Hotel Transylvania is one of those perfect choices for people who are addicted to Halloween, but need something child friendly. It’s a perfect balance of nostalgia from Octobers passed, and cute jokes coming from animated characters. In this get away for monsters, you’ll see all of your favorites horror creatures, just in a new light.
The thing that made me skeptical about this movie is that Dracula is voiced by Adam Sandler, and his daughter Mavis is actually Selena Gomez. I’m totally guilty of enjoying bad Adam Sandler comedy, but when he tries to do family films it generally makes me feel a bit nauseated. The shoe just doesn’t fit. As for Gomez, I know little about her other than the fact that she’s a contemporary tween pop star, which is enough. The good news is that you’ll hardly notice the voices of these two characters. Sandler does a pretty good job of the cliché Dracula voice, and the spray of other Hollywood vocal elite will likely get you excited as well. Notable actors include Andy Samburg, Fran Drescher, David Spade, CeeLo, Jon Lovitz, Kevin James, and my favorite: Steve Buscemi as the Werewolf. This is one of those movies that will have you saying “hey, that’s so-and-so!” which I find fun. Of course, it’s not who’s in the movie that matters so much as the plot itself, and the plot of Hotel Transylvania is rather darling. A single father Dracula has raised his daughter to vampire teenhood, and her sense of wanderlust is about to get the best of both of them. You know where this is headed. Boys. And of course, dad will do his best to keep Mavis safe, and in typical dad fashion he will manage to make her angry and create a mess of everything. You can probably figure out where this story ends, but I will tell you that there are some nice surprises along the way. The uplifting moral and sense of warm-fuzziness are, luckily for us, wrapped in a creepy monster, candy coating.
Those of us who are accustomed to Looney Tunes will have to adjust to the animation style, which is that of today’s typical CG ballooneyness. But truthfully, it wasn’t so bad for this movie. The characters still look cool, and they do have that profound sense of emotion that modern cartoon design is so very capable of creating. This element produced one of my very favorite parts of the movie; the pouty bat face:
And I’ll end on that, because it’s just so cute.