The Secret Life of Pets is a 2016 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Illumination Entertainment. It is directed by Chris Renaud and co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch, Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio. The film stars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Steve Coogan, Ellie Kemper, Bobby Moynihan, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Jenny Slate, and Albert Brooks.
A Jack Russell Terrier named Max lives with his owner Katie in a Manhattan apartment. While she is at work during the day, he hangs out with other pets in the building: tabby cat Chloe, pug Mel, dachshund Buddy, and budgerigar Sweetpea. One day, Katie adopts Duke, a large and shaggy dog from the pound, leaving Max jealous because of her larger focus on Duke. Enraged by Max’s attitude towards him, Duke tries to abandon Max in an alley, but they are both attacked by a gang of alley cats led by Sphynx cat Ozone. The cats remove both dogs’ collars and leave them to be caught by Animal Control. Duke fears that he will be put down if he goes back to the pound.
They are rescued by a rabbit named Snowball, the leader of “The Flushed Pets” – a gang of sewer-dwelling animals who hate humans because their owners abandoned and mistreated them. After Max and Duke pretend to despise humans as much as they do, the Flushed Pets invite them to join. Before they can prove their loyalty by allowing a one-fanged viper to bite them, Snowball learns from the cats that Max and Duke are domesticated. The two dogs escape the sewers and board a ferry to Brooklyn, inadvertently killing the viper in the process; Snowball vows to kill them and leads the Flushed Pets after them.
Gidget, a white Pomeranian who has a crush on Max, discovers that he is missing and recruits a vicious red-tailed hawk named Tiberius to locate him. After looking over the city for Max, Tiberius returns carrying Ozone, whom Gidget coerces into telling what he knows about the dogs. Gidget and Tiberius then enlist Mel, Buddy, Chloe, guinea pig Norman, Sweetpea, and a paralyzed old basset hound named Pops to begin searching Manhattan. The group encounters Snowball, who vows to kill them as well, and Norman is captured as the rest of Gidget’s team flees.
In Brooklyn, Max and Duke begin to get along with each other and raid a sausage factory for food. Duke tells Max about his previous owner, Fred, an elderly man who adopted him as a puppy and loved to spend time with him. One day, Duke got lost while chasing a butterfly and was picked up by Animal Control, but Fred never came to claim him. Max convinces him to visit Fred’s house in a nearby neighborhood, confident that Fred will still love him. When they arrive, though, they learn from a resident cat named Reginald that Fred has died. Resentful and angry, Duke accuses Max of attempting to get rid of him and barks at the new homeowners, who just return to their “own” house, who call Animal Control. The handlers catch Max, but Duke interferes long enough for him to escape and ends up being captured instead.
While trying to rescue Duke as he follows the Animal Control van, Max is attacked by Snowball and his comrades. However, Snowball’s gang are captured, and Snowball decides to help Max rescue them. They drive and crash a city bus into the van on the Brooklyn Bridge, stopping traffic. The Flushed Pets arrive and corner Max, unaware of his partnership with Snowball, but Gidget and her team save him. The van rolls away; the captured Flushed Pets escape, but the van falls into the East River with Max and Duke inside. Max is unable to get the keys to Duke’s cage, so Snowball jumps into the river to retrieve them, allowing Max and Duke to escape the sinking van.
The entire group return to the apartment by taxi. Max expresses his appreciation and infatuation toward Gidget, who returns with affection. Snowball and the Flushed Pets then come up with a new plan to annihilate all humans, but Snowball is then adopted by a little girl named Molly. At first, Snowball resists, but gives in to her sweetness and lets himself be adopted by her. The remaining Flushed Pets return to the sewers, the other pets return and embrace their owners, and Max and Duke finally reunite with Katie, sparking a true friendship.