The Secret Life of Pets 2 – 4K UHD Review

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is a 2019 American 3D computer animated comedy film that was produced by Illumination, directed by Chris Renaud, co-directed by Jonathan del Val, and written by Brian Lynch. It is the sequel to 2016’s The Secret Life of Pets and the second feature film in the franchise. The film features the voices of Patton Oswalt (who replaces Louis C.K.), Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Chris Renaud, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, and Harrison Ford.

Taking place sometime after the events of the first film, Max and Duke’s owner, Katie, gets married to a guy named Chuck and has a son, Liam, whom Max disapproves of at first due to his rough play but eventually softens up to him. Later, Max’s overprotective feelings for Liam develop into an itch which prompts Katie to get him a dog cone from the veterinarian in an effort to lower his symptoms. Max’s luck changes when Duke reveals that the family is going on a road trip outside of the city.

The film was theatrically released in the United States on June 7, 2019 by Universal Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics and has grossed $413 million worldwide against a production budget of $80 million. In November 2017, it was announced t hat Louis C.K. would not be reprising his role as Max after being accused of and later admitting to sexual misconduct with a number of women. In April 2018, it was announced that Patton Oswalt would be replacing C.K. as Max, while Hart, Stonestreet, Slate, Kemper, Bell, Carvey, Buress, and Moynihan would reprise their roles.

The Film Itself (4/5):

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is another children movie that I was admittedly excited to see after the launch of the initial promotional material started to make its rounds on TV.  Mostly for the innocent humor that’s included, I was really looking forward to the good-natured storyline that was following up the first.  And I can certainly say that Illumination certainly delivered with this movie.  Maybe it hit closer to home because my wife and I had a child a couple of years ago, but we both really enjoyed it and had fun sitting down to this the other night.

Picture Quality (5/5):

The 4K UHD release of The Secret Life of Pets 2 offers a 2160p/Dolby Vision presentation courtesy of Universal Home Entertainment.  Boasting an extremely rich color palette, the boost the animation got really showed the boundless efforts the animators put into making this movie.  The finer details are certainly more prevalent in the 4K copy when comparing it side-by-side with the Blu-ray counterpart, and the crisper image makes the overall entire experience much more welcoming and pleasing to the eye.

Audio Quality (5/5):

Bundled with an English Dolby Atmos audio track, the 4K UHD release of The Secret Life of Pets 2 offers a very rich and absolutely immersive audio experience.  With an impressive stage presence, and the transitions between the channels, my wife, my son, and I all felt like we were right there in the middle of everything as the story progressed onward.  Dialogue is spoken cleanly, and the characters are able to be heard and understood without any issues whatsoever.

The Packaging (3/5):

The 4K UHD release of The Secret Life of Pets 2 comes packaged in the standard two disc amaray case.  In that case, the 4K UHD copy and the Blu-ray copy of the film.  The UHD has Captain Snowball while the Blu-ray only has the standard release text.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet as well as a slipcover that’s been made available with the initial pressing of the release that features the same artwork as the case.

Special Features (4/5):

Surprisingly, the special features included with the UHD release of The Secret Life of Pets all come included on the UHD disc.  Something we rarely see, but definitely is a welcome addition.  The content that’s included with this release offers some nice interactive features for the younger audience members, some looks at some of the production work, and a shared interest in the overall amount of fun that the cast members had while they were doing their voice-over work.  Included with this release is:

  • Super Gidget
  • Minion Scouts
  • The Making of the Mini-Movies
  • Deleted Scenes
  • A Tapestry of a Tail – The Making Of
  • How to Draw
  • Frame by Frame – How to Make a Flip Book
  • Character Pods
  • My Buddy and Me
  • The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball
  • Pets with Jobs – A Documentary
  • A Party Fit for a Pet
  • Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pet Massage
  • Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart
  • Production Pets
  • Pat’s Yule log
  • Lyric Videos

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Upscaled 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10+

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Original Aspect  Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: Dolby Atmos

English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Spanish: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

French: Dolby Digital Plus 7.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 86 Minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, we had an absolute blast with this movie.  It’s innocent, it’s fun, and it has a pretty good story that I’m sure will keep your young one’s attention from beginning to end.  The visual and audio presentation of the 4K release were great and the included special features were extremely fun to visit.  If you’re considering this for your collection, I would definitely recommend picking it up.  The Secret Life of Pets is available on 4K UHD, Blu-ray and DVD today.