Hotel Transylvania is CGI animated movie that stars the voice work of Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, David Speed, Molly Shannon, CeeLo Green, Jon Lovitz, Selena Gomez, and that is very watchable, and generally entertaining.
This movie starts out with a basic script that involves Dracula’s daughter, Mavis, reaching the age of 118 and wanting to go explore the world. Dracula owns and operates a hotel for any beasties that want to relax away from the terrible humans. There’s a bevy of monsters and spooks that are comically animated. An unexpected young human guest, Jonathan, voiced by Andy Samberg, creates the love interest for Mavis – but Dracula forces him to pretend he is not human so that he is not cooked into a meal by Quasimodo, the local chef, voiced by Jon Lovitz.
This whole movie is a setup for well done slapstick, from the exaggerated movements of the characters to the original songs written for the movie, and the totally human/normal reactions and behaviors.
Toward the latter part of the movie there is a somewhat touching introduction of what happened to Dracula’s wife, and the gift she left for her daughter, to be opened when she reached 118 years old.
Dracula has preached non-ending dislike for and fear of humans, but Jonathan helps to slowly ally some of the overall fears. The overall story is about the protectiveness of a single father over his only daughter, and deep misconceptions about outsiders.
There’s also a whole “youngster shows older folks how to have fun again” underlying theme as well. Dracula finally concedes the ruse he put his daughter through if only to convince her to not leave home because the world is so dangerous with all those humans out there. Jonathan is revealed to be a human but shuns Mavis due to a threat from Dracula. That’s all I’ll give away. It all wraps up very nearly, with some heart, and generally in a fun way.
The second half of the movie is better than the first half, with a satisfying ending.
So while this is not Pixar quality movie that is based on primarily on a strong script, it is a generally entertaining comedy with a few chuckles and very good voice work. It’s funny to see monsters speaking and behaving like humans, and having human-like problems. There’s plenty of visual humor, including “do not disturb” signs for the hotel that are all wise-cracking shrunken heads.
This movie is generally safe for children who are not scared easily. There’s a fart joke (I don’t find them funny at all), no strong language, cartoonish violence, and some slightly spooky angry reactions from the monsters that may spook the littlest ones. Should be safe for kids 8 years old and up.
Allegedly a sequel has been green lit by Sony.
Out of five bananas, the Monkey gives this movie 3.5 – better than average. Check it out, bleh bleh bleh!