An official trailer for The Secret Life of Pets 2 has arrived. The original Secret Lives of Pets hit theaters in 2016, and was a massive box office success that gave Illumination another hit franchise to go with Despicable Me and Minions. Directed by Chris Renaud, the animated film told the story of Max (then voiced by Louis C.K.), a high-strung Jack Russell Terrier whose simple existence with his human owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), is forever changed when Katie adopts a boisterous, shaggy mutt named Duke (Eric Stonestreet). While the film's plot was criticized for being derivative of Toy Story (only with pets instead of toys), it was otherwise well-received by critics and audiences alike.
The Secret Life of Pets 2 was announced shortly after the first movie became a hit, and its marketing has been up and running since last November. So far, the film's promotional campaign has consisted of a series of teasers based around returning characters like Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt, following C.K.'s sexual misconduct scandal), Snowball the white rabbit (Kevin Hart), Chloe the tabby cat (Lake Bell), and Gidget the Pomeranian (Jenny Slate), as well as newcomers in the forms of Daisy the Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish) and Rooster the Welsh Sheepdog (Harrison Ford). Now, with just two months to go before the sequel hit theaters, a full-length trailer has been unveiled.
Illumination has released The Secret Life of Pets 2 trailer online for National Pet Day, and will presumably attach the promo to this week's new animated release, Missing Link, in theaters. You can watch the video in the space below.
Like the teasers, The Secret Life of Pets 2 trailer focuses less on the sequel's plot and more on the various shenanigans that the Pets themselves get up to, this time around. It's a smart marketing strategy all in all, considering that the original Secret Life of Pets was (as mentioned earlier) celebrated more for its memorably zany characters and less for its conventional storyline. At the same time, the trailer does reveal some important information about the movie's plot - namely, that Katie has a kid now. By the look of things, the sequel's narrative is set in motion when Katie's son heads to preschool for the first time, leaving Max confused and determined to find and rescue him.
Where the first movie was about Max adjusting to life with his new "brother" Duke, The Secret Life of Pets 2 appears to focus more on the pup's struggles to deal with his emotional insecurities (even after Katie gets him spayed, in an effort to help calm him down). If nothing else, it's good to see the sequel isn't simply rehashing the original film's character arcs; rather, it's trying to evolve the franchise thematically, much like Illumination has attempted to do with the Despicable Me series over the years (to varying degrees of success). And of course, as the trailer illustrates, there will still be plenty of tomfoolery involving Snowball, Chloe, and the rest of the Pets for audiences to enjoy, on top of all that.
- The Secret Life of Pets 2 (2019) release date: Jun 07, 2019