Released: 11th September
Seen: 21st September
Sometimes a film gives me a very easy opening topic for a review, either there’s some interesting backstory or the film is so boring I decide to compare it to paint drying or it’s an adaptation of a book so I can do some basic research and pretend that I know something about the book or comic that a movie is based on. Then there’s films like Pets United which give me nothing to work with, literally nothing. I mean, I could run through the long list of films about abysmally animated animals going on a quest that I’ve subjected myself to over the past few years in a vain attempt to get more eyes on some of my hilarious takedowns of films that belong in the discount bin at the dollar store (Read my review of The Big Trip) but… after Pets United? I’m just so tired.
I’m so very tired of bad films that’re aimed at young children with everyone involved knowing (surely, they have to know right?) that they’re making a bad film and not caring because it’s meant to entertain stupid little kids so who the hell cares right? Sure, Pets United is a poorly animated snore fest where a bunch of random animals who all look like they have some kind of genetic defect try to survive in a town that’s overrun by robots that look like BB8 if you shoved an air hose up his ass but it’s meant for tiny people who can’t really stand up yet and who poop their pants on a regular basis so why bother, right? Quality control, what’s that?
Oh, you didn’t misread that, the entire plot of Pets United is about a group of animals fighting robots… and it’s boring. Boring! So boring that after one character was stomped on by a robot at the half hour mark, a moment that I can only assume is meant to make me sad because the allegedly cute animal is now a pancake, I paused the movie and had a nap because I was that goddamn bored. Oh, and the character that got stomped on (a red fox named “I don’t care what these characters names are or who played them, I just flat out do not care”) is totally fine, he just vanishes from the movie for an hour only to pop up right at the end because even death is boring in this film.
OK, maybe I’m being a little bit mean by calling Pets United boring… it’s also fugly. Every single character just looks wrong, either in how they’re animated (It looks like this was the quick render they did just to check comic timing before doing the proper render, except “comic timing” implies that there are jokes) or just in how they’re designed. It’s irritating to look at, none of the characters are memorable or interesting in any way. There are no jokes, no characters, things happen and noises get made. It doesn’t matter, the big blue dog is talking to a round robot that made a winky face and tiny Timmy will giggle because that’s how tiny Timmy reacts to almost all outside stimulation. It’s not good, it exists and nothing more.
Even when Pets United borrows from better films it still can’t quite get it right. The ending is literally the garbage compactor scene from Toy Story 3, giant chomping teeth and fire and all. In Toy Story 3 this ending worked because we cared about all the characters and wanted them to survive and watching them accept their fate and hold hands as they headed for death created an emotional reaction from the audience. Hell, you just show a still image of Woody in the furnace to anyone 15 years or older and chances are good that you will make them cry even to this day… I have none of those feelings in Pets United. A truck could run over the entire cast at the 45 minute mark and I’d be fine because it’d mean I only wasted 45 minutes of my life. I don’t care if these creatures live or die, why would I when they’ve shown no character or given me a reason to like them.
There is nothing about Pets United that is worth your time. It’s not funny, nor is it visually interesting, it’s a boring mess that’s designed to do the bare minimum required to entertain a small child who doesn’t know better. It’s not even interestingly bad, it’s not even good at being bad. it’s the definition of “A film that technically exists” and it’s clear that no one cared enough to go any further than that.