Film review: Hotel TransylvaniaBy Kim Francis
November 02, 2012
Kids’ films are often judged on their quality by their adult content, by which we mean whether or not they work on more than one level so that both parent and child can enjoy the cinema experience.
Pixar, as an animation studio, never fails to produce excellent CGI animations for the whole family.
Sony’s output, on the other hand, has to date been hit and miss.
Although Hotel Transylvania is very definitely a film for little ones (Pixar’s Up and Wall-E, for example, are both films primarily for grown-ups), there is certainly enough here to keep accompanying adults amused.
Suitably themed for a Halloween treat, Hotel Transylvania has single dad Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) at its heart.
Monsters like vampire Count Dracula are no longer the threat to human life they once were, having evolved to become a peaceful race.
However, humans still being afraid of their kind would, by contrast, kill a monster on sight.
As a refuge from the human world, Dracula builds a holiday resort just for monsters and soon enough it’s filled with vacationing mythical fiends.
When a teenage boy turns up and falls in love at first sight with his teenage daughter, Dracula must find a way to come to terms with the impending womanhood of Mavis (Selena Gomez) and let her begin to make her own way in the modern world.
While the young ‘uns will enjoy the poop jokes and assorted funny monsters, adults will appreciate seeing familiar characters from classic horror – such as Frankenstein’s monster and The Invisible Man – subverted, as well as the film’s more subtle humour and its smattering of cleverly-executed animated sequences.
The moment Johnny (Andy Samberg) takes a dive into a rapidly-draining swimming pool is masterfully rendered.
Its visual impact will score a hit with audiences both mature and immature, while the voice cast of adult-friendly US funny men, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Jon Lovitz and David Spade (with the wonderful Steve Buscemi thrown in), also gives it an extra dimension for all ages.