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It used to be that actors did animated films because that was the only work they were typically hired for. All of that changed once Robin Williams let the proverbial genie out of the bottle with his performance in Disney's classic Aladdin, and nowadays animated films are normally stuffed with heavyweight Hollywood names. In the case of The Secret Life Of Pets, Louis CK and Kevin Hart are the anchors, and they've got some interesting back up checking off all of the other boxes.
Courtesy of a report from The Hollywood Reporter, we learned that the recently rescheduled Universal Studios project is not only another one that sees them teaming up with animation studio Illumination Entertainment, it's also attracted the comedic likes of Eric Stonestreet, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, and Jenny Slate for starters. As if that wasn't impressive enough, fellow laugh makers Lake Bell and Hannibal Buress have roles in The Secret Life Of Pets as well. But the MVP of the back bench line up happens to be someone with a little bit of experience with animated films, as well as Academy Award nominations: legendary comedian, and star of Finding Nemo, and its sequel, Finding Dory, Albert Brooks.
The Secret Life Of Pets is about, "the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day." In other words, Illumination Entertainment is going back to the old animation well with a movie about objects or organisms that don't normally talk... except when we're not around. Considering the project is being crafted by key members of the same team that made Despicable Me a smash hit back in 2010, there's a good chance this film can overcome the rather overdone plot and become a movie that should stand with its more Minion-heavy compatriots. Considering how original Despicable Me's logline sounded before anyone even caught a glimpse of it, perhaps it's not as easy to judge this one by its concept alone.
Still, animated films are becoming as competitive as blockbuster franchises and tween book phenomenons. Standing shoulder to shoulder with those equally successful genres is no easy feat, and The Secret Life Of Pets will face off against one of the two as it is opening on the same crowded summer day as Star Trek 3. The best chance this film has is the fact that both Louis CK and Kevin Hart are pretty big in the comedy world at this point in time. Hart will draw in the bigger box office crowd at large, while Louis CK stands to reel in the more cynical audience that enjoys his work no matter what the medium. Even with a cast stuffed with funny talent, it won't be a big surprise if we see this project tear a page out of the Dreamworks Animation playbook and shift its release to a date more friendly for potential new properties.
For the moment, The Secret Life Of Pets will be revealed on July 8, 2016. All we're saying is if we were betting people, we'd put a little money on this one changing its plans at least once.