Ever wonder what your pet does or thinks about, especially when you leave the house? Screenwriters Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio (Despicable Me films and The Lorax) have attempted to answer that question with humor in their latest animated film, The Secret Life of Pets, starring Louis C.K and Eric Stonestreet. The film opens in theaters July 8th.
After completing Despicable Me 2, Paul and Daurio were approached by Chris Meladandri, Illumination founder and CEO, to write a screenplay about pets. “We thought, ‘genius!’ Why has no one done a movie about pets before?” Daurio recalled.
The story centers around Max (C.K.), a pampered terrier who lives an idyllic life with his owner, Katie (Ellie Kemper), until she “brings home Duke (Stonestreet), a giant rescue dog who totally disrupts his life,” said Paul, an Agoura Hills resident. Out in the world, the dogs encounter Snowball (Kevin Hart), an angry, rebellious bunny rabbit who demands the two join his gang of abandoned pets on a mission against the humans who’ve wronged them.
Though the writers did not base any of the main characters on their own pets specifically, they did incorporate their behaviors. “My [dog] is so excited when I come home,” said Paul. “She jumps all over me like I’ve been gone so long … I wish my wife and kids responded that way.”
“Yeah, don’t they know this happens every day?” added Daurio, who includes among his menagerie a dog, a tortoise, a cockatiel, and two new kittens.
The impressive voice cast also includes Albert Brooks, Dana Carvey and Lake Bell. “You hear these names announced and it’s so exiting,” said Paul. “Chris and everyone involved do such a great job picking a cast that captures the spirit of the characters.”
The team said they were most impressed with Hart’s performance. “When I saw what he was doing with Snowball, that was a gift,” said Daurio. “He took [the performance] to the next level.”
So what’s next for the dynamic duo? In addition to completing the script for Despicable Me 3, they are coordinating the next “Best Movies Ever Written” Film Festival, presented by the Agoura Hills Cultural Arts Council, to be held Nov. 18-19. “We’re very excited about the list,” said Daurio.
“There’s going to be four new movies, and we’re talking with the screenwriters now,” said Paul.
Stay tuned for updates on Conejo Valley Happening.
Just For Fun
You don’t need kids to have fun with the free The Secret Life of Pets “PetMoji” app. Create fun, animated versions of your own pet(s) for emails, texts and social media. Here’s one we downloaded of our dog, Jade.