This is the time of year when audiences are flooded with multiple animated films. 2012 in particular, has a large amount of Halloween-centric movies. Out of them emerges Genndy Tartakovsky‘s Hotel Transylvania, a witty family flick that gets the job done in the entertaining department.

The Players:

The Plot:

For hundreds of years Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) has been running a secret hotel the under public’s nose. Every creature of the night can relax at the high class resort, originally designed to keep his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) protected from the outside world. On the eve of her 118th birthday, a kooky hitchhiker (Andy Samberg) stumbles upon the establishment. Afraid of scaring his guests, Dracula disguises the human and tries to get rid of him for good.

The Good:

  • Genndy Tartakovsky, We Bow To You: If you grew up with the likes of Dexter’s Laboratory or Samurai Jack, you’ve seen director Genndy Tartakovsky’s work. Hotel Transylvania has his visual fingerprints all over it, and for good reason. Over the years he’s created a number of memorable characters that we still love to this day. He transformed what could have been a lackluster family movie by injecting his brand of sharp humor and direction. If we were Sony Animation, we’d throw him some money to make more movies while under their wing.
  • The Animation: We’ve seen many forms of animation sprawled across the screen including the computer kind. Then there’s the smooth but bouncy CG animation that we get in Hotel Transylvania. It matches perfectly with the story’s overall environment and comedy to boot. It’s a bit of an over-the-top movie, so why not add an ounce of that to its animation? It certainly works.
  • Cool Voice Actors? Check: Let’s just stop the groaning over Adam Sandler for a second. If you go into the movie with the bad taste of his previous films you won’t enjoy it. If you let your imagination run free and not examine the character’s voice, you’ll hear how convincing his Count Dracula is. The rest of the cast fits perfectly with their roles, especially the disgruntled werewolf Wayne played by Steve Buscemi. It’s one of those movies where you thoroughly enjoy their performances. You get so invested in the characters, that when the credits start, you’re pleasantly surprised by who was who.

The So-So:

  • Our Story: The script’s biggest flaw is the inescapable amount of predictability. Hotel Transylvania may not have the most original story, but it makes up for it with everything we’ve listed above. We understand that sometimes you can get away with something so simple because it’s a kids film. But at the same time, it’s fun seeing something new that pushes the storytelling boundaries. It’s like what Pixar and Laika have done in recent years. Come on Sony Animation, give it a whirl.

The Bad:

  • The Third Dimension Strikes Again: We understand the need to rake in money in an age where a people aren’t going to the movies, but come on. There was no need to make this in 3D. Nothing about it being presented in that form convinced us otherwise. Better luck next time.


This isn’t the greatest animated movie of the fall, but Hotel Transylvania is an enjoyable flick both kids and adults will love.

The Rating: 7/10

Hotel Transylvania opens in theaters September 28.

Photo Gallery:


Will you be watching Hotel Transylvania this weekend?