Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania

IMDB, Hotel Transylvania“Hotel Transylvania” on IMDB

Comedy, 91 Minutes, 2012

I’m a big fan of the old Universal Horror films.  “Frankenstein”, “The Wolfman”, “Dracula” and “The Mummy” are all classics and this movie gets a decent bump just by having them all together.  Sure they’re all cartoons with famous voices but they’re still together and there’s a host of little references and in-jokes that just for old-time fans like myself.

The story is kinda blah.  It’s got that “been there, done that… now with more pop culture references!” feel that a lot of animation has.  It’s fine, but nothing that you’ll remember a few days later.  Monsters are really just decent folks hiding from the horrible humans that tried to hunt them out of existence.  Dracula, in an effort to shelter her from the humans that killed her mother over 100 years ago, hides his daughter away from the world in a lavish hotel that caters exclusively to the monster world.  When a wayward human hiker stumbles onto the hotel everybody is, of course, forced to reconsider.

My only real complaint is that there are several musical numbers and every one that’s supposed to be “modern” is so horribly dripping with auto-tuning that it physically hurts to listen.  My (10 year-old) daughter thought they sounded “good” which means that we’ve clearly passed some kind of Armageddon marker where blatant auto-tuning is considered normal.  Sometimes kids know exactly how to really hurt their parents, don’t they?

On the positive side the animation is lush, fast and fluid; more “Looney Tunes” than “Pixar” for a nice change.  Characters spring and deform gleefully and are just plain fun.  The jokes may be stale – most are recycled from “The Addams Family” or “The Munsters” – but the physical comedy is a joy to watch and there’s plenty of it.  There are definitely worse ways to spend an afternoon with your kids.

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