By Sofia Jesus

When I was a child, long before Toy Story came to the big screen, my cousin and I used to make up this game in which our toys came to life whenever adults were not around. We had fun imagining what they actually thought about their lives as toys and what adventures they lived when no one of flash and bone was looking.

The Secret Life of Pets (2016) made me recall those days. In this animation directed by Chris Renaud, the concept is more or less the same. But it is pets’ lives, instead of toys’, we get to know. And it’s really fun to watch.

The film starts with an amazing animated landscape of New York — “Welcome to New York,” the song goes — and continues with fantastic scenes of pets’ adventures throughout the city. On top of the quality of the animation, the story — about friendship and sharing — is thrilling.

The film is about a tiny dog named Max. He was happy living alone with his owner Katie, until one day she brings home another dog — big, hairy, brown — named Duke. They start off on the wrong foot, but eventually become brothers.

The film addresses relations between humans and animals in an amusing way, but also offers a statement against those who mistreat animals. There are the feared workers from the Animal Control department, as well as a club of revolutionary animals that refuse to be domesticated and are looking for revenge against humans. Most of all, though, the film is an ode to love between pets and their owners.

The Secret Life of Pets (2016)

Director: Chris Renaud