Watch: ‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Exclusive Deleted Scene

With the globally beloved animal stars of The Secret Life of Pets 2 ready to make their DVD, Blu-ray and 4K debut on August 27, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment has given us a sneak peek at the special features in store on the release. Check out the deleted scene “Wake Up” form Illumination Ent.’s blockbuster sequel below!

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is out now on Digital.

Don’t forget to enter our online giveaway for a chance to win this furry frolic on disc!

Synopsis: Terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be. The voice cast also features Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first-ever animation role: a farm dog named Rooster.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is helmed by returning director Chris Renaud and co-director Jonathan del Val; produced by Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy.

Animation Magazine

Sneak Peek: Something Big Is Coming in ‘LEGO Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit’!

Prepare to return to a lost world of dinos, danger and tons of laughs in LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit, a new two-part animated special coming to Nickelodeon this month! Our pals at Nick gave us a sneak peek at the exciting new brickworld adventure, which launches with Part 1 on Saturday, August 17 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT) and wraps with Part 2 on Saturday, August 24 at 11:30 a.m. (ET/PT).

In The Secret Exhibit, Simon Masrani has an idea for a new attraction that is guaranteed to keep Jurassic World at the forefront of theme park entertainment, but in order for it to succeed, he needs his right-hand can-do problem solver, Claire Dearing, and newcomer Owen Grady, to get a trio of dinosaurs across the park to the new, super-secret exhibit. Unfortunately, delivering the dinosaurs to the new attraction is not as easy as they thought!

LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit

LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit

LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit

LEGO: Jurassic World: The Secret Exhibit

Animation Magazine

‘Secret Life of Pets 2’ Comes Home to Sit ‘n’ Stay

Heartwarming, gut-busting animated family blockbuster The Secret Life of Pets 2 is ready to be adopted on disc and digital this summer, through Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. Illumination Entertainment’s warm and fuzzy sequel arrives on Digital August 13, and on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on August 27. DVD and Digital versions are packed with well over an hour of bonus content, including two brand-new mini-movies. Meanwhile, 4K and Blu-ray versions include an exclusive Captain Snowball Motion Comic.

In The Secret Life of Pets 2, terrier Max (Patton Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie’s marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Lake Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Kevin Hart) believes, despite the other pets’ teasing, that he’s a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Daisy (Tiffany Haddish), a fearless Shih Tzu, shows up to ask for Snowball’s help on a dangerous mission, he’ll have to summon the courage to become the hero he’s been pretending to be.

The voice cast also features Eric Stonestreet, Nick Kroll, Dana Carvey, Ellie Kemper, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan and Harrison Ford in his first-ever animation role: a farm dog named Rooster.

Bonus Features (4K, Blu-ray, DVD & Digital):

  • Mini Movie: Minion Scouts – When Margo, Agnes and Edith return from Badger Scout camp, three of the Minions are entranced by the girls’ merit badges. Their own attempt at scout camp results in attracting a bear, eating poison berries and eventually blowing up a dam, creating a massive flood. But, when they arrive back home, the girls share their badges, encouraging the rest of the Minions to try their hand at scouting.
  • Mini Movie: Super Gidget – When Max is kidnapped by an army of squirrels, Super Gidget is the only one who can save him. It turns out that Max’s captor is a flea with the power of mind control. Gidget must use her pluckiness, strength and smarts to save her one true love…until it turns out it was all just a dream.
  • The Making of the Mini Movies – Every Illumination film is accompanied by mini movies that are a production all their own. Each film’s directing partners will explore how the mini movies were made.
  • Deleted Scenes: “Wake Up” – Max and Duke have a new morning routine with Liam. “Duke Explores the Farm” – Duke has a funny interaction with a goat. “Snowball Karate” – Snowball does his superhero warm up. “Secret Confessions” – Dogs gather to talk about their deepest secrets.
  • A Tapestry of a Tail: The Making Of – The plot of The Secret Life of Pets 2 involves multiple storylines ultimately coming together to create a larger than life tale. We talk with the filmmakers, editor and cast about the delicate dance of juggling multiple narratives in one movie.
  • How to Draw – Hosted by Head of Story, Eric Favela, follow the step-by-step tutorial to learn to draw Max, Snowball and Chloe.
  • Frame by Frame: How to Make a Flip Book – In this DIY-style vignette, Head of Story Eric Favela will teach viewers about the essence of animation and how they can create their very own flip book animations at home.
  • Character Pods – Get a closer look at your favorite characters of The Secret Life of Pets 2 with these delightful character pods that might just give away a few more pet secrets. Patton Oswalt – Max; Kevin Hart – Snowbal;l Eric Stonestreet – Duke; Jenny Slate – Gidget; Tiffany Haddish – Daisy; Lake Bell – Chloe; Nick Kroll – Sergei; Dana Carvey – Pops; Bobby Moynihan – Mel; Harrison Ford – Rooster
  • A Party Fit for a Pet – Using stop-motion animation, this step-by-step guide teaches you everything you need to know to throw the very best party for your pet!
  • Pops’ Puppy Training School with Kevin Hart – Join Kevin Hart as he shows off his dog training skills.
  • Pets Yule Log – Sit back and relax in front of this exclusive The Secret Life of Pets 2 themed animated ‘Yule Log.’
  • ‘Panda’ Lyric Video
  • ‘It’s Gonna Be A Lovely Day (The Secret Life of Pets 2)’ Lyric Video

4K & Blu-ray Exclusive:

  • The Further Adventures of Captain Snowball (Interactive) – This animated ‘Motion Comic’ expands the world of our furry hero, Captain Snowball. Using a ‘superhero’ comic book style and custom animation, we discover more about the secret world of our caped crusader with a little help from our viewers. At key moments in the story, the viewer is presented with a choice: left, or right? Fight or flight? Their choice determines our hero’s next move!

4K, Blu-ray & Digital Exclusives:

  • My Buddy and Me – We interview the Illumination cast and crew talking about The Secret Life of Pets 2 while holding (or trying to hold) their pets.
  • Pets with Jobs: A Documentary – We find and profile animals with special jobs – a service dog that detects when its epileptic owner is about to have a seizure; ponies that provide comfort to children with cancer; police dogs that go the extra mile to catch the bad guys. Meet some of the many animals who make the world a better place every day!
  • Relax the Cat: The Secret Life of Pets Massage – A professional pet masseuse shows the cast how to read signs of tension in their pet and use massage techniques to keep their furry babies relaxed and happy!
  • Production Pets – It takes hundreds of people to make an animated movie and a lot of those people have pets that can’t wait for them to come home. This piece is dedicated to all those faithful companions.

Animation Magazine

‘The Secret Life of Pets 2’: A Paw-sitively Perfect Second Act

***This article originally appeared in the June/July ‘19 issue of Animation Magazine (No. 291)***

Five years ago, the team at Illumination Entertainment, led by producers Janet Healy and Chris Meledandri, and directors Chris Renaud and Yarrow Cheney hit animation gold with their exploration into The Secret Life of Pets. The movie received great reviews and went on to gross over $ 875 million worldwide, becoming the animation studio’s biggest blockbuster to date.

This summer, Meledandri, Healy, Renaud and new co-director Jonathan del Val (animation director for the first Pets and The Grinch) offer fans another peek into the lives of Max the terrier, Duke the mutt, Snowball the rabbit and all the other animals they come to meet in a colorful new sequel.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The new chapter of the animals’ adventures finds Max (now voiced by Patton Oswalt, replacing Louis C.K.) facing empty nest anxieties as his owner’s child gets ready for preschool. Meanwhile, Gidget (Jenny Slate) tries to rescue Max’s favorite toy, and Snowball (Kevin Hart) attempts to free a white tiger (Nick Kroll) from a circus.

“We started working on concepts for the sequel to Pets while we were finishing the first film,” recalls Renaud, an Illumination studio veteran, who directed the first two Despicable Me movies and The Lorax and exec produced the two Minion movies and The Grinch. Everyone involved loved the characters and felt there was more story to tell. Very early in the process we began focusing on pets and kids.”

Renaud says a sequel is always a bit daunting, because as a director you want to deliver what people liked about the first film but within a completely new and unexpected package. “This means new characters, sets and situations,” he adds. “As filmmakers, creating these new elements becomes the fun part of developing a sequel.”

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

One of The Secret Life of Pets 2’s cool visual elements is the introduction of a farm. Renaud says this new environment allowed the team to create a whole new world with new characters. “Additionally, animals on a farm have a very different perspective on life than our pampered city pets,” he notes. “We used this to create some great comedic and dramatic conflict.”

The sequel, which is penned by Brian Lynch (Minions), brings back Duke (Eric Stonestreet), Gidget (Jenny Slate) and Chloe (Lake Bell), and also welcomes new cast members Rooster the farm dog (Harrison Ford in his first animated role!) and Daisy the Shih Tzu (Tiffany Haddish).

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Janet Healy (Despicable Me movies, Sing), who also produced the first movie, adds “All the characters in The Secret Life of Pets 2 are in some way familiar, they represent the personalities and behaviors we see in our beloved pets every day. Just like we humans, these pets have close friendships, deep loyalties, big problems to solve and heroic deeds to accomplish. The pets in our franchise are a familiar and dear part of our families, and now they are a wonderful part of our film experience.”

According to Renaud, the movie utilized over 200 people in both France (at Illumination Mac Guff in Paris) and the U.S. Besides the Illumination team in Santa Monica, the writer and storyboard artists were based in the U.S. Everyone else on the production, from layout up through animation and final rendering, was located in Paris.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Weaving It All Together

One of the most challenging aspects of the production was the moment when the creative team had to tie all three storylines back together. “Through the course of the film, Max, Gidget and Snowball are operating somewhat independently within their own narrative,” notes Renaud. “But, to make the movie work and create a satisfying ending, we had to figure out how to connect these disparate elements and provide a catalyst into the third act action.”

Renaud admits, “Sometimes you can get trapped into worrying about logic, but you usually find that you need less than you think. It’s the emotion and character stakes that carry the day.”

One of the director’s favorite sequences of the movie arrives in the end. “I don’t want to give anything away, but it truly turned out the way I had originally hoped,” he says. “The whole movie is really a metaphor for modern parenting, and I think this scene captured the genuine emotion of what parents go through as they recognize they can’t control or safeguard every aspect of their children’s lives.”

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

Renaud points out that the first Pets movie clearly struck a chord with audiences around the world purely because it was about pets. “We really tried to capture animals as they are, in both attitude and animated performance,” he explains. “I also feel that the question about what your pets do when you’re not home was so simple and compelling, people couldn’t resist watching a movie that attempted to answer that conundrum.”

When asked to compare the sequel to the original, Renaud says the second movie may have a stronger, more nuanced and layered story. “In the first film, we found that we had to tell a very simple story just to have the space to introduce our huge cast of pets,” he says. “In this one, we can forgo the introductions and get right into storytelling.

The Secret Life of Pets 2

The Secret Life of Pets 2

In Pursuit of Perfect Fur

In the five years since the first movie came out, CG animation technology has obviously improved. However, according to Renaud, no new tools were used to produce the animation. It’s just that the old tools kept improving. “For instance, we now review our animation hardware renders with fur on the characters. This is important because a character like Duke can have his whole facial expression wiped out by all of that shaggy fur!”

Since The Secret Life of Pets 2 comes out in the middle of a very jam-packed family movie season — sandwiched between UglyDolls, Pokémon: Detective Pikachu, Toy Story 4, The Lion King and The Angry Birds Movie 2 — we asked Renaud how he feels about the growing competition. “In reality, every movie made right now seems to be an ‘all audience four quadrant’ family film,” he replies. “This used to be where animated films were unique. However, those days have passed since most parents are happy bringing their young children to the latest superhero movie, science-fiction fantasy or animated reboot. In my view, we have to strive to retain our distinction through unique visual stylization and strong comedy that can only be achieved through broader character animation.”

Snowball vs. Monkey pic

As Healy sees it, the Pets franchise has lasting appeal and will hopefully continue to capture the hearts of moviegoers. “We think this franchise is unique and special because it connects us to our beloved pets in an intriguing and humorous way,” she says. “People in every part of the world adore their pets and wonder what really goes on in their pets’ minds. When they see The Secret Life of Pets films they get a magical, fun insight. The Secret Life of Pets is far more thrilling and busy than we ever could have imagined!”

Renaud says he also hopes moviegoers will relish reconnecting with these lovable, hilarious characters. “I hope the audience will leave the movie theater glad that they had another chance to spend some time with these characters,” says the director. “I know we had a great time working with these guys again, and I’m hoping that joy and fun comes across in this movie!”

Universal/Illumination’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 begins its U.S. theatrical run on June 10.

Everything’s Illumination

Chris Meledandri’s Illumination Entertainment empire is showing no signs of slowing down.

After unleashing The Secret Life of Pets 2 in theaters this month, the studio will release Minions 2 in July 2020 and Sing 2 in December 2020. Here’s a look at the studio’s amazing box office record to date:

Rank Title Domestic Gross Release Date
1. The Secret Life of Pets $ 368,384,330 7/8/16
2. Despicable Me 2 $ 368,061,265 7/3/13
3. Minions $ 336,045,770 7/10/15
4. Seuss’ The Grinch $ 270,620,950 11/9/18
5. Sing $ 270,395,425 12/21/16
6. Despicable Me 3 $ 264,624,300 6/30/17
7. Despicable Me $ 251,513,985 7/9/10
8. Seuss’ The Lorax $ 214,030,500 3/2/12
9. Hop $ 108,085,305 4/1/11


Janet Healy

Janet Healy

Chris Renaud

Chris Renaud

Animation Magazine

‘Banzi’s Secret Diary’ Wins Korea Content Award Prize

Animax Korea’s original animated series Banzi’s Secret Diary has won the Top Content Award for Animation from the country’s ministry of culture. The series will launch in Hong Kong thru Viu TV as well as 15 other territories including Japan, Taiwan, Singapore and Indonesia. The producers are also planning an extensive licensing and merchandising program, which will feature 25 products including toys and publications.

Banzi is based on a best-selling comic-books first introduced in 2002 in Korea. The show centers on the endearing adventures of a bright young girl who dreams of becoming a cartoonist and her two good friends. The series first premiered on KBS in 2017 and was also picked up by Animax, Disney Korea, TV Chosun and Cartoon Network Korea.

Animax Korea’s CEO Giro Doo said that he is honored that Banzi’s Secret Diary received an award from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and noted that he sees huge potential in Banzi’s Secret Diary and will do his utmost to make the show an even bigger success in the global area.

First established in Korea in 2006, Animax is a global animation channel operated by Sony Pictures Television. It’s currently watched by 88 million households in 21 countries around the world.

Animation Magazine

Is Eye Movement the Secret to Detecting Stoned Drivers?

A retired Oregon police officer believes he’s found a way to detect marijuana impairment among drivers, and it starts by looking deep into their eyes.

The struggles behind effectively identifying stoned drivers have only grown for law enforcement as marijuana legalization spreads across the country. Detecting pot impairment isn’t as simple as using a breathalyzer, blood test or urine sample, as THC can affect everyone differently at varied paces. But law enforcement consultant Chuck Hayes (not the 6′ 5″ power forward who couldn’t shoot free throws) believes eye movement can help police officers get a better grip on stoned drivers.

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Hayes, who directs drug and alcohol impairment driving programs for the International Association of Chiefs of Police, helped lead a study in 2016 that examined several hundred case studies of drivers who were arrested for marijuana impairment — and no other reported substance use — with a mix of drivers both above and under the 5-nanogram-blood-THC limit many states currently use. His team then studied the driving habits of non-impaired drivers in a controlled environment and compared traffic violations, impairment test results and driving performance.

Marijuana Deals Near You

“It’s an old drug creating a lot of new challenges,” Hayes said while showcasing his findings in a recent webinar. “A lot of researchers have a tough time coming to a solid conclusion as to what [marijuana] impairment level might be in the blood, but with alcohol, we have some pretty established levels.”

Although THC levels can be detected in a driver’s blood, they tend to spike shortly after smoking, leaving a novice user more impaired than their blood levels may suggest; the near-opposite can be said for regular users, who regularly have high THC levels in their blood over twelve hours after consuming.

These obstacles in scientifically detecting impairment have made Drug Evaluation and Classification Program training and the roles of Drug Recognition Experts, or law enforcement officers trained to identify impairment, even more important, Hayes believes, especially when officers make eye contact with drivers.

According to his study, nearly 86 percent of the marijuana impairment cases he studied had some sort of eyelid tremor, while nearly 71 percent had noticeable pupil dilation. Police officers also look for other “eye cues” when pulling over a driver, he said, such as droopy, reddened, watery and bloodshot eyes. At least one of these cues was found in 95 percent of the impairment cases, the study shows.

Hayes pointed out that these factors aren’t proof, but he believes eye movement is “very critical” in the initial stages of detecting marijuana impairment, as are factors such as dry mouth or a white-coated tongue, poor balance during roadside testing and a high pulse. A similar study conducted in California and published in the Journal of Forensic Sciences found strikingly similar data points.

“As corny as it sounds — and I’ve been using this phrase for a number of years — there’s no BAC [blood alcohol content] for THC. We just can’t go there,” he said. “We need to do a better job of understanding and recognizing cannabis impairments. With legalization, the more frequent use and relaxed polices about using marijuana, [this] has made its way to our roads as well.”

According to State Patrol Lieutenant Colonel Barry Bratt, 455 people died on Colorado roads from the beginning of 2018 through October 1, and around 25 percent of those deaths were related to some sort of impairment from alcohol, marijuana or other drugs.

Colorado has seen a rise in fatal crashes involving THC since 2014, according to a comprehensive report on legal marijuana’s impact from Colorado Division of Criminal Justice. State law enforcement and safety agencies have taken notice, with the Colorado State Patrol now employing fifty DREs to help detect stoned drivers, and the Colorado Department of Transportation has launched a handful of campaigns aimed at public education about marijuana impairment and gaining citizen perspective on the dangers of stoned driving.

In October, CDOT and the Colorado State Patrol partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a new safety campaign aimed at the 800,000 drivers estimated to be using Colorado roads. Dubbed “If You Feel Different, You Drive Different,” the campaign uses media and fact sheets that are heavy on the message “Drive high, and get a DUI.”

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