Director: Gendy Tartakovsky
Writers: Peter Baynham, Robert Smigel, Todd Durham, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman
Voice Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, CeeLo Green, Brian George, Brian Stack, Luenell, Robert Smigel, Chris Parnell, Sadie Sandler, Rob Riggle, Paul Brittain, Jonny Solomon, Jim Wise, Craig Kellman, Brian McCann, James C.J. Williams
Synopsis: Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world, goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count's teen-aged daughter.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images
Monsters with family issues..blah blah blah!
"Hotel Transylvania" isn't one of those animated films that'll resonate with you after you see it like any of the "Toy Story" films, for example. Heck, I doubt seriously we'll be talking about this film again around Oscar time. And even if it does get nominated out of some sort of miracle, I wouldn't bet on this film running away with "Best Animated Feature." Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying "Hotel Transylvania" is a bad movie by any means, as I found it be very entertaining. However, the movie itself isn't that memorable to begin with.
For starters, the concept of the film isn't that original. The film uses the notion of using characters you'd least expect go through family situations. First, it was Pixar's "Incredibles", where it showed a family of superheroes. Next, it was "Despicable Me", where it showed a super villain dealing with the concepts of raising a family. Now, we have Sony's "Hotel Transylvania", where it shows Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) raising a daughter of his own.
The story centers around the Count, where his wife was allegedly killed off by humans. Unlike the vampires movie fans are seeing these days with "Twilight" films, Count Dracula is a bit more of a traditional vampire. Well..almost...I forgot they mention, in the film, that he's some sort of vegan vampire, due to blood being too fattening. And yes, there is a playful "tongue and cheek" jab at "Twilight", and it's poor representation of vampires in general. However, I won't spoil it for readers that plan to see this movie.
Anyways, before his wife passed on, they both envisioned a holiday sanctuary exclusively available to monsters; a sort of a Hotel Transylvania if you will. Sadly, due to her death, she was never able to see that vision realized, as the Count had to carry it alone. Scared of the danger that awaits his own daughter, the Count shuns his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), from the outside world. Filling her head, along with other monsters, lies about the human race, and how they brutally savage they are to such an extent, as to scare the poor girl into never wanting to venture off on her own. In fact, he even manages to stage a fake town to have Mavis visit, so he can surprise her with zombies dressed up as humans that want to kill her; just to scare her of the outside world.
Wow, that's some real parenting skills right there. If your child won't listen to a word you say, then do something that might scar them for life. That'll show them. By the way, I'm being sarcastic for those readers that can't tell.
To get back to the story, Mavis is a young hundred something year old vampire that yearns to see more of the world outside her castle walls, but she's constantly stopped by her over controlling and over protective father. On the eve of her birthday, a young human accidentally walks into the castle; which causes all sorts of mischief and hijinks to ensue. Long story short, Mavis meets the boy, and they immediately fall in love with each other; which upsets the Count because if his guests were to find out he's human, then it would surely kill his business.
To be honest, this is basically one of those hallmark stories that deals with the typical over protective father figure, as he copes with the fact that his little girl is growing up. The only real difference is that this one is filled with monsters instead of humans, and the father is given a tragic back story. Other than that, it's basically the same old story of a over protective father learning to cope with the idea that his little girl is all grown up. Aw, isn't that sweet?
As for the rest of the story, it's entertaining to say the least, but hardly memorable. The film is drenched with various cliches, and it's extremely predictable to boot; even more than even your average kids film usually is.
However, what saves the film is mostly it's voice cast, as the chemistry between the characters were great. Plus, you can feel the amount of effort the voice actors put into their characters to bring them light by not only making them funny, but also sympathetic as well. Although some of the jokes in this movie tend to distract from the story, it's never enough to ruin the film, as each voice actor plays off each other rather well.
As for the animation, it's fairly decent for what it is. I wouldn't go on record saying this features some of the best animation that I've seen in an animated feature. Although if this movie had been released over a decade ago, then it might've been a different story. But in 2012, the animation just seems pretty standard, and basically what you'd expect from animated movie in general.
Overall, I would probably have to give this movie a two out of four. It's very good for a rental if you're just looking for a harmless kids movie to watch with your children, but you want something that won't bore you to death, then this will definitely prove to be entertaining. However, I just wouldn't expect too much out of it.
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