Sandwiched between the superior ParaNorman and Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania was going to have to do something special in order to stand out in the spooky animation stakes this year – but unfortunately it doesn’t. Despite a promising setup – Dracula’s monsters-only hotel is disrupted by a human traveller who takes a liking to his ‘teenage’ daughter – the over-protective parent thing has been done much better elsewhere (see Finding Nemo). Primarily concerned with ensuring that young viewers aren’t bored, it restlessly relies on juvenile humour, uninspiring musical numbers and wacky, Looney Tunes-type chases, leaving little room for adult material.
Okay, so there are a few nice moments (such as a great Twilight dig), but the way the monsters are handled is distractingly inconsistent. For example, if they’re scared of humans and don’t do monstery-type things (for example, the vampires don’t kill humans) – what makes them monsters? Still, Dracula himself is reasonably well realised (love the gliding walk and occasional scary-face close-ups), while Adam Sandler provides a fun Bela Lugosi-type accent. Andy Samberg’s slacker human is fairly irritating though, while the likes of Kevin James, David Spade and Steve Buscemi aren’t really given much to work with.