Hotel Transylvania

Kids' Rating:

Adults' Rating:

Directed By: Genndy Tartakovsky

Starring: Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, John Lovitz, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, and David Spade

Animated films have really taken a dark turn in recent weeks.  While we had lighter films like The Lorax and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted earlier in the year, we've now got studios bringing all kinds of monsters, ghouls, and witches to life for the kids.  We had a kid who talked to the dead in ParaNorman back in August.  We have a hotel for monsters in Hotel Transylvania this week.  We will even have an undead dog in Frankenweenie next week.  For now, I'm going to turn my sights to Hotel Transylvania, a monster-filled animated film loaded with commentary on interracial dating.

Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) lost his wife to a hateful mob of humans with pitchforks and torches.  From that day forth, he resolved himself to doing everything in his power to protect his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez).  He built Hotel Transylvania, a safe haven for monsters where no humans are allowed.  Since its opening in 1898, Dracula has brought monsters from all over the world to celebrate Mavis's birthday every year.  Some of the notable monsters include Mavis’s uncle Frankenstein (Kevin James), the mummy Murray (Cee Lo Green), and werewolves Wayne and Wanda (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon).

In the present day, it's time for Mavis's 118th birthday, and Dracula is getting ready to throw the same old festivities.  There's just one problem.  Mavis wants to go out and see the world.  She wants to go to Haweewee (Hawaii) where her parents met.  When she tells her father she wants to go out into the world and meet humans, Dracula lets her go to the nearby village but concocts a plan that will scare her into staying at Hotel Transylvania.  The only thing he doesn't anticipate is that a human by the name of Johnny (Andy Samberg) will wander into the hotel later that night and threaten the reputation of his monster haven.  To protect the hotel, Dracula disguises Johnny as Johnny-Stein, a distant relative of Frankenstein.

Hotel Transylvania doesn't do anything original.  It gives us stale ideas we've seen in animated films a thousand times over the last decade or so.  Whether we're talking about animated monsters, tradition versus change, or even underlying commentary on racial matters, it's all been done before.  To the parents, I'm sure this will matter because they're probably tired of seeing the same damn animated films over and over again.  For the kids, happy monsters and some slapstick humor may get the job done.

While the cast does a decent job voicing this array of monsters, there are some things that just don't make sense in Hotel Transylvania.  While I won't give away major plot points for these characters, trust me when I say there are some things that I simply can't swallow.  They're not believable in any way, shape or form.

While I have some issues with Hotel Transylvania, I do have to say that these monsters know how to jam to some good tunes.  I'm going to do something different for this animated flick.  It's getting two ratings.  Although they can't drink liquor, the kids can sip on an Icee, get a sugar rush from some candy, or simply bug their parents.  For the kids, Hotel Transylvania gets a 0.06% rating.  For the adults, this monster-filled animated flick gets a 0.09% rating.  Parents, grab a gin and tonic for this one.