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Tuesday, December 20 2016 02:17

Holiday Wish Guide: The Secret Life of Pets (Movie & Toys)

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This past summer, Illumination Entertainment's The Secret Life of Pets proved to be one of the year's biggest surprises for us. A box office smash, we saw the film at the drive-in, enjoying it alongside hundreds of families under the stars, and the film took its spot as one of 2016's best in the eyes of The Rock Daughters. I loved it, too - more than I expected, if only for the prissy poodle Leonard rockin' out to System of a Down the second that his owner (voiced by Project Runway's Tim Gunn) was out the door. With the film home on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD just in-time for the holidays, this tale of what our pets do when we're not around has secured a spot in my 2016 Holiday Wish Guide - a perfect last-minute gift, along with some fun toys as well!

The Secret Life of Pets Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Combo Pack (Universal Studios Home Entertainment): Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debut that finally answers the question: what do your pets do when you're not home? When their owners leave for the day, pets from the building gossip with their friends, satisfy their sweet tooths, and throw outrageous parties. But when a pampered terrier (C.K.) and his unruly new "roommate" from the pound (Stonestreet) get lost in the urban jungle of New York City, they must put aside their differences to survive the epic journey back home.

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The Secret Life of Pets Best Friend Max Walking Talking Friend (Spin Master): This is a toy that turned more than a few heads this summer - one of the best "walking" toy dogs we've ever encountered. Like a real dog, he can be played with on-leash or off, but this one can speak - firing off 10 different phrases from the movie, complete with the voice of Louis C.K. 

The Secret Life of Pets Walking Talking Figures (Spin Master): We have a couple of these here at HQ, with Max and his rival Snowball embarking on the occasional adventure. Powered by AAA batteries, these guys can move around, and recite phrases from the film - and they're affordable, priced at under $10 at most retailers. Gidget and Mel are also available.

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Let's give it up for Leonard, shall we?

As families continue to enjoy The Secret Life of Pets well into the coming year, be prepared for more adventures... The Secret Life of Pets 2 has already been announced for July 13, 2018.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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