Secret Life of Pets a few days ago, and I’m not saying that Illumination Entertainment/Universal has me under surveillance or reads my blog, but I would like to point out a few things, and you can decide for yourselves.
Every year for my husband’s birthday, I make him a Birthday Times, and two years ago, the Times broke the story “Evil Bunny Infenstation Threatens All” with this information about rabbits: “These long eared, twitchy-nosed villains may appear harmless, but … they are actually dangerous predators. One of the most dangerous things about the vile rabbit is its ability to appear cute and cuddly, even, often using its fluffy white tail to appear non-threatening” (Times 2014). The BT also ran the ad you see on the left. If you saw the movie, I think you will be stunned by the similarities between the REAL Peter Rabbit and Snowball from TSLOP. To anyone who had not read the 2014 Birthday Times article, the revelation of the apparently adorably cute Snowball as a violent criminal mastermind probably appeared to be an innovative piece of stunningly brilliant comedic genius. I, however, felt the cold chill of recognition.
As I began to ponder whether or not a multi-billion dollar corporation was watching my every move, I remembered a post I had made right here on Spontaneous Whimsy on September 17, 2015 “An Open Letter to Rabbits in Our Back Yard.” Again, I had portrayed the rabbit as something other than the cuddly Easter icon. But wait! Didn’t this mean that important people were reading my blog? Who cares if they somehow hacked my computer back in 2014! I’m going to be a Hollywood legend someday!
Oh. Wait. Let’s see apparently, the film was in already in pre-production in January 2014. Huh. So, I guess big industry execs aren’t secretly watching me. Well, crud. That was the shortest career in Hollywood history. But not the worst, apparently. With the notoriety for having “the saddest IMDB page of all time” (Gadd 2015), Anne Sellors is credited only as “Woman Who Urinates on Herself (uncredited)” (IMDB).
So, my claim to fame may be imaginary, but at least I didn’t wet myself. On screen.
Now what about the actual movie? The Secret Life of Pets was a very fun and witty movie that I’m not ashamed to say I went to see without children in tow. It did not overly rely on the cuteness of the animals (although I loved Gidget) or descend into too many obvious visual gags. While we are talking about visual gags, though, I have to say that the hot dog hallucination scene was trippy, and if you don’t see the movie for anything else, check it out for this Sid and Marty Krofft-esque sequence. Overall, the plot was pretty tight, and the characters were easy to care about.
I live with both cats and dogs, and I’m absolutely positive that my animal companions have secret lives much like what is shown in the movie. Chloe especially reminds me of my cat Xena; they’re both sassy and in charge. As someone who regularly “voices” what my animal companions would say out loud (Yes, in character voices. What?), I loved how the movie matched up voices with animal personalities. I know you’re wondering, and Sophie (my pup) is kind of a mix between Gidget and Max in her personality.
We only have two theaters with about 10 moderate size screens where I live, and the next closest theaters are over an hour’s drive away, so first, we don’t get a lot of variety, and second, I don’t brave insane traffic and tourist crowds to see many movies on the moderate screen, preferring in general to sacrifice the big screen experience for the peaceful atmosphere of my home. I saw the trailer for this when I went to see Love and Friendship, and I was hooked; I just couldn’t wait for home release. It didn’t need the cinematic experience, but it was fun, and I don’t regret braving the tourists to see this immediately on the biggish screen.