The Secret Life of Pets 2 hits theaters today and today I am sharing our thoughts and everything parents need to know about The Secret Life of Pets 2. Warning there may be a few spoilers ahead.
Disclosure: We were invited to screen this movie. All opinions are my own.
Everything Parents Need to Know about The Secret Life of Pets 2
The pets are back and ready to take us all on another adventure! From growing families, to new travels and some new pets too, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is the highly anticipated sequel of the summer. Audiences loved getting to know Max, Duke, Gidget, Chloe, Snowball and many others in the first installment and The Secret Life of Pets 2 delivers in the second with even more humor and characters to love.
In The Secret Life of Pets 2, Max has to deal with a lot of changes in his life from marriage, to a baby and conquering life’s fears, while the rest of the crew is dealing with some other chaos at home! We laughed a ton during the movie, but there were definitely some things that had me turning my head. Although I adored this movie and it was clear the theater had a great time, there are definitely some adult themes and potty humor that we were not prepared for. So I wanted to share everything that parents need to know about The Secret Life of Pets 2.
This movie is focused on family. I truly love that and Illumination has always created families that are unique, but relatable. Max and Duke have adjusted well to their new life together when Katie gets married and life changes yet again. Max learns to accept another member into the pack and becomes that protective and loving pup all families hope!
I adored this aspect of the movie and it really took me back to when my kids were little and how we watched our babies and puppies bond. It was adorable and silly and fun and a great way to show different family dynamics.
We often go to movie screenings and meet up with our awesome friend Censie and we try to sit together. More than once, Censie and I found ourselves snapping our necks looking at each other like “did that really happen”. Yes, yes it did. Illumination is known for their humor. It is why we love those yellow minions, and The Secret Life of Pets 2 is FULL of laughs, but you might want to be prepared for a few things.
There is a scene with catnip and the theater was hootin’ and hollarin’ through it but I can tell you that my kids had some questions about this after and I was not ready. I should have been, but I guess, I just didn’t think about how to approach that subject.
We don’t have cats and so they didn’t really get the scene as well, but anyone who knows about cats, knows that catnip makes those furballs crazy and the depiction of the scene with Chloe had some hallucinations happening.
The movie is rated PG. There is not any overt language but our old basset hound friend (just like many unfiltered older generations), lets the word “pissed” slip out of his mouth ever so smoothly. My daughter came out of the movie and said, “mama that dog said the P word, can I say that now”. Nah kid, that is gonna be a no for me.
3. Dark Parts
There is always a villian and this movie is no different. This part of the movie leads to a few dark parts that might scare some kids. There are some scenes with some wolves that my little one grabbed onto my arm pretty hard during as well as a moment where a rather large gun is brandished.
Now, do I think you should take the kids to see this movie…YES. However, I wasn’t very prepared for those moments They were not make or break for me. We still loved the movie, my kids have heard worse words fall out my own mouth and I approached the catnip situation the best way possible and my children have been raised with a respect for guns. I just wanted to warn other parents who may want to prepare themselves for the questions after.
One of the points that I kind of loved and hated at the same time was the underlying look at mental health. As a family that has dealt with mental health and its repercussions, I was really split on the handling of this subject for a kids movie. Max has anxiety and is taken to the vet for some help. There is a pretty silly scene in the vet and then Max comes home in the cone of shame.
Through the movie Max has to face his fears and anxiety and get through it which I loved. It showed Max overcoming yet another really tough transition and dealing with everything life throws at you. However, nit picky me, wishes they would have addressed mental health a bit better so instead of kids laughing at situations that cause anxiety, they were able to understand the resources available to them.
Illumination studios did try to do this, it was just not well done and that would be one of my biggest criticisms for this movie. Otherwise, we really did enjoy it and I know it is going to be a big hit. We laughed a ton and even my husband had those hard belly laughs, which is tough to accomplish. The kids already want to see it again and the entire theater was buzzing as we were leaving.