Classic Review: Hotel Transylvania (2012) and Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

Since I’ve started this site, I’ve written a lot of reviews. In case you missed some of my earlier ones, I would like to share an older review of “Hotel Transylvania” which originally appeared here and also one of “Hotel Transylvania 2” which originally appeared here.

Hotel Transylvania

When monsters want to go on vacation, they turn to Count Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a luxurious castle resort where they can simply be themselves without the possibility of being bothered by humans. For one special weekend, Dracula invites some of his creature friends: The Invisible Man (David Spade), The Mummy (CeeLo Green) among others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). Things do not go according to plan when a human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) manages to crash Dracula’s party and then begins to fall in love with Mavis.

Since I plan on seeing Hotel Transylvania 2 tomorrow, I thought I would first look at Hotel Transylvania. Adam Sandler has not had too many good movies this millennium. Most of them are just bad, stupid comedies. This one is a little stupid but I wouldn’t call it bad. This is an animated kids movie so I wasn’t expecting highbow or too deep. I thought it did its job with what it was trying to do. The animation isn’t groundbreaking to say the least but I thought it was decent. The monsters all looked the way they were supposed to and their powers and abilities were well done as well. I can’t speak too much more about that seeing that the theatrical version was in 3D and had more bells and whistles and I just saw it on Netflix. I also thought that the voiceover work was pretty good all around. Adam Sandler was great as Dracula and had some funny moments and some good one liners while also having great chemistry with the other characters. He was supposed to be Dracula but he was really just another Adam Sandler character but I didn’t mind. What was also odd was the french accent Jon Lovitz used as Quasimodo. Being that this is an Adam Sandler film, the other characters are voiced by actors who have previously worked with Sandler in other films. The film did have other funny moments not involving Adam Sandler as most of its comedy comes from its portrayal of all the different monsters and their interactions with Dracula and one another. Most of the jokes were childish but I still found them funny. Underneath all of that is just a story about a father-daughter relationship where the father is just trying to raise his daughter and wanting what is best for her and trying to keep her safe. There’s also a good message on stereotypes and prejudice. Sure the story may be a little cliche but it is just so damn cute.

Score: 7/10

Hotel Transylvania 2

Now Dracula’s (Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania is open to humans, things for him are changing for the better. Not everything is going right for him since Dracula is worried that his half-human grandson Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) hasn’t yet shown his vampire side. To help with this, Dracula asks his monster friends The Invisible Man (David Spade), The Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), The Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), and Frankenstein (Kevin James) to help him train Dennis to be a monster while Mavis and Johnny (Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg) are away on vacation. Things for them then get more complicated when Dracula’s old-school father Vlad (Mel Brooks) pays an unexpected visit.

I am an adult but I’m not afraid to admit that I like to watch animated kids films. Maybe it’s because they remind me of my childhood. To me the things that make a good animated film are it sounds it simple but good animation and a good story, not a stupid story that just doesn’t make sense. I hate stories that don’t make sense because it just makes me feel bad for kids who keep fooling for it. Suffice it to say, this one has both. Like the first film, the animation isn’t groundbreaking but I thought it looked good on the theater screen. I saw it in 3D which it gave it some nice touches bringing the monsters and the intricacies of the castle to life but I think it would be just as good without it. I thought the story was better than the first film as it focused more on the family aspect than the hotel itself. The film was more about the Dracula and Mavis relationship which I thought was the secondary focus of the first film. I liked this direction better as I greatly enjoyed the scenes between Dracula, Dennis, and all the other monsters. There are just as many, or maybe more funny moments and one-liners than the first film. There are still funny moments involving the other monsters in the hotel but those are toned down from the first film. The jokes were a little less stupid than the first film but I still found them funny for the most part. I think <strong>(and possibly others)</strong> that if the film was just more of the same, it would have been quite boring. I didn’t think it was. Just like the first film, I thought the voice work was good all around and Dracula was still my favorite character. I also thought he sounded less like an Adam Sandler character than he did in the first film. I thought the film’s message wasn’t as good as the first but it was still good. When compared to top animated films, this one does not come close but it is still a cute film and an enjoyable experience for both kids and adults alike.

Score: 7.5/10

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