Rated: PG

Distributed By:

Columbia Pictures

Directed by:

Genndy Tartakovsky


Voices of Adam Sandler as Dracula; Selena Gomez as Mavis; Andy Samberg as Jonathan; Kevin James as Frankenstein; Steve Buscemi as Wayne the Werewolf

Adapted From:

Plugged In Online

Hotel Transylvania

If people chased you with torches and pitchforks every time they saw you, wouldn’t you want someplace to hide? Welcome to Hotel Transylvania, a monsters-only resort where zombies, werewolves and other “scary” creatures can just relax.

Count Dracula owns the spooky sanctuary. He saw it as the perfect place to raise his daughter, Mavis, after his wife died at the hands of humans. But as Mavis approaches her 118th birthday, she wants to see the world for herself.

Dracula is terrified. And things only get worse when a human accidentally stumbles into the hotel lobby. What if the guests see him? What if Mavis sees him? It’s enough to cause a Frankenstein freak-out!

Hotel Transylvania is pretty crowded. Just about every movie monster makes an appearance in this film. While the monsters are more silly than scary (think Monsters Inc. meets a Halloween party), some families might feel uncomfortable with the suggestion that dark, mystical creatures are generally harmless.

Most of the violence is intended to be funny. Characters fall through a roof and smash into flying tables. Frankenstein loses body parts—that then move on their own. Dracula roars with frustration, but he makes it clear he would never hurt the boy. “It would set monsters back hundreds of years,” he explains.

The animators make jokes about monsters not wearing clothes. We see a skeleton shower and the Invisible Man loses his swim trunks. The abominable snowman’s bathroom behavior is, well, abominable. Several other crude toilet jokes sneak in. Mavis and Johnny kiss.

At one point, Dracula stages an elaborate lie to convince Mavis that the outside world is too dangerous. Eventually he apologizes and makes sacrificial choices to regain her trust.

At its heart, Hotel Transylvania is about a dad who loves his daughter. Dracula definitely goes overboard trying to keep Mavis safe, but ultimately love conquers fear and the Count realizes that his daughter knows how to make good choices. (After all, she had a great teacher.)

If only the filmmakers had made more good choices. Unfortunately, the movie relies a bit too heavily on monster gas attacks and wreck-the-furniture gags. You might enjoy one night at Hotel Transylvania, but a weeklong vacation would leave you howling at the moon.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com