The several storylines that run through “The Secret Life of Pets 2” play in some respects like cartoon classics such as Looney Tunes and old Woody Woodpecker shorts.

The characters can be appealing, are certainly personable and, more importantly, elicit their share of laughs providing some of the film’s better qualities.

But some of the pleasure the film provides is muted because of the thinnest of thin narratives connecting the stories of a group of pets who, much like Bugs Bunny and crew, are as human as all of us.

While its predecessor focused on the particular peccadillos of a plethora of pets in Manhattan, this time around it delves into the assorted adventures they all have.

Max (voice by comedian Patton Oswalt) and Duke (Eric Overstreet) take a trip to the country with the former learning how to deal with the fact his “boy,” the child that has entered their lives, is growing up.

The hyperactive rabbit Snowball (voice by comedian Kevin Hart) has evolved into a fluffy superhero and is hired by precious pup Daisy (Tiffany Haddish) to help her spring an albino tiger from an evil circus owner.

Lastly, pampered poodle Gidget (Jenny Slate), who Max entrusted with his prized possession in his absence, loses that piece and has to trick a herd of cats that she is one of them so that she can retrieve it.

None of these stories sound remotely related and that’s why “Pets” proves somewhat unsatisfying. It’s only saved by the work of the actors providing the characters’ respective voices.

Hart proves beyond frenetic enough. Oswalt is equally neurotic and Haddish takes sassy to a different level. But even with their talents, they can’t beat newcomer Harrison Ford, who provides the voice of Rooster, an old farm dog who teaches Max more than a few things.

Children will enjoy this. Adults entertain occasional amusement, but compared to its predecessor, “The Secret Life of Pets 2” suffers from the inability to come up with an engaging enough plot to fill an entire movie.

 

George M. Thomas dabbles in movies and television for the Beacon Journal. Reach him at gthomas@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByGeorgeThomas