Thursday, September 27, 2012

Welcome to the “Hotel Transylvania”

The Hotel Transylvania is an oasis of sorts. Founded by Dracula himself, it’s a resort where monsters can lose their cares and have fun among people who love them; instead of among people who’d stalk them with pitchforks and torches. It’s the first feature directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, a television stalwart whose credits include Dexter’s Laboratory and The Powerpuff Girls.

That's CeeLo Green, Kevin James,
Adam Sandler, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade.
Basically, if I begin any sentence with the phrase, “stop me if you’ve heard this before,” everything will come to a dead halt. The plot is the basic boy-meets-girl, dad disapproves, and you can pretty much figure out the rest. But virtually every film rehashes story lines and plot points. I mean, a boy-meets-girl-and-absolutely-nothing-comes-in-the-way-of-their-happiness story would be pretty boring. Can’t blame this crew for building their tale around the most time-honored young love story plot. Juliet, meet Romeo. Just don’t let your dad find out. Juliet is Mavis, a “young” vampire at 118 years old. Dad is Dracula. And boyfriend Jonathan is an (ee-gads!) human who shows up at the hotel by accident. And Mavis and Jonathan’s eyes met across a crowded room …

Fran Drescher as mom, Selena Gomez as
Mavis, and Sandler as Dracula.
Adam Sandler is Dracula; Selena Gomez is Mavis; and Andy Samberg is Jonathan. The film features top-notch supporting work from Steve Buscemi, Jon Lovitz, and a bunch of other guys. There isn’t a truly original moment in the film, but it’s gamely voiced by top-notch talent. It’s beautifully animated and it’s full of knowing pop-culture references that will make you parents laugh more than the kids. So mom and pop, you’ll enjoy this and the kids will, too, but in a simpler, more surface way; which isn’t the worst fate to befall them.

The best thing here is the season. Halloween’s a-comin’ and this film is the perfect launch pad to the season. That is, until next week-end when Tim Burton’s Halloween entry will most like over-shadow this film in every way under the sun; or full moon.

Hotel Transylvania is rated PG (Parental guidance suggested) for some mildly scary images.

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