Secret Life Of Pets, The 2 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 246, December 2019

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Action and some rude humor
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Chris Renaud & Jonathan Del Val
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1
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"The Secret Life Of Pets 2" explores the emotional lives of our pets—the deep bond between them, the families that love them, and answers the question: What are your pets doing when you're not at home? Terrier Max (Oswalt) is coping with major life changes after Katie's marriage and the arrival of a toddler, Liam. Meanwhile Gidget (Slate) tries to rescue Max's favorite toy from a cat-packed apartment with a little help from her feline friend, Chloe (Bell), who has discovered the joys of catnip. And Snowball (Hart) believes, despite the other pets' teasing, that he's a superhero after his owner starts dressing him in superhero pajamas. But when Dais (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. (Gary Reber0

Special features include "The Future Advenures Of Captail Snowball (Interactive); "Pets With Jobs: A Documentary"; the mini movies "Minion Scouts" and "Super Gidget"; "The Making Of The Mini Movies"; four deleted scenes; 10 featurettes: "My Buddy And Me," "Relax The Cat: The Secret Life Of Pets Massage," "Production Pets," "A Tapestry Of A Tail," "How To Draw," "Frame By Frame: How To Make A Flip Book," "Character Pods," "A Party Fit For A Pet," "Pops' Puppy Training School With Kevin Hart," and "Pets Yule Log"; the lyric videos "Panda" and "It's Gonna Be A Lovely Day"; upfront previews and a Movies Anywhere digital code.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision/HDR10+ picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The animated picture exhibits superb color fidelity with an incredibly wide color gamut comprised of vibrant and richly saturated hues and subtle hue shadings. Primaries are strong. Duke’s reddish hair is wonderfully colorful. And the white rabbit superbly contrasts with all the other dogs and cats. The cityscape is colorful as well as the circus scenes. Textural hues are striking in their display of color resolution. HDR contrast is superb, with bright whites and solid, deep blacks, as well as excellent shadow delineation and all manner of deviation in between. Resolution is incredible, with the finest detail exhibited throughout in animal shapes, textures, and in exterior and interior objects. Hue, the tiger, and all breeds of dogs and cats are finely resolved. Human figures also exhibit excellent resolution The outside world also is nicely delineated in urban building facades, and object textures are incredibly detailed. There is an excellent sense of natural dimensionality and depth. WOW! segments are numerous, especially from 07:15 to 10:14, 26;42 to 28:15, 36:50 to 37;32, 56:15 to 56:55, 01:03:36 to 01:04:26, 01:05:40 to 01:06:08. 01;08:00 to 01:08:52 and 01:13: 26 to 01:14:00.

This is a wonderfully colorful and dynamic viewing experience with superb resolution, sharpness, and clarity. The imagery is mesmerizing throughout with very humorous imagery that will keep you smiling and in wonderment. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is very active and dynamic with an orchestral and pop music score that is virtually always present. The music extends wide and deep across the soundstage, with an aggressive extension to the four surrounds, which fully envelops the soundfield. The score is quite dynamic and intricate, often complemented with heavy rock and a solid low-frequency foundation. Clarity and instrumental delineation are excellent. Superb fidelity and dynamic power is heard throughout, with lots of atmospherics that are realistic and dimensional, and nicely define the various soundscapes. Sound effects also enhance the dynamic character of the soundtrack. Action scenes are frequent and quite exciting. It is during these scenes that the added two channels are particularly engaged. Foley sound effects keep in step with every dog and cat move and everyone else. Natural deep bass is present in the orchestral instrumentation and the sound effects, often enhanced with .1 LFE sub-25 frequencies. Directionalization across the soundstage is wonderful with an aggressive surround presence throughout. Dialogue is, of course, ADR, and a bit forward sounding, but the human voicing is funny and entertaining, with superb intelligibility and diction, and is effectively integrated with the other sound elements. The soundtrack delivers an engaging holosonic® presence.

The Immersive Sound element is limited to urban street ambiences, some subtle dog and cat sounds, subtle sound effects include dog howls, cow bells, cat meows, fireflies, thunder and lightening, white tiger growls, train whistle and other minor subtle environmental sounds. Music is completely absent in the height layer.

This is an incredibly humorous soundtrack that will entertain and bring joy to the entire family, with great music, exciting sound effects and fun dialogue. (Gary Reber)