We said we’d review The Secret Life of Pets 2, and here we are! We think guinea pig representation is important, and there should be more movies featuring them.
Overall, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is an equally fun and family-friendly second installment. As a refresher, both The Secret Life of Pets movies are about pets and what they get up to when their humans aren’t home. Both films are lighthearted and contain comedic gold moments, while also having emotional scenes that really hit you in the heart. The movies really capitalize on that soft spot we all have for our pets and for animals in general, and we can’t really complain about it.
If you'd like to read our review on The Secret Life of Pets, you can find it here.
What’s the movie about?
We’ll give you a synopsis that doesn’t include any major spoilers just in case you haven’t seen the film yet!
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is an animated comedy movie released in June 2019 by Illumination Entertainment, the company behind the cult favorite Despicable Me and Minion movies. The Secret Life of Pets 2 cast is just as star-studded as the previous movie, with Kevin Hart returning as the voice of Snowball the rabbit, Eric Stonestreet as Duke the mixed-breed dog, Chris Renaud as Norman the guinea pig, Jenny Slate as Gidget the pomeranian, Lake Bell as Chloe the cat, and Ellie Kemper as human Katie. Patton Oswalt voices Max, replacing Louis C.K., whose voice was used in the first installment. We also have a new voice: Harrison Ford as Rooster, the Welsh sheepdog!
The movie was just as fun as the previous one, with more lessons for Max and his friends to learn. This time, there were three simultaneous plot lines in the film, with all of them converging towards the end for a memorable finale.
The film takes place some time after the events of the first one, but the timeline isn’t specified. Max and Duke’s human, Katie, meets a man named Chuck, whom she marries and has a child with. In the beginning of the movie, Max states his distaste for children and is at first wary about Katie’s son Liam because of how roughly he played with both him and Duke. Soon enough, Max warms up to him to the point where he refers to Liam as his kid, and it’s heartwarming to see how the two of them bond and the ways that Max looks out for him.
Max begins to worry so much about Liam that he develops an anxious itch, which Katie notices. She takes him to the vet and he gets placed in a cone, much to his horror! Soon after, the whole family takes a trip to Chuck’s family’s farm where Max and Duke meet a number of different farm animals and the Welsh sheepdog, Rooster.
Rooster doesn’t understand why Max is so worried about Liam, or any of his other insecurities, and takes him under his wing (or paw) to teach him life lessons while performing his farm duties. Max is able to ditch his cone and helps Rooster locate and bring home a lost sheep named Cotton.
In the meantime, back home in the city, Gidget the pomeranian had been tasked with looking after Max’s favorite toy. However, after playing with the toy herself, she accidentally sends it into the apartment of a cat lady, whose entire home is filled with dozens upon dozens of cats who aren’t very friendly. Gidget must find a way to retrieve the toy before Max returns home. She enlists Chloe the cat and Norman the guinea pig to help her with this. Their plan is to dress Gidget up like a cat and teach her cat behaviors so she can sneak into the apartment and blend in to retrieve the toy.
Their plan goes smoothly until Gidget realizes that the biggest cat in the apartment is in possession of the toy and she tries to steal it from him, resulting in all of the other cats being sicced on her. Gidget tells Norman that they’re going to go with their Plan B, which is to use a red laser dot and convince the cats that she was successful in catching the red dot and eating it. This goes well, and all the cats refer to her as the queen as she retrieves Max’s toy and leaves the apartment.
Meanwhile this is happening, Snowball the rabbit is living his life as a pet bunny to a little girl by day, and a vigilante that helps animals in trouble by night. A Shih Tzu named Daisy comes to him for help freeing an abused tiger named Hu from a circus. They’re successful in liberating Hu, but Sergei the circus owner sics his pack of wolves on the animals to locate them.
Snowball and Daisy bring Hu to their friend Pops’ apartment looking for refuge, but are kicked out soon after Hu accidentally trashes the apartment. They utilize Max’s empty apartment, but have to leave quickly when Max comes home from his family’s farm trip sooner than the other pets expected.
Sergei and his wolves find Hu and steal him away again and hold Daisy hostage as well, and Snowball enlists Max and Duke to help rescue the two of them.
While Snowball, Max, and Duke try to rescue Hu and Daisy from the circus train they’re on, Max uses his newfound bravery that Rooster had taught him on the farm to jump back onto the train when he gets knocked off. They successfully rescue Hu and Daisy, but Sergei is determined not to let them escape—he plans on killing them all with a gun. However, Gidget and her army of cats use the cat lady’s car to stop Sergei.
What we wish it could have done better!
If you read our other review, you know that Norman the guinea pig didn’t have much of a role in the first installment of this film duology. This time, his role is a bit bigger in that Norman proves to be a very helpful and brave friend of the pets that is willing to help them with anything that they need.
In this film, Norman rides around in a remote control car that he drives himself, and has spy skills similar to those of the guinea pigs in G-Force, the other guinea pig movie that was reviewed! In our other review, we criticize the characterization of Norman—he’s given characteristics and personality traits that would be more suitable for a hamster than a guinea pig! His personality is still shown to be the same in this film, but we understand that if he’s being shown in a heroic light in these films, he needs to be brave and ready to take action. It is fiction, after all, so we can’t fault the film and its writers too much!
It’s by no means a perfect guinea pig movie, or even a guinea pig movie at all, but it was still fun and entertaining! We recommend watching this film with your family on one of your movie nights, whether that family is made up of just piggies or humans as well! Make yourself some popcorn and chop up some veggies for your guinea pigs to snack on, and watch The Secret Life of Pets 2.
The movie is available for streaming on Google Play, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, and many other streaming services!