As completely present in every Hotel Transylvania clip out there, the film takes the classic movie monsters and turns what we know about them completely on its head. The Sony Pictures Animation creation arrives with an all-star vocal cast including Adam Sandler as Dracula, Kevin James playing Frankenstein, Steve Buscemi doing his best Wolfman, David Spade as the Invisible Man and Cee Lo Green channeling his inner Mummy.
Sandler leads the way as Dracula with Selena Gomez as his daughter Mavis. Gomez’s character is turning 118 and feels it’s time her father let her explore the world. You see, Dracula built Hotel Transylvania with the sole purpose of removing his daughter from the peril that is human civilization -- you know, with their torches, pitchforks and mob justice that has turned out so well for monster kind.
An added bonus is the fact that his hotel is a luxury resort with promised safety from the hoards for all monsters, big and small. Even the Blob is secure to enjoy some R&R.
Director Genndy Tartakovsky brings his Samurai Jack animated pedigree to a horror story that is appropriate for audiences of all ages. His TV animation sensibility is a breath of fresh air in an animated world cluttered with sequels, albeit solid ones. “Trouble” arrives in the form of Andy Samberg’s Jonathan, a human who has strayed from the Fodor’s Guide and found what can be paraphrased from Coolio: A monster’s paradise.
Sandler is electric as Dracula as both vicious evildoer and protective father of what is essentially a teenage daughter. Jonathan is a threat. Dracula knows the human backpacker has caught Mavis’ eye.
His performance is astonishing as one of his career best. It is a marvel to witness Sandler doing everything he can to keep this teenage boy away from his teenage girl, all while the audience knows that it is futile to keep apart two kids smitten with each other. Oh, and keep in mind… he’s Dracula and used to getting his way!
The movie is a marvel to witness. In 3D, there is always something going on through all corners of the screen. Even a simple discussion has a third and fourth level of giving the audience an impeccable feel of the hotel. From the zombie bellhops, the witches on brooms who serve as the clean-up crew to Jon Lovitz’s Quasimodo who is the establishment’s chef, this is a world all its own.
Hotel Transylvania possesses all of the themes that a parent could want from a family flick. Those include staying true to oneself, the more diverse we are, the more enriched our lives are and the importance of family and our extended “family.”