Hotel Transylvania: Movie Review
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Kevin James, Fran Drescher
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
In the latest animated offering for school holidays, it's off to Transylvania we go with the director of the truly awesome Samurai Jack TV series and the star of Jack and Jill, Adam Sandler.
Sandler plays Count Drac, who runs the Hotel Transylvania, a refuge for all the monsters of the world to holiday away from the hunt-them-down-and-kill-them attitudes of the humans out there.
But it's not just the monsters which Drac's protecting - it's also his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) who's turning 118 and desperately wants to fly the nest.
On the eve of Mavis' 118th birthday, Drac's gathered a whole heap of his best friends - Frankenstein, Frankie's bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the werewolf family - to help throw a lavish party for Mavis.
However, when a carefree backpacker, Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg) finds his way into the hotel, Drac finds his over-protective grip on life slipping and soon realises he could lose everything.
Hotel Transylvania is a case of great premise, weak story.
Sandler gives a hit and miss performance with an Romanian accent which is all over the place in this flick which has a frenetic pace to no doubt cover the fact there's a distinct lack of a really engaging story. In fact, if anything, the story is similar in places to Monsters, Inc, where a human accidentally ends up in the monsters' world and they try to return them.
While Tartakovsky has added a manic touch to the animation, it's done so at the expense of the other characters - Steve Buscemi is woefully wasted as Wolfman, as are the rest of the supporting cast, who are forced to the sidelines by Sandler and Samberg's double act.
That said, there are some great throwaway sight gags splattered throughout (and a spot on Twilight parody) but despite a touchingly Gothic flashback to how Drac met his wife, this tale of an overprotective dad who has to let his daughter find her way in the world, sadly offers nothing new to the animated genre. Even the 3D is relatively pointless throughout as well.
All in all, Hotel Transylvania is okay for a brief stopover during the school hols for the younger end of the audience, but to be honest, thanks to hardly any meat on the story's bones, you'd hardly consider coming back for another visit.