Hotel Transylvania Reviews
Great animated movie!!! I think that is a movie that is fun for the whole family. Youngsters will like the characters, the older children will enjoy the jokes and plot, and the adults will likely enjoy the movie as well, being able to catch on to the more "adult" funny references and a story about a father-daughter relationship that can be appreciated. I think the moral of the story was trust your children to make the right decisions no matter what you think about them and from the child point of view the moral was to know your parents are always just trying to protect you. "Hotel Transylvania" deserves plenty of recognition, and most importantly, should be enjoyed. Go see it!
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of the world's most famous monsters - Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more - to celebrate his daughter Mavis' 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem - but his world could come crashing down when a human stumbles on the hotel for the first time and takes a shine to Mavis.
The songs were horrible. Horrible! As much as I love musicals, I have to ask: Why do animations need to have musical numbers anyway? I had the misfortune of seeing a dubbed version of this film, but I doubt hearing the songs in English would've improved the experience in any significant way. Cursed be, autotune!
After about 10mins into this film you can tell its clearly been made for kids. Nothing wrong with that of course but this isn't 'Toy Story' smart with little winks for the older folk, its way more tuned for the younglings. This is very evident with silly jokes, huge prat falls and a very loud in your face approach much like many kiddie cartoons, dare I say childish to the max.
Yes childish but did I expect more? well maybe yes, an Adam Sandler fronted film, I did think it might be a little more risky in places or even a tad scary judging by the concept. The best thing about the film in many sequences is the dialog from the brilliant voice cast line up. This is where adults will enjoy especially with the dry wit of Spade and Buscemi who give 'Werewolf' and 'The Invisible Man' some cracking moments of speech. Naturally Kevin James is in here too, can't have an Adam Sandler film without his tubby sidekick it seems. There was a time when it was Rob Schneider, not anymore.
The animation was 50/50 for me to be honest, at times some sequences and character movements looked fantastic. The flashback sequences for 'Dracula' were especially lovely with stunning colours, where as the best animated motion capture again was easily 'Dracula'. Some gorgeous looking work as we see 'Drac' glide across the hallways, flap and twirl is cape, slink amongst the shadows and sail through the air...its all in the cape work.
Other characters are well designed too, I like the blue collar look of 'Werewolf', the obvious simplicity of 'The Invisible Man', the gigantic foot of I presume 'Yeti' and 'Mummy' who looked a lot like 'Oogie Boogie' from 'The Nightmare Before Christmas'.
There are an impressive range of monsters shown throughout the film from standard skeletons to a 'Pumpkin King' like character. The main guys are the best looking where as the rest don't seem quite as well crafted.
I must just add, is it wrong that I found the young female character of 'Mavis', 'Drac's' daughter, kinda hot?. I mean look at it from my point of view, I'm into the whole goth look and vibe. So for me the sight of an attractive slim pale female with black lips, dark eye shadow, black fingernails and raven black hair wearing a surprisingly sexy tight black number complete with arm stockings was really quite sexy haha. It was like watching a young animated Winona Ryder! rawr!!.
But I digress, the film is a simple love tale between 'Mavis' and a random human lad who turns up at the hotel, nothing more. Its very sweet, very charming and will thrill the kids. I did enjoy it mainly for the monster mash aspect and of course the kooky vampire/haunted mansion side of it (if you haven't already guessed).
The animation was a slight let down for me as I did expect something a bit more original, quirky or diverse from director Geddy Tartakovsky. It all looks good but too generic for me, nothing trailblazing like his 'Star Wars' work. Also was hoping for something a little more adult orientated in places with the monsters but alas. Jokes are a bit forced, hated the pop songs included and the horrendous ending almost ruins the entire film Jesus! but it still just about made me smile.
Not as unique, amusing or moving as 'ParaNorman', so far that is the front runner for fun halloween flicks. Watch out for Geddy's unique and much better hand drawn animation in the end credits, maybe they should have done the whole film this way?.
I knew right on that Tartakovsky was going to nail this film, and he did. Hotel Transylvania is a fun movie that moves quick and is definitely a fun time to laugh out loud.
When Dracula (Sandler) opens a Hotel for monsters like Frank (James), the invisible man (Spade) and Wayne (Buscemi) his one hope is that humans never find them. However, on the eve of his daughters birthday, Dracula discovers that Jonathan - a human - has infiltrated the hotel, and its up for him and his pals to get rid of him.
Okay I wont lie, I love this movie, even though it was made for the little ones. The movie is hilarious and the pacing in just great! There isn't much to say about it, but I really enjoyed it.
Jonathan: I'm allergic to scream cheese!
Hotel Transylvania, marks the first feature film to be directed by animator Genndy Tartakovsky, prior to this Tartakovsky, has been responsible for the creation of critically acclaimed Cartoon Network shows (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Sym-Bionic Titan). In his feature debut, Genndy, once again proves his understanding of making entertaining animation for both children and adults.
The animation is great, comical, and quite possibly one of the best to date for a CG animated film, this film really captures the zany antics of short features from yesteryear, the stretchiness, the fast pace of the characters, everything is captured really well. The animation feels like a true recreation of Tex Avery/classic Looney Tunes shorts, this sets a standard for future CG films attempting to capture a 2D look. The character designs are also worth mentioning, every one of the film's characters have a simplistic look, yet provides some of the most adorable, and stand out designs for the monsters in years; even The Invisible Man (played by David Spade) who mostly appears with only sunglasses on, stands out by simply employing the Tartakovsky trademarked "glasses change to reflect mood" style.
The cast in this film may seem like a turn off, yet surprisingly upon watching the film becomes another one of it's strong points, one would expect this to never be a case with The Sandler regulars, yet any other voices for these characters might've killed the quality. Adam Sandler leads the ensemble as Dracula, providing his best performance in years, as the film goes on, one forgets that fact and moves along with the lovable host of the hotel, who here is desperate to keep his daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez, also her best performance, though possibly just that) from interacting with humans. The monsters show up of course in this hotel/haven to get away from humans, most noticeably the Invisible Man, Frankenstein (voice of Kevin James) his bride (voice of Fran Drescher), Werewolves, Wayne (voice Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (voice of Molly Shannon), and finally, Murray the Mummy (voice of Cee Lo Green), but their very nature comes to a cataclysmic danger (well Dracula seems to think so) when a human, Jonathan (voice of Andy Samberg) finds this elusive hotel.
What makes this film work from a story standpoint is just how much it's willing to embrace the simplicity, while also embracing it's characters and overall silly tone. As the director put it "not all animated films need to be like Pixar"; this film opted for a classic cartoon approach and fully commits to it, providing what feels like a fresh experience due to the lack of animated films that have used the Tex Avery/ Looney Tunes approach in films as of late. It's the standard tale of a father needing to accept his daughter growing up and finding love, yet manages to throw a lot of old cliches out the window, or freshen them up enough to create a very entertaining comedy, the old school comedic style feels new once more. Genndy Tartakovsky proves he has talent for full length films, making his upcoming Popeye,even more intriguing to wait for.
Hotel Transylvania, may not be the deepest, most complex film in animation, but it is definitely one of the most fun all year, watch it.
The film thankfully doesn't find itself falling slave to pop culture references, like plenty of other family fluff flicks, but when the dreaded iron grip of mainstreams falls upon this film, it's typically in the form of a component to a soundtrack that may be very underused, - what with this film's being most reliant on conventional, but decent score work by Mark Mothersbaugh to supplement the musicality that helps in driving this film's liveliness - but all but stops the film cold in its turning in a few commercially relevant hunks of unbearable garbage - from "Sexy and i know it" to a lame contemporaneous musical number that closes the film out - that may depart as quickly as they arrive, but cheese things up near-embarassingly. Of course, it's not like the film is completely cleansed of too much cheesiness when there is no terrible music going on, for although the moments in which this film gets to be a bit too kiddy for its own good are relatively limited in quantity, when they arrive, genuineness in entertainment value takes further damage from a bit of corniness, much of which can be found within noisiness, something that isn't as considerable as some say, but recurring enough to throw off the engagement value of less superficial grown-ups. There's something lazy about this film's most kiddy and noisy moments, which slow down the momentum of an effort that is otherwise fairly inspired, though not so much so that it's able to do away with such more consistent lazy touches as conventionalism that is most immense than I expected. Sure, I wasn't exactly walking into this film expecting it to be one of the most original of the year, and it's not like the final product is all-out trite, yet this story rarely strays too far away from formula, thus loosening the grip on full assurance that is ultimately not quite as tight as it could have been in this film, even when you don't take conventionalism into account, because no matter how lively this film's storytelling is, it's a bit too tight, hurrying events along too quickly in the same way a more forgettable piece of family filler hurries things along. The film's fun factor goes a bit limited by a runtime of merely 92 minutes that is emphasized by both some awkward plotting and, well, maybe a bit too much thinness in this story, which is well-characterized enough in execution to earn a reasonable bit of your investment, but still nearly rich with natural shortcomings in its concept. The film is what it is, but the problem is that this film could have been and almost is more than just that, yet for every high note in this fun flick, there are shortcomings, and just enough of them for the film to fall just short of rewarding. That being said, this film is still stronger than I expect, not to where it's generally as strong as it sometimes is, but certainly to where both kids and adults will find quite a bit of fun within this family flick, as surely as animation lovers will find quite a bit to admire within this strong technical piece.
The film isn't all-out marvelous in its technical achievements as an animated feature, but you'd be hard pressed to not be impressed by this film's still acceling quite a bit with its animations, which boast plenty of energetic designs that do a slick job of playing up the kind of distinct bounce of life within CG animation, polished with some of the delightful exaggerations that are typically a part of the 2D animation sensibilities that director Genndy Tartakovsky doesn't appear to be departing too far from in this film. It's not too easy to notice the touches of 2D sensibilities within this film, but rest assured that this effort does present some kind of a marriage between contemporary animation style and good old-fashioned cartoonery that is very attractive in its being both lively and just other-worldly enough to color up humor that is mighty colorful even on paper. Sure, this film's humor isn't consistently refreshing, and is sometimes a bit too noisy for its own good, but on the whole, one of the best surprises about this film is the strength of Peter Baynham's and Robert Smigel's humor, whose hits' effectiveness ranges from quite chuckle-worthy to, well, downright hilarious, with plenty of sharpness in color and timing, if not an unexpectedly hefty degree of wit. The film's misses in humor don't do too much more than just graze the funny bone, while the hits - of which there are many - often hit very hard, though they're not exactly the only high notes in Baynham's and Smigel's writing, for although this film is a bit too thin to be truly rewarding on the whole, what does a lot to drive the aspects that almost drive the final product into bonafide goodness is characterization's still being very colorful in its crafting plenty of memorable characters, bonded by well-fleshed-out chemistry, and further sold by the inspired voice talents behind them. Outside of this film, Adam Sandler's usual crew members all too often squander their comedic potential through fall-flat material that is so consistent that, after a while, you don't really see said comedic potential, something that you can definately, well, "hear" being fulfilled in this film, because whether they be by such usual Sandler film regulars as the charming Andy Samberg and relatively well-balanced Kevin James, or by such non-Sandler posse members as the talented Steve Buscemi and smooth Cee Lo Green, this film's voice performances win you over to a star-studded cast, from which Adam Sandler stands out as almost immersively convincing and charismatic as the over-protective, but still very spirited father. Sandler is delightfully relatively restrained as he leads a colorful cast, whose vocal touches add quite a bit to the film, though not quite as much as the directorial touches by Genndy Tartakovsky that aren't strong enough to make the film generally rewarding, but still give this film quite a few high points, - a few of which are surprisingly even touching - which break up consistent entertainment value that, alone, almost proves to be enough to save this film from its natural shortcomings. The film stands to hit a little bit harder, but what is done right in this reasonably inspired effort gets the final product by as quite decent, with enough proficiency to its technicality, wit to its script, liveliness to it voice acting and strength to its direction to entertain thoroughly.
Checking out ("You can check out any time you'd like, but you can never le-Oh wait, that's a different hotel), you'd find it difficult to completely deny that this film gets to be a touch too cheesy, though not as often as it gets to be too conventional, hitting plenty of storytelling tropes that supplement plotting awkwardness that is itself supplemental to the story thinness that keeps this film from truly rewarding, even though it can't overshadow what is done very well in this unexpectedly quite enjoyable family flick, which delivers on excellent animation, as well as much effective, if not hilarious humor, complimented by inspiration within both the voice acting and direction that almost carry "Hotel Transylvania" into bonafide goodness, yet still keep things going enough for plenty of fun to arise.
2.75/5 - Decent