Follow TV Tropes


Western Animation / The Secret Life of Pets 2

Go To
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 (now voiced by Patton Oswalt) 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.

Previews: The Max Trailer, The Chloe Trailer, The Snowball Trailer, Official Trailer, Final Trailer

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.
  • Advertised Extra: Pickles appears on the DVD cover despite having less than 10 minutes of screentime in the entire movie.
  • All Dogs Are Purebred: This is mostly true. Gidget is a Pomeranian, Daisy is a Shitzu, Buddy is a Dachshund, Mel is a Pug and Rooster is a Welsh Sheepdog. The only mutts in the movie are Max, a Jack Russel mix, and Duke, a Newfoundland mix. However, according to Wisdom Pannel, Rooster is a mix of German Shepherd, Australian Shepherd and Border Collie.
  • 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."
  • Artistic License – Animal Care: There are a few times where Katie and Chuck are oblivious to Max's physical and mental health.
    • Once Liam is able to start crawling and torments Max, they are not seen correcting Liam's behavior. Liam is considered extremely lucky that he didn't get bitten by Max. In real life, parents should teach their little ones boundaries around dogs. If a kid is bugging a dog, it could eventually snap and/or bite them.
    • When Katie leaves Max in the apartment, he starts making a racket because he can't reach Busy Bee because his cone prevents him from going under the table. Chuck should have made sure that Max was okay, because he could have injured himself. In real life, some dogs have severely injured themselves due to plastic cones, and some of them have even died due to their injuries. Dog owners should moderate what their furry companions do if they wear any type of cone of shame.
    • Max is chased by a turkey at the farm. He could have ended up injured if the turkey would have started to peck him. Luckily, Rooster stops the turkey chase by howling at the turkey. It is always best to keep dogs that haven't met territorial birds, like turkeys and roosters, away from them, or at a distance to prevent injuries. In addition, the dog could associate places with these birds negatively. This is on Katie and Chuck for letting their dogs run off without their supervision.
    • Rooster acts harshly to Duke and Max when they arrive at the farm. Katie, Chuck and Uncle Shep didn't make sure that the dogs had a proper introduction. It is always best to introduce dogs to each other in a calm manner so that fights don't ensure. Given Rooster's harsh nature, things could have taken a turn for the worse.
    • When struggling to sleep at the farm, Max almost gets eaten by a fox. Luckily, Rooster is able to save him in the nick of time. Uncle Shep, Chuck and Katie are all at fault because they didn't take into account that Max is a little dog that is vulnerable to predators. A big dog like Duke could easily kill a fox, whereas a small one like Max couldn't. It is always best to keep little dogs inside at night so that they aren't eaten by predators.
    • Rooster takes off Max's cone. The next morning, Katie and Chuck show no concern that Max's cone went missing, despite Katie being the one that got him the cone. While Max's cone was used to stop a nervous tic and he wasn't harmed, removing a cone from a dog in real life is usually unsafe because it prevents them from licking and/or scratching at wounds and stitches. If the wounds/stitches of a dog haven't healed yet and a dog licks them, the wounds could get infected and the stitched may fall out. Katie should have been concerned and searched for his cone.
    • While on the farm, Katie and Chuck leave Max and Duke unsupervised on the farm. This is a bad idea considering that farm animals have taunted both of them, Max's anxiety was at an all time high (until Rooster cured him), Max almost got eaten by a fox, Rooster wasn't welcoming (initially) to Duke and Max, Max broke the sheep pen and Rooster made him go into the woods to find Cotton.
    • For that matter, Uncle Shep doesn't seem to much care that Duke keeps chasing his chickens. Even if he never catches them, the stress could impair their health and their egg output.
      • Uncle Shep is a negligent farmer in general. He is completely oblivious about his farm animals. For example, he doesn't notice that his turkey chases and terrorizes Max, Duke is chasing his chickens, one of his cows taunts Duke, one of his pigs escapes from its pen, and his lamb, Cotton, escapes and heads into the woods (luckily, Rooster and Max retrieve him). Perhaps this is why Rooster is the boss of the barnyard.
    • Chloe is considered obese. In real life, you should never overfeed your cat because it causes several health problems. It is also important that they get exercise.
    • Molly is seen feeding Snowball carrots. This is okay to do in real life, as long as they are given in moderation. Carrots should be considered as candy for rabbits because they are high in sugar.
    • Daisy's owner shows no concern that her dog is being chased by a bunch of wolves.
    • In the end of the movie Hu is adopted by the cat lady. In real life, this would not be acceptable because tigers need space, an apartment is too small for them. If the cat lady was caught with a giant tiger in her apartment, she would have to surrender Hu to an animal sanctuary.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Down on the Farm: One of the three plots of this involves Max and Duke going to and staying at a farm.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hyperlink Story: While Sing juggled many separate character arcs, this is the first Illumination film to be split into three completely different subplots that never fully meet until the third act
  • 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.
  • Maniac Monkeys: Little Sergei, who's as evil as his owner.
  • 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. Later, when Chloe, Mel, Buddy and Duke join her rescue team, their disguises consist of a cat suit (Mel), a cat mask (Duke), and two hats with cat ears (Buddy and Chloe).
  • 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.
    • The Chihuahua-like puppy (or Siamese kitten) in Pops’s class could be a shout-out to the Skippyjon Jones children’s books.
    • This isn't the only movie with an ill-fated dog toy named Busy Bee.
  • 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. Daisy lampshades this, noting she doesn't speak wild animal.
  • 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.
  • Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: Rooster teaches Max how to properly howl at the moon. Despite both of the being dogs, this trope still applies.