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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.
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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 ran 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.

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This film provides examples of:

  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Bad Boss: Sergei treats both the animals and workers in his circus terribly. The one exception is his spider monkey sidekick, "Little Sergei", whom he treats quite well.
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  • Bad People Abuse Animals: As noted above, Sergei treats his circus animals badly, often taking a whip to them and threatening to make them into coats or rugs.
  • 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.
  • Captain Ersatz: Sergei looks like a thinner Gru. He dresses in black, has a big nose, speaks in a Russian accent, and is bald. Hey, it's Illumination's first big hit. You gotta reference it in some way, shape, or form.
  • 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. 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.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: In the first film, Snowball's villainy before he reformed was more over-the-top and silly and he treated his fellow flushed-pets with respect while in the sequel, Sergei’s villainy is played much more serious and the only one he treats kindly is his pet monkey, Little Sergei.
  • 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.
  • Cruella to Animals: Sergei. He tries to force Hu to jump into a pool of water for his act, and threatens to make a rug out of him if he doesn't. When Hu is released, Sergei threatens to make one of his wolves into a coat for Little Sergei.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Other than Chloe, there is now Rooster.
    Max: (about his cone) My therapist says I need it.
    (Rooster pulls the cone off Max)
    Rooster: There. You're cured. Hallelujah.
  • Demoted to Extra: Buddy, Mel, Sweet Pea and Pops have a lot less to do in this movie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Rooster is a strong believer in tough love.
  • Kick the Dog: Sergei literally kicks Max into a basement window.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Sergei, full stop. He's Illumination's most serious antagonist since the bears in Sing.
  • 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".
  • Savage Wolves: Sergei has wolves as guard dogs, and are quite vicious.
  • Shout-Out: When Snowball pretends he's flying, he hums the Superman theme.
  • Sinister Schnoz: Sergei is the movie's villain and his nose shows it.
  • The Speechless: Hu, Little Sergei and the turkey are the only animals in the film other than Sweet Pea that don't speak.
  • The Stoic: Rooster, oh so much. He later gives Max a bandana, proving that he’s Not So Above It All.
  • 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.
  • Third Line, Some 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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