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Western Animation / The Secret Life of Pets 2

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Max and his friends are back and howling for a whole new adventure!
The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a 2019 animated comedy and the sequel to 2016's The Secret Life of Pets.

Max and Duke's owner Katie marries a man named Chuck, and the two have a son named Liam. Although Max is initially terrified of dealing with kids, he warms up to Liam and makes it his job to protect him from the world. When the family takes a trip outside of the city, Max learns how to be braver with the help of an old sheepdog named Rooster (Harrison Ford).

A subplot involves Snowball assuming a superhero identity and teaming up with a Shih Tzu named Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) to rescue a white tiger named Hu from an abusive circus run by the evil ringmaster Sergei (Nick Kroll), and another has Gidget having to get Max's favorite toy back from an apartment full of cats.


This film provides examples of:

  • A Cat in a Gang of Dogs: One of the students in Pop’s puppy class is a Siamese kitten.
    • Also inverted when Gidget becomes the "Queen" of a group of cats.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song: Kaela Kimura supplies the theme song for the Japanese release, titled "BREAKER," which is centered around the theme of "breaking out of your shell to try new things."
  • Art Shift: Snowball's superhero fantasy is done with Cel Shading to look like a comic book.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Hu the tiger is shown to hate being made to jump into a pool of water. In real life, tigers are among the few cat species that enjoy being in the water. This could however be justified by him being intimidated, or he is more afraid of the fall into the water.
    • Wolves would make terrible guard dogs or trackers in a city. They are notoriously shy in the wild, and difficult to train even as half-wolf hybrids. Humanity specifically chose AGAINST wolf-like traits to create dogs, so ...
      • The "Circus Wolves" appear to have traits of dogs however, and are no bigger than the medium-sized dogs in the movie's universe, so it is possible that the "Wolves" are actually just dogs misidentified by the main characters.
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  • Ass in a Lion Skin: To retrieve Busy Bee from the cats, Gidget disguises herself as one.
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Swears like "pissed" and "turd" are briefly used, probably for this purpose.
  • Big Bad: Sergei, a cruel circus owner that mistreats Hu and seeks him out after Snowball and Daisy help him escape.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Max and Snowball pull this again when trying to save Hu and Daisy during the climax.
  • Call-Back: When Gidget learns that Max is in trouble, she tells Busy Bee that she needs to save him... again.
  • Cassandra Truth: Chloe doesn't believe Daisy's story of her encounter with Hu and his treatment by Sergei.
  • Cats Are Mean: Besides Chloe, who is more indifferent than outright mean, the cats in the old lady's apartment are very aggressive — at least until Gidget "catches" the red dot and is crowned "the queen of cats". Averted with Hu.
  • The Chosen One: The cats view Gidget as this after she "catches" a red laser dot.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Tiberius the hawk is absent. (So much for "best friends.")
    • None of Snowball's friends from the Flushed Pets make an appearance.
  • Cone of Shame: Max wears a cone for his compulsive scratching caused by all the stress of worrying about Liam. He finds it uncomfortable and makes things difficult for him, like keeping him from reaching Busy Bee from under the table. Rooster eventually takes it off for him, saying that he's "cured." Neither Katie nor Chuck seem to notice or care. Then again, the scratching tic that required him to wear it in the first place is soon cured for real.
  • Continuity Snarl: At the end of the first movie, Max seemed to finally be reciprocating Gidget's feelings for him, to the point of asking her on a date. Here, there is nothing to suggest the two are dating, with Max reacting awkwardly when Gidget suggests that the two are "in a relationship", with Busy Bee as their child.
  • Contrived Coincidence: Snowball's new owner calls him by the same name he had in the previous movie: Snowball. Justified as “Snowball” is a relatively common name for rabbits.
  • Crazy Cat Lady: An old lady that lives in the same building as the pets owns a lot of cats that Gidget has to get through.
  • Darker and Edgier: While it's not heavy, it does get more serious at times and the villain is more serious compared to Snowball from the previous film. Also, Max's arc about facing his fears, while it does have its moments of comedy, is actually taken a bit more seriously than his arc of having to get along with Duke in the first film. Also, the film has "pissed" used in the film, making it the first Illumination film to have that sort of language used.
  • Demoted to Extra: Buddy, Mel, Sweet Pea and Pops have a lot less to do in this movie.
  • Destination Ruse: Max is taken for a walk by Katie. Then they pass a dog being dragged by his leash begging not to go to the vet; that's when Max realizes where Katie is actually taking him.
  • The Dragon: Little Sergei, Sergei's pet monkey, serves as his chief enforcer.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Towards the end of the film, Gidget goes to help Max and Snowball with rescuing the tiger by having the cats of the aforementioned crazy cat lady hide all of their food. They then gather together for feeding time, forcing a trip to the store to get more food. The cat lady proves to ultimately be this, wearing what seems to be a Sleep Mask during the trip and actually sleeping during part of it. Most of the time, it seems like the cats are actually doing the driving.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: Or in this case, The Veterinarian's Office Waiting Room from Ipanema.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Averted with Little Sergei, who's as evil as his owner.
  • Face Your Fears: Rooster helps Max deal with his anxieties, and find his courage. This really pays off during the film's climax.
  • Fearless Fool: Cotton, the sheep who strays from the flock. He gets stuck on a tree branch over a cliff, and is incredibly nonchalant about it.
  • Gentle Giant: Hu - despite being a tiger, he wouldn’t harm a fly.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In the previous movie, Snowball was the Big Bad. Here, not only is he a friend to the other pets, he's also a would-be superhero.
  • High on Catnip: Gidget finds Chloe acting stoned with a lampshade on her head after her owner gave her too much catnip. For an added bonus, the soundtrack is playing White Rabbit.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: During his second fight with Snowball, Little Sergei lights the fuse of the cannon Daisy is trapped in, and kicks her for good measure. This ends up working against him when the kick allows Daisy to free herself, and Little Sergei is himself shoved into the cannon, which fires second later.
  • Human Cannonball: Sergei captures Daisy and threatens to use her as one. When Snowball finds her, she is tied up inside the cannon, and Little Sergei lights the fuse in the middle of battling Snowball. Eventually Little Sergei gets put on the cannon as it fires.
  • Hurl It into the Sun: The superhero in the cartoon Snowball and his owner watch disposes of a villain this way.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • While looking after Busy Bee, Gidget has a fantasy of her and Max acting as parents to the squeaky toy.
    • As Snowball puts on his superhero costume, he imagines himself a real superhero fighting bad guys.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sergei, full stop. He's Illumination's most serious antagonist since the bears in Sing.
  • Kick the Dog: Sergei regularly indulges in this. After Hu's escape, he leaves one wolf trapped in one of the circus rides, and threatens to turn them all into a fur coat. He also literally kicks Max, and snatches Daisy, planning to use her as a Human Cannonball For the Evulz.
  • Meet My Good Friends "Lefty" and "Righty": Snowball calls his paws "Paw" and "Order".
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Snowball receives one from Little Sergei.
  • The Nicknamer: Snowball still indulges in this, calling Gidget "Puffy Dog" in addition to still calling Max "Tiny Dog".
  • Obviously Evil: Sergei. He dresses entirely in black, and has a Sinister Schnoz.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise:
    • Snowball's "Captain Snowball" persona is just him in a superhero suit, yet Daisy is unable to see through it.
    • Gidget's cat disguise is just an ear hairband and a sock on her tail.
  • Precision F-Strike: There are noticeably quite a few cuss words in this movie, like "pissed" and "turd".
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: The entirety of Pop's class (and Hu himself) give him these in order to convince him to let Hu stay for a while.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Snowball pretends he's flying, he hums the Superman theme.
    • When the turkey starts chasing Max, its foot creates a booming thud, and it lets out the roar of the Tyrannosaurus rex from Jurassic Park.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: It's not deliberate by the creators, but when Gidget becomes the queen of cats, her "coronation" song is La Marseillaise, one of the most famous anti-monarchy revolutionary songs. It's like using La Internationale as a Corrupt Corporate Executive's theme song. Doubly noteworthy, since the film was made in France.
  • The Speechless: Hu, Little Sergei and the turkey are the only animals in the film other than Sweet Pea that don't speak.
  • Stereotype Flip: When it comes to dog stereotypes, Beagles are usually portrayed as Friend to All Children, the Beagle that Max converses with at the beginning of the film, didn’t seem all to fond of children.
  • Talking in Your Sleep: When Max and Duke are forced to sleep outside at the farm, Max tells Duke that he thinks they should go check on Liam, only for Duke to mutter "I finally caught you, tail."
  • Took a Level in Badass: Max's arc involves him facing his fears and not having to see the world as being so scary, so by the end, he is more than ready to spring into action to help Snowball save Hu.
  • Traintop Battle: Max and Snowball hop on top of the circus train to rescue Hu and Daisy, and have to elude Sergei's wolves and Little Sergei.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: There are three separate plot lines in the middle of the movie: Max and Duke on the farm, Gidget trying to retrieve Busy Bee, and Snowball and Daisy rescuing Hu. These all happen in fairly equal amounts of time, and during the climax everything is folded together.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Snowball expects Little Sergei not to be a match for him and pays dearly for that mistake. He knows better during their next fight and wins.

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