- Director:Genndy Tartakovsky
- Cast:Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Adam Sandler
- Release Date:September 20, 2012
- Running time:91 minutes
- Film Worth:$14.00
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It doesn’t hit the heights of its lauded animated counterparts, but the visuals are vibrant, the laughs are steady, and the voice cast is ace.
Adam Sandler leads an impressive voice cast in this animated comedy, which despite lacking sophistication, serves up thrills and solid laughs. Sandler plays Dracula, the owner of a luxurious resort that caters for supernatural beings as they unwind away from the torment of humans. His daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), is turning 118 and on the eve of her birthday, he invites Frankenstein, the Mummy, the Invisible Man and a family of werewolves to stay for a weekend of partying. Things are shaken up, however, when a gormless backpacker (Andy Samberg) stumbles into the hotel. Much to Dracula’s dismay, sparks fly between Mavis and the human. Mayhem ensues.
Though the ‘overprotective father’ narrative is barebones, Hotel Transylvania is sustained by its vibrant and creative visuals. With sweeping shots of bats blazing around the hotel and a barrage of oddball supernatural guests, each frame is filled to the brim with colour and movement. Director Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of the animated television programs Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack) has an audacious vision, crafting thrilling action sequences. A chase in the hotel’s dining hall that sees Dracula leaping across a series of floating tables is particularly well executed.
The screenplay, co-written by Peter Baynham (Arthur Christmas) and Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live), fails to flesh out the characters, so sentimentality in the latter half of the film comes off as cheap and unwarranted. The comedy is broad, however, featuring a mix of slapstick, spoof, and zippy one-liners – and the voice talents of Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon and David Spade lift any dull moments. The message of accepting difference is a nice one, and though it may lack the classiness of Pixar and Illumination, the exuberance and sheer sense of fun of Hotel Transylvania make it worth a stay.