If you’re looking for a kids’ film with a bit of bite these holidays, then Hotel Transylvania is your answer. Adam Sandler plays Count Dracula, a paranoid Dad who’s afraid of letting his little ghoul, Mavis (Selena Gomez) grow up. To celebrate her 118th birthday, Dracula invites their kooky gaggle of family and friends to their castle for a bat-tastic party, but Daddy Drac gets way more than he bargained for when an unexpected guest crashes in. Jonathan (Andy Samberg) steals the show, and Mavis’s heart, and teaches everyone that sometimes the best gifts in life don’t come in a box.
The animation in Hotel Transylvania is gorgeously rendered with crisp and beautiful colours that look sensational. This is a monster movie, but the horror is very mild and amusing, so don’t be scared away by the Transylvania theme. It’s good fun and easy to digest for the most part, but does get a little noisy and zippy at times. When the storyline finally settles into a more linear progression toward the end, the film actually becomes quite engaging, with a few funny movie references thrown in to make sure you’re paying attention. (The Twilight nod is hilarious.)
An all-star cast of monsters (Frankenstein, Quasimodo) and actors (Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, CeeLo Green, David Spade) liven up the pulse in this creepy movie, as does a boisterous soundtrack.
But, as Sandler always does so remarkably, the key message about growing up and letting go, and the importance of family, is what really prevails. Hotel Transylvania is horribly fun.