Blog 4: The Secret Life of Pets
When I first saw the movie Secret Life of Pets, I thought that it was an adorable children's film. After watching the film for a second time from a critical stand point, my initial thoughts about the movie have completely changed. I fail to realize the underlying theme of death. Although some of the messages are dark, the producers end the film on a positive, uplifting note.
An implied negative message in this film was that threats and intimidation helps you get what you want. I found this to be very prevalent throughout the entirety of the film. In the very beginning of the movie when the owner, Kate, of the main character, Max, brought home another dog, Duke. Right off the bat Duke and Max did not get along because Max was so used to being the only dog that Katie had. He was used to being the only dog on the receiving end of all of Katie's love and affection as well as his own living space. As soon as Duke moves in Max acts like a brat towards his new "brother". After Duke accidently breaks a vase, Max sees this as an opportunity to eliminate his competition. Max destroys the house and blames it all on Duke. After seeing how effective Max's threats were, Duke views Max as a superior. Later in the movie when the crazy delinquent bunny named Snowball is introduced, the message grows stronger. His opening line in the movie was, "We are the flushed pets. Thrown away by our owners, and out for revenge." Not only with this line is Snowball providing evidence that owners are bad but he is also showing kids that revenge is acceptable. When Duke was convincing Snowball that he and Max did not like humans, he says that they killed their owner. "If I had a dime for every owner I killed I'd have a dime." The characters in a PG movie are making jokes about killing humans. Not really something children should be hearing. Snowball tries to get Max and Duke to go into detail about killing their owner and say, "You blended someone." Once again, not really something children should be hearing.
An implied positive message in this film was to care for the people, or in this case the animals, around you. Although there is a bit of a divide between the Manhattan pets and the "flushed" pets at first, in the end they all come together as one. In one scene in the end of the movie Snowball says to Max, "This kills me to say but we join forces. Duke along with all of the other "flushed" pets were captured by the pound and needed to be rescued. In the beginning of the film, there was obvious loyalty between all of the pets from Manhattan and all of the "flushed" pets. Throughout the entire movie with the exception of the altercation between Max and Duke, each group of pets was continually loyal to one another: the Manhattan pets were out searching for Duke and Max while the "flushed" pets were hunting the two. At the very end, Snowball, the most violent character turns good when a little girl picks him up and says, "Bunny, I'm love you forever and ever and ever." All it takes is a little bit of love to bring out the best in someone.
Just by the length of the paragraphs, it is obvious that the negative messages were more prominent in the film. The positive message however, is the last thing that people see. By putting the positive message at the end of the film, I believe that the producers were able to make children remember the most important part. After watching the movie a second time, I would not recommend little kids to go see this movie.