Giving Pixar A Run For It’s Money: Hotel Transylvania Review
September 30, 2012
I’m going to be honest, this wasn’t my first choice when coming to the theater this Friday. But I decided to see it ’cause, hey, animated movies are cool, and I wasn’t disappointed with Hotel Transylvania. With sharp animation, hilarious moments, clever ideas, and a well-known cast, this definitely gives Pixar a run for it’s money. Plus, Adam Sandler as a voice-acted vampire? Count me in!
The movie opens with Count Dracula getting ready for a big monster weekend; all the creatures from far and near will come to his Hotel in order to escape and relax away from the human world. As the movie is directed mainly towards kids 11 and under, I expected a predictable plot and jokes that didn’t really cut it. The main concept for this movie is just silly, and unless you have an open mind about this kind of stuff, that’s all it will be: a silly kids movie.
However, the writers and animators surprised me in multiple, impressive, and intricate ways. It was the little things, like the talking shrunken head door knobs, or the wide range of monsters who made cameo appearances, such as The Mummy and The Invisible Man. These creatures would not have been recognizable to the average 11-year old, and invite children to watch the classic horror movies that have since become cult classics.
The voice acting was impeccable. This is not your average famous-people-are-hired-as-voice-actors-for-publicity trick. Adam Sandler was a fantastic Count Dracula and frontman for the movie. Andy Samberg, Kevin James, and Selena Gomez were very good as well. What makes their performances extra sweet is the lack of experience that they’ve had with voice acting. Most of these actors have had little to no experience with animation, making their performances in this movie all the more exciting.
However, with Pixar as the template for all animated movies, this falls short. Hotel Transylvania had me laughing at times and left me in wonder by the voice acting, but it lacked heart. Where’s the in-tears moment, Sony Animation? I left the theater feeling like I had just held in a sneeze. Ever since Up, I’ve always expected to shed a tear or two during an animated movie, but this one just felt very repetitive.
Hotel Transylvania is goofy, in a good way and made for kids. Not only is it accessible to parents and little kids, it is also very accesible to the average teen as well. If you’re in the mood for something light and entertaining, Hotel Transylvania is definitely the best choice. Powerful voice acting, smart casting, silly jokes, but lack of heart, gives this movie a B-.