One of the several franchises that were cast into doubt over the #MeToo movement was the recently launched “Secret Life of Pets” series from Universal and Illumination Animation. The big draw for the first film was comedian Louis C.K., whose actions meant he could clearly not star in a children’s movie. After all, he essentially played the Tom Hanks/Woody role in the first film. With much of the franchise focused on him, it would be interesting to see how Illumination would proceed for “The Secret Life of Pets 2.” They opted to recast the role, and now we get our first look at Patton Oswalt as Max the dog.
The first “Secret Life of Pets 2” trailer, specifically titled “The Max Trailer,” leans headfirst into the character. Rather than shy away from the discussion, we immediately get Oswalt delivering as a voice actor. Considering that “Ratatouille” remains one of the most underrated and emotional Pixar films, Oswalt has proven to be a pro. He also voices over “The Goldbergs” so we know he has the chops to pull off strong voice work.
The new trailer treats the audience to some more dog and pet jokes. This time, Max and his owner head to the vet, and we come into contact with a handful of Max’s fellow patients. Again, the perspective of the animals versus the perspectives of the humans are highlighted to comedic effect. The first film drew in audiences on this premise. While the finished product did not quite hit the expectations of many, it still brought in tons of money. The first “Secret Life of Pets” film brought home $368 million domestically, finishing fourth in the 2016 box office. It was a hit, and Illumination needs a franchise without Minions. Looks like they found one.