It’s no question director Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Hotel Transylvania” is equipped with a talented voice cast including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Fran Drescher and David Spade (who doesn’t love “The Emperor’s New Groove?”).
Dracula (Adam Sandler) runs a luxury hotel for all types of supernatural beings including ghosts, werewolves, skeletons and mummies. His daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), is about to turn 118, which is considered legal in vampire years. Dracula is throwing her a birthday bash at the hotel, inviting all his friends, Frankenstein (Kevin James), the Bride of Frankenstein (Fran Drescher) Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray the Mummy (Ceelo Greene), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and his wife, Wanda (Molly Shannon).
Dracula is super over-protective of “young” Mavis and even though she is old enough to go outside on her own and mingle with the humans, Drac does whatever possible to keep her away from them. He actually has his zombie staff dress up as humans with pitchforks and fire torches just to scare her from leaving the hotel.
While the idiotic zombies make their way back to the hotel, happy-go-lucky backpacker Jonathan (Andy Samberg) ends up following them. Up until this point, there have been no humans inside Hotel Transylvania, and when Drac quickly finds out a human is in their midst, he panics. He disguises Jonathan as Frankenstein’s cousin and tells Mavis he hired someone more around her age to help him party plan. As Jonathan and Mavis continue to hang, sparks begin to fly between the human and vamp and Dracula freaks.
We’ve seen the “overprotective father” story line before, but it’s “Transylvania’s” bright visuals and 3D effects that favor the film. Each frame is filled with color, movement and impressive depth. We truly feel like we are in the “Transylvania” world with bats flying over our heads and ghosts floating by.
“Transylvania” exhibits the importance of family and in this case, the relationship between father and daughter. Dracula and Mavis have a close bond and although she gets annoyed with him easily, as most teenagers do, she understands where he’s coming from and their relationship is what really drives the film.
“Hotel Transylvania” doesn’t measure up to other spooky-fun animated films that have come out this year, like “ParaNorman,” but it’s an admirable family film just in time for Halloween.