Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky
The notion of the overprotective father has been played out on the big screen countless times, with Father of the Bride and Meet the Parents instantly springing to mind. One can safely assume that a dad never wants to let his little girl go and would prefer she remain under his close watch, safe from the evils of the world and, most importantly, other men.
In the case of Genndy Tartakovsky's latest animated family comedy, Hotel Transylvania, we learn that the same can be said for fathers of the monster kind when it comes to their little girls.
The film starts out in 1895, with Dracula (Adam Sandler) tending to his little vampire daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), leading to the construction of a new hotel facility for monsters that will keep the humans away, and a fortress to keep Mavis safe from harm.
Flipping to the present day, the hotel is thriving and Mavis is on the cusp of her 118th birthday. Her special day coincides with a promise her father made, granting her the adult freedom to go out into the human world on her own. As expected, Dracula will stop at nothing to prevent this from actually happening, and shenanigans ensue.
Dracula's world begins to fray when a human stumbles upon the hotel, and the timing couldn't be any worse when it's 21-year-old globetrotting Jonathan (Andy Samberg) that bursts through the gates, subsequently forging a close bond with Mavis.
The film's animation is decent, which shouldn't come as a surprise, with this being the big-screen debut of the Emmy Award-winning Tartakovsky, whose prior work includes Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars. The usage of 3D is remarkable, rather than gaudy as so many 3D films are these days, highlighting the nuances of the animation, bringing the movie to life.
The usual pranks for an animated children's film are packed into the film, playing up all the stereotypes, but relating them to the monster world. Assume predictable musical montages, clichÚ kiddie jokes, double-entendres for the adults, and don't be shocked when things are summed up with the expected moral: children need to discover the world for themselves.
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