Australian Council on Children and the Media

The Secret Life of Pets

movie image

What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

classification logo

What’s it about?

Max is a loveable, friendly dog who was recued from a dog pound by his owner Kate. Kate and Max are very happy until one day Kate brings home a ‘brother’ for Max called Duke. Duke is a very large dog and instantly starts to push Max out of his place. Max decides to trash the house and blame it on Duke but Duke grabs Max and drags him out of the window and takes him on a walk.

The two of them get into a lot of trouble: they are attacked by a gang of scrawny cats; picked up by the dogcatchers and rescued by an angry rabbit called Snowball. Snowball takes them to his underworld where he and all the lost and abandoned pets are planning to destroy all humans. Max and Duke have to escape from there and along the way they learn to become good friends.

What to look out for

There is a lot of violence in this movie including:

  • Duke pulls Max along by his lead making him crash into cars and he ends up in a rubbish bin.
  • A gang of dogs attacks the dogcatcher’s van and the driver.
  • A huge python tries to bite Max but is crushed by falling bricks. All the underworld animals then attack Max and Duke chasing them through the sewers.

There are also several scary scenes that would scare younger kids such as:

  • The cats are very scrawny and look quite fierce.
  • Lots of the animals from the underworld are very scary and angry - including alligators, snakes and other creatures.
  • Snowball is a particularly nasty rabbit. He looks cute to start with, but when picked up by the dogcatcher, he turns into a nasty vicious creature, biting the man on the face.

Moral of the Story

The messages of the story are to be open to change and to not judge others on the way they look.

Kidzone Movie Reviews

Age suitability:

Selecting an age will provide a list of movies with content suitable for this age group. Children may also enjoy movies selected via a lower age.

About our colour guide

Content is age appropriate for children this age

Some content may not be appropriate for children this age. Parental guidance recommended

Content is not age appropriate for children this age