Film Review: Hotel Transylvania – best animated movie of the year

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Hotel Transylvania ~ Sony Pictures Animation

The kids and I saw an early screening of Hotel Transylvania (Sony Pictures Animation) last weekend. We loved it. Hotel Transylvania is the best animated movie I’ve seen this year. It was entertaining and funny. In my opinion, the whole family will enjoy this film. And even though the main characters are monsters, the film isn’t scary — my kids (ages seven and nine) didn’t flinch once. Hotel Transylvania opens in theaters today.

The 411 for Hotel Transylvania

The story A human shows up at Hotel Transylvania, which is an exclusive castle for monsters
Appropriateness for children It’s fine for kids. There isn’t any violence or bad language, but there is a little bathroom humor.
Positives
  • Funny and entertaining for the whole family
  • Good pacing
  • Fun music and songs
  • Great 3D depth and clarity
Negative
  • Plot is a bit predictable
Release date September 28, 2012
Rating Rated PG for some rude humor, action and scary images
Runtime 91 minutes
Genre Animation, comedy

Even monsters need a vacation
Hotel Transylvania starts off in the late 1800’s. That’s when Dracula first begins to build a hotel far away from humans. He’s building the hotel to protect his daughter (Mavis) and other monsters from humans, who killed his wife. During the prologue, we also see that Dracula is a loving father who loves to dote on his daughter. The story then flashes forward to present time. Hotel Transylvania has been built and it’s now Mavis’ 118th birthday. That’s when a human, Jonathan, unexpectedly shows up at the castle. Dracula doesn’t want to freak out the other monsters, who are scared of humans, so he disguises the boy to look like Frankenstein.

Some adult humor
Most of the gags are aimed at children. However, there are a few jokes adults will get that kids won’t understand (nothing nasty). One of my favorite gags involves Dracula leading two flying objects on a chase of the human. Dracula, with his black outfit, looked very much like Darth Vader leading two TIE fighters in a chase of Luke Skywalker, who was attempting to destroy the Death Star in Star Wars (A New Hope).

Nice soundtrack
I loved the music and songs in Hotel Transylvania. Unfortunately, most of the songs are short. And as far as I can tell, there isn’t a soundtrack for the film (I couldn’t find it on Amazon). What a shame. Some of the lyrics are very clever in a twisted way.

It’s a little like Monster, Inc.
Hotel Transylvania is a bit predictable. At times, the movie reminded me of Monsters, Inc. In addition, you could tell the boy and girl would fall for each. And like many stories like this one, the overprotective father ruins the romance, but then he saves the day and everyone lives happily ever after. But with an entertaining movie like this, it really doesn’t matter if the story is a little predictable.

Hotel Transylvania
During the movie, I didn’t recognize any of the voices of the cast. In my opinion, it’s a good sign when the story is so entertaining that you’re not paying attention to the voices behind the characters. In case you’re wondering, Hotel Transylvania features the voices of Adam Sandler (Dracula), Andy Samberg (Jonathan the human), Selena Gomez (Mavis, Dracula’s daughter), Kevin James (Frankenstein), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin), CeeLo Green (Murray), Jon Lovitz (Quasimodo), Brian George (Suit of Armor), Luenell (Shrunken Heads), Brian Stack (Pilot), Chris Parnell (Fly), and Jackie Sandler (Martha). The film was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.

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45 thoughts on “Film Review: Hotel Transylvania – best animated movie of the year

  1. I like that you rated it for children appropriateness. I was a little concerned when I watched the previews because I didn’t know what to expect. Sometimes the kids movies cross a line.

  2. We just came from watching the 7:30 showing, oh I loved it..it was the best animated movie I have ever seen, so funny and I would buy this and enjoy it year after year. I noticed Kevin James voice and I had not even read to see who the stars were besides Adam Sandler who was well advertised in it prior too.
    I recommend it to it anyone, loved the music in it to
    sewitupjulie@gmail.com

  3. this sounds great. i love family movies. I thought the plot was very cute. I like that it has something for everyone. i lovelove monsters inc and im ok with a predictable ending. thank you for the breakdown of the movie!

  4. Thanks for the review, I wasn’t sure if I’d go watch it or wait for it to come out on DVD, I’ll go watch it since it does sound like an entertaining film!

  5. Excellent review. My grandsons saw this and loved it. They said it was so funny. I’ll be sure to watch it when it comes out on dvd.

  6. Happy to hear you didn’t recognize the voices. I find it real;ly distracting when I can’t forget the celebrity I’m listening to.

  7. It looks like a nice Halloween movie to take children to- many kids don’t trick or treat except at malls etc and this would be a nice thing to do !

  8. Oh wow, did not know Sandler was Dracula. This looks so interesting and am planning to take my daughter to see it! You’re right, when you’re not even thinking about the voices, you know it’s a great movie that is holding your attention.

  9. My son is in his 20’s now but we still love to watch all of the animated films together. This one sounds right up our alley and I’m adding it to our list of must see. Thanks.

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