The Secret Life of Pets 2 appears in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While attractive, this wasn’t one of the best-looking animated Blu-rays I’ve seen.
Sharpness could be a minor distraction. Though most of the movie displayed solid clarity, a few shots seemed a smidgen soft. These were mild instances, but parts of the image lacked the tightness I expect from Blu-ray.
At least no issues with jaggies or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, the image lacked any print flaws; it remained clean at all times.
Colors became a strong element. The movie went with a somewhat pastel palette, and it displayed consistently vivid hues within its chosen range.
Blacks were dense and tight, and shadows were usually fine, though a few low-light shots seemed a bit dark. Overall, this was a good enough presentation for a “B+”, but that meant the presentation disappointed compared to the usual “A”-level computer animated effort.
As for the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack, it opened up the film in a satisfying manner. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, the mix didn’t give us wall-to-wall theatrics, but it managed to use the spectrum well.
As expected, the film’s occasional action sequences boasted nice breadth and activity, and the street or farm elements created a fine sense of involvement. While the soundscape didn’t stun us on a frequent basis, it provided more than enough to succeed.
Audio quality seemed consistently solid. Speech appeared natural and distinctive, and no edginess or other issues marred the dialogue.
Music sounded warm and full, while effects showed good clarity and accuracy. When necessary, bass response came across as deep and tight. All of this lifted the track to “B+” status.
Expect a slew of brief extras, and like all Illuminations releases, we get Mini-Movies. This set includes “Super Gidget” (3:49) and “Minion Scouts” (4:04).
“Gidget” focuses on the Secret Life Pomeranian, whereas “Scouts” gets into the Despicable Me universe. Both offer decent entertainment.
We also find a Making of the Mini-Movies featurette. It runs four minutes, 59 seconds and offers comments from Illumination founder/CEO Chris Meledandri and directors Glenn McCoy, Boris Jacq, Guy Bar’ely and Frank Baradat.
As expected, we get basics about the creation of the disc’s two shorts. While this means a few decent insights, “Making” tends toward fluff.
Four Deleted Scenes fill a total of two minutes, 19 seconds. We find “Wake Up” (0:43), “Duke Explores the Farm” (0:12), “Snowball in Training” (1:07) and “Secret Confessions” (0:17).
Both “Farm” and “Confessions” feature finished animation, whereas the other two deliver rough visuals. Coincidentally, “Farm” and “Confessions” also both involve dogs who sniff butts, and they’re pretty forgettable.
“Up” and “Training” aren’t really any better. Actually, they’re less appealing because they fill more time and don’t add to the film – at least “Farm” and “Confessions” wrap up quickly.
Plenty of featurettes follow, and A Tapestry of a Tail goes for seven minutes. It includes notes from Meledandri, director Chris Renaud, writer Brian Lynch, editor Tiffany Hillkurtz, and co-director Jonathan Del Val.
“Tail” examines story, characters, cast and performances, editing, and construction. Some fluff appears here, but “Tail” offers a generally taut take on the topic.
Tutorials appear in the three How to Draw segments. Head of Story Eric Favela leads us through lessons on how to create art for “Max” (2:56), “Snowball” (2:25) and “Chloe” (2:25). I enjoy these kinds of pieces, and this collection becomes fun.
Another tutorial shows up via How to Make a Flip Book. Favela comes back for this four-minute, 25-second reel. It’s another likable reel.
Under Character Pods, we locate 10 segments with a total time of 16 minutes, 40 seconds. Across these, we hear from actors Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate, Tiffany Haddish, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford.
In the clips, the actors discuss their roles. Don’t expect substance here, as we get a few minor thoughts about performances but not much.
With My Buddy and Me, we locate a three-minute, 28-second piece that features Carvey, Moynihan, Meledandri, Bell, Hart, Lynch, Oswalt, and Renaud. They talk about their pets in this fluffy clip.
An interactive animated short, The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball features Hart as his character. By “interactive”, the viewer occasionally makes choices that determine where the story goes. It’s moderately fun.
Called “a documentary”, Pets with Jobs lasts seven minutes, 10 seconds and provides comments from Doggie Do Good founder Sandy Sandberg, Redondo Beach PD Chief of Police Keith Kauffman, Redondo Beach police officer Kyle Ostrom, Redondo Beach K9 officer David Arnold, Hello Critter founder Michelle Tritten, and Mini-Therapy Horses Executive Director Victoria Nodiff-Netanel.
As expected, “Jobs” looks at the various tasks animals can perform. It’s a cute little overview.
Split into six segments, A Party Fit For a Pet fills a total of seven minutes, 19 seconds and offers lessons how to create items for a Pets-themed bash. It feels a bit self-promotional but maybe some party planners may enjoy it.
Relax the Cat lasts four minutes, 21 seconds and features Bell, Carvey, Moynihan and animal massage therapist Amber Lockspeiser. Here Lockspeiser teaches the actors how to massage their pets. Don’t expect much real information, but some laughs result.
Next we find Pops’ Puppy Training School, a two-minute, 28-second clip that features Hart. It’s comedic in nature and mildly amusing.
With Production Pets, we get a five-minute, 56-second photo montage that shows the animals owned by all the members of the crew. That’s it!
Under Pet Yule Log, we see a two-minute, 13-second reel that acts as a Pets-themed screen saver kind of deal. I don’t know why they call this a “Yule Log” when it has zero to do with Christmas, but it seems moderately likable.
Finally, Lyric Videos encompasses two tracks: “Panda” (0:45) and “It’s Gonna Be a Lovely Day” (3:55). The former acts as an ad and just shows a movie clip accompanied by onscreen lyrics.
“Day” isn’t much more ambitious. It mixes film shots and some other animation with lyrics as well. Neither segment seems memorable.
The disc opens with ads for The Grinch, Curious George: Royal Monkey, A Dog’s Journey, Perfect Harmony and UglyDolls. No trailer for Pets 2 appears here.
Although the first film offered solid entertainment, Secret Life of Pets 2 sputters. Fractured and disjointed, it lacks the charm and wit of the original. The Blu-ray brings good picture and audio along with a long but fairly superficial collection of supplements. Given the high quality of the prior movie, Pets 2 becomes a disappointment.