Just four months after Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg co-starred as father and son in the movie “That’s My Boy,” the duo is working together again in director Genndy Tartakovsky’s animated film, “Hotel Transylvania.”
The film follows Count Dracula (Sandler), an overprotective vampire who attempts to throw the best 118th birthday party ever for his daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez). While Mavis wants to travel and see the world, Dracula wants to keep her safe from sunlight and even worse, humans. However, when Jonathan (Samberg), a human traveler, stumbles upon Dracula’s mansion, Hotel Transylvania, and falls in love with Mavis, the monsters living there learn that maybe humans aren’t that frightening after all.
The premise of “Hotel Transylvania” is delightfully funny, featuring Sandler and his goofy, over-the-top, ‘Count Dracula’ accent. Not only does the film feature Sandler’s silliness, but the film also pokes fun at monsters and the “Twilight” franchise. In one scene, when Jonathan is watching a scene with Edward and Bella from “Twilight,” Dracula comments, “I can’t believe this is how we’re represented.”
“Hotel Transylvania” also makes use of the cast’s many talents. Samberg, known for his digital shorts on “Saturday Night Live” and for being of the three members of the musical group The Lonely Island, showcases his rapping talent in the movie, while Gomez and Sandler sing. Although Samberg’s lines aren’t as memorable as The Lonely Island’s “I’m On A Boat” lyrics, Samberg does get to rap about “Nala and Simba in the Lion King.”
The touching scenes between Sandler and Samberg’s characters also add heart to the film. Dracula saves Jonathan’s life on more than one occasion, though he repeatedly says he doesn’t want Jonathan to have anything to do with his daughter. In another scene, Dracula risks flying in the sun in order to fetch Jonathan.
The film also features Frankenstein (Kevin James), who is afraid of fire. Griffin (David Spade), also known as the invisible man, has red hair. Werewolves Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) have more than a dozen kids who love to play pranks. These quirks humanize the monsters and make them fun to watch. Though this is a movie about monsters, these comical elements make the movie less scary, more ridiculous and a real treat.
“Hotel Transylvania” was written by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky.
To see this review in The Ithacan, click here.