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From Kevin Hart to Harrison Ford – who's who in The Secret Life of Pets 2


In the same year the galaxy's finest superhero ensemble – well, what's left of them anyway – will return in Avengers: Endgame, another equally loveable troupe, albeit with more fur and a few more whiskers, will reunite on our cinema screens.

Exclusive access to what really goes on when we leave the house each day will be granted once more in The Secret Life of Pets 2 – the follow-up to Chris Renaud's raucously entertaining original from 2016. Scurrying into Cineworld cinemas on 24th May, the film takes us back to sunny Manhattan to catch Max and the gang embroiled in a whole new tale – or tail, rather – of mischief and mayhem.

Renaud returns to the directing chair, with writer Brian Lynch once again penning the script. Chris Meledandri, the founder and CEO of Illumination - the folk behind the Despicable Me series and the Minions spin-off - teams up with long-time collaborator Janet Healy to again take up producing duties.

As for the cast, the majority of the first film's impressive array of voice talent are coming back for seconds, while a handful of noteworthy new names will be joining the pack. But before you can get your paws on a ticket - and you'd be, ahem, barking mad not to - here's a handy who's who of The Secret Life of Pets 2 to get those tails wagging all over again...

Patton Oswalt as Max

Lending his vocals to Max the gallant Jack Russell Terrier, Oswalt is perhaps best known for voicing Remy, the Gordon Ramsay of the rodent world (minus the profanity) in Pixar's Ratatouille. Replacing Louis C.K., who voiced the plucky protagonist in the original, Oswalt, also a popular stand-up comedian, will likely bring a generous blend of charm and his trademark wit to our furry hero. He's done a rat, so a dog is the logical next step, right?

Eric Stonestreet as Duke

A star of ABC's hugely successful Modern Family, Stonestreet reprises his role from the first film as Duke: a shaggy, loveable mongrel who Max's owner adopts from the pound. Starting out as rivals vying for their owner's attention, the pair eventually strike up a formidable friendship. It might be a case of little and large, but when it comes to Max and Duke, both have huge hearts.

Jenny Slate as Gidget

Superhero movie fans might recall Jenny Slate's performance as Life Foundation scientist Dr Dora Skirth in last year's Tom Hardy-led Venom. Here, she swaps a lab coat for a coat of fur as the gutsy Gidget: a white Pomeranian and loyal friend to Max. Slate is no stranger to voice acting, however, having brought her vocal talent to the likes of Zootopia, The LEGO Batman Movie and Despicable Me 3 in the past.

Kevin Hart as Snowball

Kevin Hart - the popular comedian who was, and then wasn't, the host for this year's Oscars - is another actor who will return for The Secret Life of Pets 2. Playing fluffy white rabbit Snowball – who, rather ingeniously, was the aggressive, chip-on-his-shoulder antagonist from the first film – Hart's natural charisma and energy is a perfect fit for the animated scene, and his infectious zeal will inevitably be a highlight the second time round.

Tiffany Haddish as Daisy

Immensely likeable Girls Trip scene-stealer Tiffany Haddish continues her foray into the world of animation in Renaud's sequel. Having recently lent her voice to The LEGO Movie franchise, where she played the gloriously named leader of the Systar System Queen Watevra Wa'Nabi in The LEGO Movie 2, Haddish is set to give all kinds of awesomeness here, where she voices a Shih Tzu called Daisy. Expect comedy and quirkiness in abundance.

Lake Bell as Chloe

Another actor to return for a second helping of pet life is Lake Bell. Reprising her role as Chloe, the grey tabby cat who's probably enjoyed one too many treats, the multi-talented Bell, who in 2013 released her directorial debut In a World…, is sure to bring back the same scene-stealing humour that made her such a hit with audiences in 2016.

Chris Renaud as Norman

Yes, not only does Chris Renaud direct The Secret Life of Pets films, he also stars in them. Here he voices a guinea pig named Norman and, given that this is the man behind the distinctively undistinguishable diction used by the Minions, it's every bit as brilliant as you'd expect.

Dana Carvey as Pops

An elderly, cranky, wheel-chair bound Basset Hound, Pops is another of the original gang who's back for more in the sequel. He's voiced by Dana Carvey: a comedian and actor perhaps best known for his work on Saturday Night Live throughout the '80s and '90s, not to mention his cult classic role as Garth in the Wayne's World movies.

Hannibal Buress as Buddy

Another performer who combines stand-up, acting and voicing an animated animal, Hannibal Buress reprises his role as Buddy. A laid-back Dachshund, Buddy is partial to the finer things in life, such as being massaged by a mixer. Hey, if we could, we probably would too.

Ellie Kemper as Katie

When it comes to The Secret Life of Pets franchise, Ellie Kemper is the odd one out. As Katie – Max and Duke's owner – she plays one of the few human characters in the film. That said, she's a compassionate, caring animal lover, so she's hardly alone when there's an entire audience who can relate to you.

Harrison Ford as Rooster

From a wise-cracking pilot from a galaxy far, far away to making archaeology and fedoras forever cool, Harrison Ford needs no introduction. The Secret Life of Pets 2, however, marks Ford's first foray into a feature-length voice role - surprising, given he has one of the most distinguishable set of vocals in the business. Here he plays Rooster: a gruff, intimidating Welsh Sheepdog; and, quite frankly, we couldn't have asked for more appropriate casting.

The Secret Life of Pets 2 is released on 24th May.

George Nash is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.