Rating: 2 stars out of 5
In a world where young adults recognised vampires as glittery, broody creatures who have a grand total of three different facial expressions, you can’t help but to desperately wish that a cartoon would do the creatures some justice. Unfortunately ‘Hotel Transylvania’ too fails to make a worthy case of the once-celebrated creatures of the night.
Despite featuring Genndy Tartakovsky’s interesting visual aesthetics and sharp animation style, it’s hard to recommend the movie to anyone other than parents looking to distract their kids for a few hours.
There is no originality in the movie: like ‘Monsters Inc’, the central conceit of this family-friendly animated release is that the ghouls are scared of humans. And like ‘Brave’ and ‘Tangled’, it’s a story about a daughter wanting to escape the overprotective clutches of an overprotective parent.
The overprotective parent in this case is Count Dracula, voiced by Adam Sandler. Convinced that humans are dangerous, he builds a castle where monsters can take refuge and where he plans to hide his daughter Mavis forever. Ghouls come from all over the world to seek shelter and protection behind the castle walls, while Mavis, who was about to turn 118 dreams of leaving and travelling the world. Just as she was about to give up on her dreams, a human backpacker shows up in the hotel and possibly forces the Count to face the possibility that humans have moved past their pitchfork wielding days.
While children will enjoy the colourful ghouls and their lowbrow antics, adults will have nothing more than a few chuckles - or almost none at all if you’ve already watched the trailer on YouTube repeatedly. It’s easy to write off criticisms with the often-referenced argument that it’s a kids’ film but many animation studios like Dreamworks have shown that cartoon films can offer as much to kids as they can to the bigger kids.
We suggest you check out of ‘Hotel Transylvania’ before you even bother entering... and look for a more convincing Count Dracula on ‘Sesame Street’ with your kids instead.