The Harbinger Online

“Hotel Transylvania” more than another animated monster film

“Hotel Transylvania” is the quirkiest of the recent slew of animated monster movies this year.

It centers around Count Dracula (Adam Sandler), who builds a hotel as a sanctuary for monsters who are persecuted by humans. The events of the movie follow his teenage daughter Mavis’ (Selena Gomez) 118th birthday. All Mavis wants is to go out into the world, but “Drac” is terrified to let her leave, as her mother was killed by humans in a fire when Mavis was born.

His plans to dissuade her from leaving go awry when a human (Andy Samberg) manages to find his way to the hotel, and Drac must do everything to not let his daughter fall for him or let the other monsters know that a human has penetrated the hotel’s defenses.

The storyline is basic–a dad is having a hard time watching his daughter grow up. But through serious circumstances learns that he can’t lie to her and has to let her go.

Yet “Hotel Transylvania” still manages to be a cute, thoughtful movie despite its obvious ending. The younger kids sitting next to me ate up the slapstick humor that Sandler films inevitably provide, while the older couples laughed along with me at the deeper jokes focusing on monster lore and myth.

I was a bit skeptical when I first saw the cast list for this film. Recent collaborations between “Saturday Night Live” alum like David Spade, Sandler, Jon Lovitz and Robert Smigel have failed to live up to their past hits. There is no comparison between a classic like “Happy Gilmore” and a flop like their recent project “Grown Ups.” However, “Hotel Transylvania” managed to pull through and provide a cheeky and delightful 91 minutes.

I was pleasantly surprised, and grateful, that the film didn’t rely heavily on star-power for good reviews. It wasn’t an oscar-worthy film, but it was perfect for bringing out the nostalgia for cute kids films that I hadn’t felt since watching “Up.”

3/5 stars

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