Hotel Transylvania: A wild and zany animated movie.


The name Genndy Tartakovsky is a name that most animation fans will appreciate and even if you haven't heard of him, you probably have heard of the shows he created at Cartoon Network like "Dexter's Laboratory" and "Samurai Jack". The name Adam Sandler, on the other hand, is not a name most film fans will appreciate. This was the man who did bring us some of the worst comedies ever made like "Jack and Jill" as well as create "Eight Crazy Nights" which despite it's grand and glorious animation is one of the worst animated movies ever made. Seeing the two team up is a little odd, though that's what they did with the help of Sony Pictures Animation which resulted in the movie "Hotel Transylvania", a film that has gotten an interesting reaction from both critics and audiences alike. Where the critics hated this movie, audiences seem to like it. As for me, I think it's decent. Is it a terrible and childish movie? No. So, is it a modern Halloween classic? Also no. I'll get into why in a minute, but first, let me sum up the plot.

Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) has built a hotel for all monsters to go to relax and go on vacation away from "evil humans" as well as keeping his only daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) safe after his wife Martha was killed by the humans years ago. With her 118th birthday approaching, Mavis is curious about the human world and wants to explore it although her father is still reluctant and wants to keep her safe. However, things go upside down for Dracula when a human tourist named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles into the hotel. Wanting to keep the guest from being scared, Dracula disguises Jonathan as a sort of Frankenstein monster and only gets into a bigger sticky situation when Mavis starts to develop romantic feelings for Jonathan. What happens next are lots of crazy shenanigans and fast-paced humor that explaining the whole story would be too much so I'll just leave it there and get to my thoughts.

This is certainly a very creative film. The idea of monsters staying at a hotel away from humans is a very clever and unique plot which does lead to some creative jokes and fast-paced humor, though the film does have moments to let the audience catch their breath with some pretty effective slower moments. The scene where Dracula tells an emotional backstory in the film was actually surprisingly really well handled which is something I was really impressed with by the film. As for the animation, if you want crazy, zany fast-paced animation, here it is. This film really knows how to do fast-paced animation well which really reminded me of the old cartoons from '40s and '50s or even that Baby Herman short at the beginning of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" yet it does bring me to a small criticism. Though the film worked well in computer animation, it would have really shined had it been hand drawn. These character designs seemed to be made to be drawn by a pencil and not by pixels and it was even clearly proved during the end credits where we see 2D versions of the characters. It's nothing too major, but I feel that seeing it being done traditionally would have been a major plus for this film. Most of the jokes really work. Even though it is kind of juvenile at times particularly in the opening, this film did have some good laughs including a scene that took a stab at "Twilight". Yeah, I have to give credit to this movie. They really made a great anti-Twilight joke. Now how are the characters, particularly Adam Sandler as Count Dracula? Actually, they're mostly fun. I was a little nervous when I first heard the casting of Sandler as Dracula, but he managed to really pull off the character and his voice actually mostly unrecognizable. Even the other monsters in the film work. I think the funniest monster is Eunice who's the Bride of Frankenstein. Having her always push her poor husband around did make me chuckle a lot not to mention having her played by Fran Drescher was also an ideal choice. There are things that I didn't like about the movie, most notably the soundtrack. Man, this is one dated soundtrack. Although Mark Mothersbaugh's score is pretty good, the songs sounded like they came from an eight-year old's kid's iPod from 2012. The autotune also really got on my nerves and having to listen to these terrible pop songs just irritated me.

So while I don't think "Hotel Transylvania" is a great movie by any means, I certainly don't think it's as bad as what other critics have said. It does have a creative story, the animation is really fast paced and enjoyable (even though it would've been better hand drawn) and the characters did have some funny things to them. In my opinion, this movie seems to be suited as a fun silly movie to throw on during a party and that's it. I think it's good for a one time watch, but really it's not much of a classic.

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