(Written for HeyUGuys)
From Sony Pictures Animation and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Hotel Transylvania tells the story of Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), the owner of the monster hotel, who invites some of the world’s most famous monsters – including Frankenstein (Kevin James), Frankenstein’s wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Wayne’s wife Wanda (Molly Shannon), ghost Griffin (David Spade), and Murray the mummy (Cee Lo Green) – to stay for the 118th birthday of his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). When a human, Jonathan (Andy Samberg), finds his way to the hotel, however, Dracula isn’t in for the easy weekend he was expecting, as Mavis starts to realise that she’s old enough to experience the real world with the possibility of romance.
More for children than adults with its constant toilet humour, Hotel Transylvania is an average animation that holds a lot of meaning at its core. Primarily focusing on a father-daughter relationship, younger audiences will relate to Mavis’ desire for freedom and take a lot away from the lessons that the characters learn – namely not to judge anybody different from yourself. This is what Hotel Transylvania is good for, as it even manages to make you laugh along the way.
There are a few nods to an older audience, though, with jokes about Twilight and the occasional innuendo. What the older audience will appreciate most of all is the decent set of characters, consisting of a well-suited voice cast combining members of the Happy Madison gang and a number of musicians. Whilst Gomez really brings to life her teenage daughter character, the use of Samberg and Cee Lo Green appear only to favour the random outbursts into song. This is where the film steps back a little, over-using the auto-tune button and singing about how everybody feels about each other.
Whilst Hotel Transylvania is constantly cheesy, it’s an easy watch and the songs are still, annoyingly, in my head. It has its moments, but it certainly wasn’t worth that Golden Globe nomination. From the creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls, the animation is detailed beautifully and the use of colour is really well-fitting. It’s just not a comedy that leaves you in hysterics, but it will keep up over many viewings.
If for nothing else, Hotel Transylvania may just be an Adam Sandler film that you can enjoy; it’s certainly better than anything else he’s done recently.
Released on DVD on 29th January, Hotel Transylvania is accompanied by the somewhat funny short, Goodnight Mr. Foot, which highlights Tartakovsky’s brilliant cartoon animation that his TV shows were so well-known for.
Other DVD extras include two deleted scenes, a behind-the-scenes video, a filmmakers’ commentary, and the music video for ‘Problem’ by Becky G ft. Will.I.Am.