Hotel Transylvania (2012) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

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You know - for kidsRyan // LIKE BannerAs a movie critic or just a fan, you should never go into a movie with preconceived ideas of what you are about to see, I try to go in with a blank slate and let a movie surprise/disappoint me on its own.  Yet, when I watched Hotel Transylvania I started with the thought that the next 90 minutes of my life was going to be rough.  I am here to say that I could not have been more wrong because the movie was a very sweet and enjoyable film.

Hotel Transylvania is about Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) creating a getaway for all of the monsters of the world, where they will be safe from the terrifying humans and their torches.  The Count, while protecting all of his friends including Frankenstein (Kevin James), The Wolfman (Steve Buscemi), The Invisible Man (David Spade) the Mummy (Cee-Lo Green) and more from humanity at the hotel, is mainly concerned about keeping his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) safe and away from civilization. It has worked in his favor for 118 years until a human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) stumbles onto the hotel and falls for Mavis.

Bingo is just as exciting for hospice-bound monsters as it is for us normal folk.

Bingo is just as exciting for hospice-bound monsters as it is for us normal folk.

The reason I thought I was going to dread watching this film is because Adam Sandler and his merry bunch of men were the main attraction. I think it is safe to say I have not found Sandler funny in his films for a decade or more and when I saw the previews with him doing another stupid voice and bathroom humor, I didn’t think this one would be any different. Yet, I forgot a rule I have always had with Sandler, when a creative mind is behind the film, Sandler can be very effective. In his worst films like Chuck and Larry, Mr. Deeds and Grown-Ups the writers and directors have always been his buddies who don’t push him to do something other than his tired shtick and the movies fail because of that. When someone like a PT Anderson or a James L. Brooks (Sandler was not the problem in Spanglish) get him out of his comfort zone, he can be can turn in an interesting performance. Thankfully, Hotel Transyvalnia ahd that creative mind behind the scenes with director Genndy Tartakovsky.

For those who don’t know who Tartakovsky is, let me run down a list of shows he has created, produced or directed:
Dexter’s Laboratory
Samurai Jack
The Powerpuff Girls
Clone Wars (2003-2005 version)

That is a pretty impressive bunch of shows and what made Cartoon Network popular a decade ago. He brings that same sort of zany humor and heart to Hotel Transylvania that has it rise above a lot of animated films of the past few years. While not nearly on the level as many Pixar films, I enjoyed this film much more than the latest Madagascar film and it even was better paced than the very slow Frankenweenie.

Having an animation vet at the helm results in a number of funny complementing images.

Having an animation vet at the helm results in a number of funny complementing images.

This was also a perfect movie for my girls who are 6 and 3 because they get to see the monsters that they know about but in something that won’t scare them. I watch a lot of animated films with the girls but something in this one really captured my 6 year old's attention and she watched it without moving once.

Although it is good for little kids, I can say I was entertained throughout the film as well. It has enough humor and heart for an adult to enjoy and never gets bogged down in lessons. Hotel Transylvania is a perfect film to rent when you are looking to entertain the kids (or yourself) for 90 plus minutes. It is also the best example of a movie I can think of that teaches me not to judge a movie by its trailer. I made the mistake of dismissing this film outright and would have missed a pleasant film that is perfect for the whole family.

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Hotel Transylvania - TailHotel Transylvania (2012)

Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.
Screenplay written by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel.
Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez.

Posted by Ryan

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  1. I’m actually pretty excited that you liked this. I had high hopes for it when I heard about it (I’m a bit of a sucker for the Adam’s family-esk humanization of monsters) but I was also pretty put down by the trailer. Fortunately my hopes have been rekindled. Good review!

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