Audiences around the world clearly love their pets.  The new film “The Secret Life of Pets” from Illumination Entertainment raked in $145 million worldwide over its opening weekend. CNN Money reported that “Pets” now holds the spot as the sixth biggest animated opening of all time. There’s quite a lot of star power fueling this fetching good movie, a trend audiences are all too familiar with. The bigger stars like Louis C.K and Kevin Hart are easily recognizable. But there is one few actor you may only recognize his work in front of the camera. Bobby Moynihan, a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live since 2008, lent his vocal chops to this animated film. Bustle sat down with Moynihan to chat about his voice work in “Pets”, and how working on SNL helped develop his animated character work.

 Voicing Mel, the goofy dimwitted dog

Moynihan isn’t new to the voice-over scene. He’s been featured on “Sesame Street”, “Monsters University”, and “Inside Out”. But it seems like “The Secret Life of Pets” has blown the lid off his behind the scenes talent, and audiences are taking notice.

Moynihan described his “Pets” character Mel as “a little less smart than even the dumbest dog,” in his recent interview with Bustle. To get into character, Moynihan said he took total advantage of the seclusion of voice work.

“You’re alone, so you can kind of just go for it. You have the freedom to just feel silly and it’s OK,” he said. “If you’re going to make a weird face, or make a certain sound or if you’re barking like an idiot, making dog sounds, it’s very freeing.”

Though vastly different from voice-over work, his improv skills on SNL may have prepped him more than we know for his latest animated roles.

“That skill comes in extremely handy when you’re doing voice-over, because I’ve done some jobs where I’ve only had a couple of lines but then stuff I’ve improvised also made it in,” Moynihan says. “So then your part gets bigger.”

Challenges of SNL

Moynihan had to work pretty hard to be a part of the main SNL cast. “I was a big SNL nerd before I got on the show. It was my life’s dream to get on, so every day I feel extremely lucky,” he told Bustle.

He’s talented, no doubt about that. But in a group full of talented comedians, Moynihan confessed that it can be a little distressing to be among that kind of talent.

“Someone will walk into the room and say something and then they have that person’s essence down. My impressions are basically, ‘Hey it’s Bobby, dressed up as that person trying to sound like them!'”

Wherever Moynihan is heading next, audiences are sure to get a kick out of his every role.

“The Secret Life of Pets” is in theatres now. Have you seen this animated flick? Tell us about your impression of the voice work.