BY THOMAS WOOD
In late September of 2012, Sony Pictures Animation debuted an animated cinematic universe dubbed Hotel Transylvania. Critics reviewed it poorly, believing the initial movie would be a flop. However, Hotel Transylvania ended up racking in almost six times its budget at the box office. The fans loved it, and it was clear that the stage was set for a set of sequel films. Let’s take a dive into the first Hotel Transylvania movie to see what all the hype was about.
Set in a remote part of Transylvania, our story follows Maven, the daughter of Dracula. The titular hotel was founded by him as a place for monsters to take refuge from humans. However, when a spaced-out human named Jonathan stumbles into the hotel on Maven’s 118th birthday, Maven falls for him, and Dracula has to find a way to split them up to preserve the hotel’s reputation.
First off, the casting in the movie is truly something else. It stars a cast of fame too long to list, but some outstanding names are Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and Steve Buscemi. Although it is a bit jarring for most characters to have a giant commercial name attached to them, all of the voice actors do amazing jobs, and each of their voices matches the character they’re assigned to. An especially strange choice in my opinion was having Adam Sandler voice Count Dracula himself, but he pulls it off and makes Dracula a very funny character. All the voice acting is exemplary.
The animation is pretty good too. You can tell the animators went all out in making this world contrast with itself, which is a nice touch. The dark and dreary visuals of the hotel contrast with colorful character design, and the way the characters move is so bubbly and exciting that you almost forget they’re monsters. I think what I’m trying to say is that the animation makes the monsters feel more human, which is ironically a perfect direction to take it in.
All in all, Hotel Transylvania deserves the sequels it got. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but to say that it’s anything but solid would be far from the truth. It’s a nice, family-friendly movie that even adults can enjoy, which broadens its demographic significantly.
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