The good news is that Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated Adam Sandler picture, Hotel Transylvania, is better than most Adam Sandler pictures. The bad news is that it still isn’t very good. I should note that the movie did seem to go down well with the children in the audience, so it apparently cuts the mustard for the pre-pubescent set. This information may be useful to parents and the younger readers of this column. The movie is all about Mavis (Mavis?) Dracula (Selena Gomez) coming of age (age being 118) and horrifying daddy Dracula (Adam Sandler doing an impression of somebody doing a Bela Lugosi impression) by wanting to go out and see the world. He goes to absurd lengths to keep her from doing this, including creating a fake town with zombies dressed up as standard pitchfork-and-torch-brandishing villagers. His idea is that she should stay safely ensconced at his exclusive hotel for monsters where she’s already spent most of her life. What he hasn’t reckoned on is the accidental arrival of a moronic young human backpacker (Andy Samberg) who’s apt to blow the carefully crafted image of human beings as evil monster killers. And that’s about it. Mostly what we get are gags about the Wolfman’s (Steve Buscemi) unruly and unhousebroken children, jive-talking shrunken heads, and bad monster puns. The drama, of course, consists of whether or not Dracula can learn to let go of his little girl and accept the fact that humans are no longer torch-wielding bozos (I’m not sold on that second part myself). No prizes will be awarded for guessing the outcome.
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Writer: Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman and David Feiss
Producer: Michelle Murdocca
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, David Koechner, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and David Spade