When monsters want to get away from it all, they go to Count Dracula’s (voice of Adam Sandler) Hotel Transylvania, a lavish resort where they can be themselves without humans around to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula invites creatures like the Invisible Man, the Mummy, and others to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter, Mavis (voice of Selena Gomez). However, an unforeseen complication unfolds when an ordinary human unwittingly crashes the party and falls in love with Mavis.
Back in 2012, I always had the television on and watched tons of cartoons before heading off to school for the day. I used to watch the Teletoon network in particular and I always had a blast seeing what some of my favorite animated friends would be getting up to on that particular day. On this network were some commercials for hot new toys, upcoming television programs, and promotional spots for family-friendly movies.
One day, in particular, I saw an advertisement for Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania and it instantly became the most anticipated movie for my twelve-year-old self. I thought it looked absolutely hilarious and had funny characters that I couldn’t wait to get to see more of on the big screen.
After a while, the film finally released in theatres and I went with my best friend to go see it and we both thought it was amazing. We both had smiles on our faces and were laughing our heads off the entire time, making it a fond memory of my childhood.
But, as you probably know, sometimes when you rewatch a movie that you adored when you were a child as a grown-up, it doesn’t hold up as well. That’s one of the reasons why I was a little bit nervous revisiting Hotel Transylvania today. I haven’t seen it since it was released in theatres eight years ago, and so I was incredibly curious to see if it was still just as funny and excellent as I remember.
Much to my surprise, Hotel Transylvania does hold up and is still decently funny although it is nowhere near as terrific as it was when I was twelve. Of course, your sense of humor changes and adapts as you get older, so jokes that you found to be hysterical when you were a kid, may not be so funny anymore.
A lot of the humor in this movie works fairly well, but there were some scenes that were just plain boring and stale. For instance, there are way too many musical numbers in the film that not only feel extremely outdated and out of place, but they border on being cringe-worthy. In certain scenes, you can tell that this is a 2012 film and it’s not always a good thing.
Gratefully though, the film’s massive heart is still intact all these years later. This is genuinely one of the sweetest and most heartfelt animated movies of the early 2010s. Although its story is incredibly thin and doesn’t have a lot of room, it certainly isn’t so thin that it’s boring or weak. It has some true moments of heart and sincerity that both grown-ups and children can appreciate.
Not to mention the animation style here is truly stunning and doesn’t have a single weak spot anywhere throughout. It’s amazing to think about how gorgeous this film from 2012 really is because technology has advanced so much now, yet Hotel Transylvania looks better than quite a few mainstream animated movies in recent years.
Shockingly, Hotel Transylvania holds up remarkably well all these years later after my initial viewing. It definitely isn’t as strong thematically and emotionally as almost every Pixar movie, but not every animated movie needs to be like a Pixar movie. Sometimes, you just want to sit back and watch something that is goofy and sweet, and Hotel Transylvania is exactly that.
Overall Grade: B
MPAA Rating: PG for some rude humor, action, and scary images
Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: September 28, 2012
Running Time: 91 minutes