Hotel Transylvania (U)

The ViewBristol Review

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Review byMatthew Turner12/10/2012

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 91 mins

Monstrously entertaining, frequently hilarious comedy with lively, fast-paced animation, appealing characters, a witty script and terrific voice performances from a superb comic cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (creator of TV's Samurai Jack), Hotel Transylvania is an animated comedy set in a secret hotel for monsters built by Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) in 1895 after the death of his wife. Over a hundred years later, Dracula invites all his monster friends to celebrate the 118th birthday of his over-protected daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), who he has successfully raised to believe that the outside world is a dangerous place and that all humans are evil.

However, when goofy backpacker Jonathan (Andy Samberg) accidentally stumbles into the castle and thinks he's at a fancy dress party, Dracula quickly disguises him and attempts to pass him off as the party-planning cousin of Frankenstein (Kevin James). But when Mavis and Jonathan begin to fall for each other, Dracula realises that all his efforts to protect her may come undone, so he tries to come up with a plan to stop her wanting to see the outside world.

The Good
Adam Sandler makes an unexpectedly great Dracula, removing all traces of his screen persona (you wouldn't automatically guess it was him) to deliver a hugely entertaining performance, aided by some superb character design work. Gomez and Samberg are equally good and there's terrific comic support from Steve Buscemi (as Wayne the Wolf Man), David Spade (as Griffin, the Invisible Man) and Kevin James as Frankenstein.

The animation is lively and fast-paced throughout and the witty script ensures you're only ever seconds away from a hilarious verbal or visual gag; it also delivers a decent message without resorting to sickly sentimentality. In addition, the 3D is used effectively and there are some wonderful throwaway moments that play with the rich history of monster movies; indeed, the monster-spotting potential for the eventual DVD release is huge, as there's so much going on in every frame.

The Bad
The only thing that lets the film down is an ill-advised climactic rap number at the end that seems out of place with the rest of the film, which, an amusing Twilight dig aside, is pleasantly old-fashioned, as befits the classic monster movies. Basically, nobody needs to see Dracula rapping and you're better off leaving as soon as he takes the stage.

Worth seeing?
Hotel Transylvania is an inventively animated, frequently hilarious monster comedy that should appeal to both adults and children alike thanks to a witty script, lively direction and terrific performances from a strong comic cast.

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Hotel Transylvania (U)
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Content updated: 15/10/2012 11:04

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