Customer Reviews: Hotel Transylvania (Blu-ray 3D / Blu-ray / DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)
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on October 2, 2012
Hotel Transylvania, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky from a screenplay by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel, is an animated comedy/horror-spoof, mostly for the kids but fast-paced enough and with enough humor to keep everyone entertained for an hour and a half. It's not as smartly written as 2010's Megamind or as sophisticated and dazzling as 2011's Rango, but it is fun to watch and satisfying in a popcorn-movie kind of way. Adult fans of old horror films will like spotting some of the more obscure monsters (Brain From Planet Arous anyone?) and picking up on some references that will sail over the head of younger viewers.

The plot begins in 1895 where we find a very paternal Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) looking after his infant daughter not long after the death of his wife. Determined to keep her safe from "the humans", Dracula comes up with an idea - to create a sanctuary, a place where monsters of all kinds can come to relax and be themselves without having to constantly worry about humanity coming after them with torches and pitchforks. He directs his servants to convert an old medieval castle hidden deep in the remotest part of Transylvania into a resort/retreat for monsters from all over the world, and voila! - the Hotel Transylvania is born. The hotel is staffed, appropriately, by zombie bellhops, haunted suits of armor, housekeeping witches and talking shrunken heads, with a kitchen overseen by an obsessed lunatic chef Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz) and his pet rat Esmeralda.

Of course the years seem to fly by for a parent, even an immortal one, and before Dracula knows it suddenly it's 2012 and the day of Mavis's 118th birthday (that's 18 in human-growth years). The castle is filled with guests, many of them old friends of the family who've come especially for the occasion, including a very domestic Frankenstein (Kevin James) and his high-bouffant wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), a life-of-the-party mummy named Murray (CeeLo Green), a very frazzled werewolf named Wayne (Steve Buscemi in superb form), his highly-pregnant wife Wanda (Molly Shannon) and their pack of snarling hyper-active wolf kids, and Griffin, the Invisible Man (David Spade) who can't understand why he sucks at playing charades.

But this is also a day Dracula has dreaded as he promised Mavis (Selena Gomez) that on the day she turned 118, she had his permission to go out into the world. Compelled to keep his word but unable to face the prospect of Mavis going off into what he feels is a world too dangerous for her, he concocts a scheme to scare her into wanting to stay at the castle. Which works, somewhat to his surprise. But his scheme turns out to have unintended consequences and before Dracula has time to feel relieved, the unthinkable happens - a _human_ suddenly appears at the hotel, a young backpacker named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) who "heard about this cool old castle" and wanted to check it out. Panicking, and fearing for the reputation of his hotel if it were found out that a human was on the premises, Dracula quickly disguises Jonathan as "Johnny-stein", a supposed cousin of Frankenstein (actually just a cousin of Frankenstein's right hand, as it were). But before Dracula can get Jonathan out of the castle and out of his hair, Mavis and Jonathan meet and "zing!" it's love at first sight. The rest of the plot is rather predictable - over-protective father wants to keep boy away from his daughter, but daughter and boy keep seeing each other - but the pacing is kept fast enough and the humor abundant enough that it keeps things fresh and funny all the way through. Particularly in scenes where Johnny's fun-loving nature livens things up by inadvertently starting a horses-and-riders pool fight, introducing some new music over the grumbling protests of zombie-Beethoven, zombie-Mozart & zombie-Bach, and engages Dracula in a floating-table race, causing the stiff and stuffy Count to unexpectedly rediscover what fun is.

The animation, while not ground-breaking, is well done, with a lot of attention to detail which gives the film a level of texture you wouldn't ordinarily expect in a light comedy. For example, at one point Mavis leads Johnny into a cave, the entrance to which some horror aficionados will recognize is shaped like the face of the Phantom of the Opera. While Genndy Tartakovsky is well known for his work producing several successful TV animated series (Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, The Grimm Adventures of Billy & Mandy, The Powerpuff Girls and Star Wars: The Clone Wars), Hotel Transylvania is his first feature film. Fans of Tartakovsky 's TV work might be expecting something more in the distinctive style he used in those shows, but I don't think they'll be disappointed with his choice to be more traditional here. The production design was done by Marcelo Vignali, who worked on several Disney films including Mulan and Lilo & Stich as well as Cloudy With Chance Of Meatballs, and the art direction was done by Ron Lukas and Noelle Triaureau, both of whom also worked with Vignali on 2007's Surf's Up.

The voice cast is excellent. Adam Sandler, whom I don't usually care for as a rule, is actually quite good as the over-protective fatherly Dracula. Andy Samberg brings out Johnny's guileless but ever-upbeat goofiness in a very winning way, while Selena Gomez brings the perfect touch as Mavis, the teenage vampire cutie who loves her dad and all his old weird friends but just wants to get out there and see the world she's only heard stories about. Kevin James does an affable Frankenstein, and Fran Drescher is perfect as his loud and brassy Franken-wife, Eunice. CeeLo Green's Murray is the liveliest and hippest mummy you've ever heard. As always though, it's Steve Buscemi who gets the best lines (or who makes his lines the best ones by his inimitably wry delivery) as the much put-upon buttoned-down-shirt-and-tie-wearing werewolf Wayne. One of my favorite scenes is where Dracula, Frank and Wayne are trying to track down Johnny. Dracula wants Wayne to follow his scent, and Wayne can only sigh wearily and ask "Do you have _any_ idea what years of changing poopy diapers have done to this nose?"

Recommended as a fun enjoyable film for everyone and in particular for classic horror-film fans.
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on February 23, 2013
I don't know what it was about this movie that my girls, ages 11 and 15, thought they wouldn't like but once we were five minutes into it, they were hooked. I know my oldest related to the young (at age 118) daughter vampire who felt overly restricted. The father (Dracula) was expertly animated, and the whole script had us laughing from beginning to end.

Highly recommended, even if it's not Halloween!
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on November 1, 2014
This was my first time renting a movie on Amazon, and the choice was a good one. My 11 yr old and I enjoyed it very much. It's funny and has a lot of recognizable monsters. We especially enjoyed the werewolf family - they were hilarious. The story is a kid growing up and parent not wanting to let go theme, plus star crossed lovers situation added. The price of this rental was very low and it was a fun way to spend some family time together.

There is a sad part to the plot revealed toward the end, and it's heavy stuff that would probably be very upsetting for a small child. As with most of the Disney movies, this movie has a one parent situation, but it's how the other parent died that is really awful, so I wouldn't suggest this for little ones at all. I'm more conservative than a lot of parents I know, however, so maybe I am overestimating the age group it's right for.

There's some bathroom type humor, which is almost always found in kids' movies; I could really do without it, but I am considered uptight about that by everybody else in our family. I just find that sort of thing more gross than funny. There was a bit of risque innuendo humor that could have been left out, but nothing too obnoxious. The things that some might find objectionable are the same types of things found in most kids' movies anymore. This one certainly doesn't have as much as a lot of other movies I've seen that are meant for the same audience.
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on February 22, 2013
Went to see this movie at the theatres with my family we kept saying afterward how much we enjoyed it. Normally I wont see this type movie but am glad I did. Adam Sandler and the rest of the cast did a great job with voice-overs and the funny scenes. Highly recommend this movie for a family night.
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on February 23, 2013
Adam Sandler is ALWAYS funny and this movie is no exception. Its a little slow getting started but once the characters are established the movie is great fun and the kids enjoyed it, the bigger ones as wel as the younger ones.
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on November 1, 2015
Wow Mavis looks so adorable! The toy feels so soft. Watching the movie on blu-ray is crisp and beautiful and DVD is nice to have too. I am very happy with my purchase.
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on February 24, 2013
Hotel Transylvania was a really great movie I enjoyed the different point of views that it had and also the way it showed not to be scared of someone because they're different I would not hesitate to buy this movie
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on October 1, 2012
Hotel Transylvania was a really good cartoon movie. The movie is about a young vampire girl Mavis (Selena Gomez) who wants to go out and explore the world. Her over protective father Dracula (Adam Sandler) does not want his young daughter to go out and mingle with humans. He beleives that humans do not like vampires and will try to hurt her but he did tell her that when she turned 118, she could go. The movie centers around Mavis's 118th birthday and her party. All of her monster friends and relatives come to celebrate and they have an unexpected guest.....a human. Mavis falls for the human and the rest as they say, is history. The movie was cute and age appropriate. I took my 5 year old to see this and did not cringe once. She laughed her little head off. I would see it again anytime. I hope you find your Zing!
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on January 28, 2014
This DVD is awesome. Love the plot, detail to characters, and the humor just made it a keeper. #1 in my book of fun!!
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on January 9, 2014
This movie is pretty cool... It is so funny and entertaining! the storyline was great. The voice acting was good and HILARIOUS! I really liked this movie, my 4 year old really liked this movie. Hotel Transylvania is a must see.. and unlike a LOT of other movies out there... this one is a MUST OWN! You're going to want to watch it more than once. Oh, your kids will too.
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