The Secret Life of Pets

Rated 3.0

A loyal and affectionate dog (voiced by Louis C.K.) finds his universe turned upside-down when his human brings home a pound rescue (Eric Stonestreet) whom he instantly dislikes. Once again, what might have made a perfectly enjoyable seven-minute cartoon is padded out far beyond the limits of its paper-thin story, this time by writers Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio and Brian Lynch, and directors Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud. Moments of clever humor here and there become swamped in frenetic, extended action scenes and eruptions of genuine unpleasantness (typified by a demented human-hating rabbit played by Kevin Hart). Characters and their celebrity voices are too numerous and fleeting to register strongly; two standout exceptions are Jenny Slate as a sweetly fuzzy lapdog and Albert Brooks as a predatory hawk.