Hotel Transylvania (PG)

Film

Kid-friendly films

Meet the ghoulish guests of Hotel Translyvania

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

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Time Out says

Mon Sep 24 2012

After seeing dozens of different permutations of Count Dracula over the years, you’d assume you knew everything about the aristocratic bloodsucker. Here’s one thing you didn’t know: This prince of darkness is quite the hospitality-industry bigwig. Genndy Tartakovsky’s toon comedy turns the world’s best-known non–Robert-Pattinson vampire (Adam Sandler) into a successful hotelier who runs a resort for the monstrosity crowd that’s free of angry, pitchfork-wielding mobs. Drac is also an overprotective helicopter parent, refusing to let his 118-year-old daughter (Selena Gomez) out of the castle, or his sight. Then a handsome human backpacker (Andy Samberg) accidentally finds his way to this haven for the horrifying, and all hell breaks loose.

There's an impressive pedigree here: Tartakovsky was responsible for the amazing Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory series; several Saturday Night Live veterans, including ace-in-the-hole writer Robert Smigel, lend their talents; Sony Animation has been making a name for itself with smart, savvy features like 2009’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; and the durable Universal Horror stable—the fire-hating Frankenstein’s monster, the howlin’ Wolfman, the original Egyptian Lover, a.k.a. the Mummy—is diligently ransacked for laughs. (Why no one had previously milked the humorous potential regarding the flatulence of a creature made of stitched-together corpses is a mystery.)

So why does this animated kids’ film fail to come together? Bursts of manic pacing steamroll over most of the wit, a little of Sandler’s thick-accent shtick goes a looong way, and by the time the requisite life lessons about letting your offspring leave the nest get rolled out, the undead-on-arrival jokes are outnumbered by anemic sitcom gags. Tweens might appreciate the sugar-rush ghoulishness; Famous Monsters of Filmland fans and discerning kids-flick viewers may find themselves reaching for torches.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

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Release details

Rated:

PG

US release:

Fri Sep 28, 2012

Duration:

95 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Genndy Tartakovsky

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5