Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, CeeLo Green, Jon Lovitz, Luenell (the comedian), Chris Parnell.
These are a list of the names that headline Hotel Translvania, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Sony’s newest animated film. Genndy Tartakovsky, involved with Star Wars:Clone Wars, The Powerpuff Girls, The Grimm Adventures of Bill & Mandy, Samuari Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, seems to be right at home with this quirky setting and a cast full of unique voices. It’s perhaps not his best work, but it certainly felt like him, if you’re familiar with any of the listed animated series.
The story is fairly simple: Count Dracula (Sandler) has a daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), he wants to protect from evil, torch-bearing humans, so he builds a magical hotel to host all of the monsters of the world so they can relax in peace, instead of skulking in the shadows. This will provide Mavis with company and no want to live in the real world, as it is full of Tragedy and Garlic Bread and Fire. This is near the town of Translvania, but is guarded by spooky woods, zombies, and generally a lot of land and places that no sensible human dares to tread.
It’s Mavis’ 118th birthday, and a grand party is planned, by Daddy Dracula himself. But then, a back-pack loving human (Jonathan, Andy Samberg) shows up! Hilarity ensues, and the monsters slowly learn that humans aren’t the torch-bearing baddies that they were in 1895.
There’s a ton of little jokes and side characters that will make you laugh, and the main story moves quickly, sometimes too quickly, but has sweet moments that illustrates little 118-year-old Mavis growing up, and even Dracula gaining some much needed perspective. It was the secondary characters that really made me love the movie, Quasimodo (Lovitz) and his little rat, Wayne the Werewolf’s only daughter of a million pups, David Spade’s Invisible man, and the magical suits of armor that keep watch over the castle — and the zombie bellhops.
Then there was the final musical number, which included a lot of auto tune and electronic based music. I didn’t like it, but considering it was in the very end of the movie it didn’t detract from it too much. The 3D animation was pretty basic, used more for depth rather then special effects; it would be fine in 2D, so if you see it in the theatres, don’t waste your money. If you don’t, and you’re fan of fiction and movie monsters, try it on Netflix or whatever your rental of choice is. Overall, it’s a sweet movie with some obvious jokes for the little ones, but contains some jokes that us grown ups and adult kids will will chuckle at.