Hotel Transylvania open September 28, 2012

Adam Sandler leads an impressive voice cast in this animated comedy that attempts to freshen up a story we’ve seen one to many times;  But will your kids care that it’s the same ole’ thing that’s been done to death?

What the film lacks in originality it makes up for in colorful characters that will entertain children easily under the age of 13. You may have to be hyped up on coffee to get through to the end of the 83 minute cartoon without your eyes closing.

Photo Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. © 2012 Sony Pictures Animation, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Sandler plays Dracula, the owner of a luxurious resort that caters exclusively to supernatural beings that was built as a refuge away from “toe- eating and candy stealing,” humans.  Problem is (there always is one), his daughter Mavis, blandly played by Selena Gomez, is turning 118 and as promised this is the year she can finally venture out into the world to see “the nasty humans” herself. Before embarking on her adventure she must attend her birthday party attended by all the usual suspects and one pesky, uninvited human Jonathan (Andy Samberg).


Colorful characters abound including David Spade as The Invisible Man (depicted as a pair of floating spectacles), Frankenstein (Kevin James), The Mummy (Ceelo Greene), and a pack of Werewolves led by Wayne (Steve Buscemi) among many.

Much to Dracula’s dismay, Bella and Edward “zing” together and sparks fly between the vampire and the human… I mean Mavis and Jonathan.

The cast at TIFF; David Spade, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher, Kevin James, Anam Sandler, Molly Shannon, Andy Samberg

Though the ‘overprotective father’ story line has been done one to many times in this genre, Hotel Transylvania will maintain a child’s attention with its vibrant and fast paced visuals.  Director Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of the animated television programs Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack) brings his vision to the story but it often relies on wise cracks and dialogue that feels much like previous Adam Sandler films. I couldn’t help but think that Adam Sandler was the director and or writer of the film because it is obviously filled with lines he wrote or re-worked himself, -many of which are word-for-word other lines he’s delivered in previous films.

Credited writing goes to co-writers Peter Baynham (Arthur Christmas) and Robert Smigel (Saturday Night Live), who fail to flesh out the characters to a degree that adult viewers will feel much affinity for by the end. The film really feels like a re-worked Adam Sandler film but even so it still delivers enough laughs that it’s better than most. The beginning story was especially endearing. Cartoon gets a solid C for adults but kids will enjoy.

PG, 1 hr. 31 min.

Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy

Genndy Tartakovsky

Additional Cast: Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher

Sep 28, 2012 Wide

Sony Pictures



Culture Hotel Transylvania: Formulatic Fun For The Kiddies