A goofily-premised German animation with a recognisable voice cast but not much by way of wit or spark.
Dracula answers the phone and it’s a wrong number. But he falls for the woman on the end of the line, Emma, and gets a witch to turn her into a vampire so he can romance her. But she’s got a husband and family, who also get turned into monsters. They try to get back to their own bodies while Emma fends off an amorous Dracula, taking them to the UK and beyond.
Erm, what? It’s a weird concept alright, but the ‘Happy Family’ books are hugely popular in Germany, hence this animated version. The filmmakers took the curious decision to film this in the English language, with English actors Jason Isaacs as Dracula and Emily Watson as Emma. Both do sterling work, but it’s confusing to hear this English-accented family getting very excited about flying to England from whatever unnamed country we first see them living in.
The plot feels a bit scattered, and the gender messaging is contradictory: while it’s terrific to see a mother cast as an action heroine, there’s no comeback for a teenage male character who treats girls abominably.
On the plus side, the animation is perfectly good, there are amusing moments and bursts of fun action. So while it’s hardly a non-stop party, there’s something here for the little monsters in your family.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Catharina Junk, David Safier|