There are the typical cliches for animated family films like HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA. A monster mash of fun. Check in for lots of laughter. Count on this one to be a hit with the whole family. And all of these would be right on the mummy, I mean money. Well recognized voices, a warm hearted premise, and a plethora of witty lines make this a solid film.
Dracula (Adam Sandler – voice) is a single father doing his best to raise his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez – voice) in a safe environment far away from the humans. So he builds a hotel and over the centuries it becomes a retreat for all the monsters where they can come and relax and not have to worry about torches and pitchforks. Now Mavis is turning 118 and Drac is throwing a huge party to celebrate. When a college aged human (Andy Samberg – voice) stumbles into the hotel he not only catches the eye of Mavis but might destroy the reputation of the entire hotel.
Just having all the well known monsters and playing off of all the stereotypes would be enough to make this a successful film. But when you add the very sweet story of a father wanting to protect his daughter from the world it elevates it to much more. The irony of the monsters being scared of the humans and Dracula being this loving father makes the parable solid. The dialogue between the young human and Drac is chopped full of messages of tolerance and culture clash. It is obvious that the writers are using these moments to get us to think about how we judge others. Luckily this doesn’t take away from the fun and youngsters will love it regardless.
The creation of the monsters is also a plus. Mavis is this young hipster chic and what you would expect Dracs daughter to look like. Frankenstein (Kevin James – voice) is this lumbering good hearted guy who is like an Uncle to Mavis. It is a modern telling that will appeal to this new generation of movie goers. It even has some musical numbers thrown in for good measure.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA is rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images. There is little if anything to be offended about in this one and it might even be a good way to show your skittish youngsters that anything they think is living under their bed is more than likely more scared of them. Parents will appreciate the love and concern of a dad for his little girl. Drac learns that you cant shield your child from every danger but you have to allow them to live and learn on their own. I give it a full on 4 out of 5 zombie bell hops. I darn good time for the whole family.