Film: "Hotel Transylvania"; Voiceover: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Fran Drescher, Selena Gomez and David Spade; Director: Genndy Tartakovsky; Rating: **1/2
"Hotel Transylvania" as a 3D animated film is hardly ground-breaking, but with its kinetic sense of energy, it is a visual treat for the eyes both young and old. It is an endearing tale about an overprotective father and his intent on sheltering his beloved daughter.
Dracula built the massive Hotel Transylvania so that monsters could have a good vacation away from monster-hating vicious humans. Apparently, he had lost his wife to a dubious crowd when his daughter was small. This hotel is now the most sought after holiday destination for non-humans.
The film celebrates Dracula's daughter Mavis's coming-of-age, 118th birthday. The guest list reads like a who's who of Universal's classic movie monsters of every shape and size. Everyone from Frankenstein to Wayne the Wolfman to Griffin the Invisible Man - all have a warm bed waiting for them at the hotel to be followed by the grand celebrations. But Mavis wants to go out and see the world. She wants to see humans. The horrified and over-protective dad goes to absurd lengths to keep his daughter from doing this.
Things take a worrying turn when backpacker dude Jonathan strides into the hotel. Dracula tries his best to keep Jonathan away from his daughter. He finds his plan falling apart when Mavis develops a crush on the mortal newcomer while dreaming of life outside of the sprawling castle she's never left.
And once the festivities get underway, control freak dad Dracula loosens up while learning that being a good parent means knowing when to let go and the result is obvious.
With quirky character designs and carefully detailed sets, Tartakovsky and his team make the most of the animated format. They manage to capture the gigantic castle and the various creatures' casual moves very smoothly, which would have been difficult in a live-action film.
Also to add credence to the visuals, Tartakovsky has very ably managed to match the stellar voice cast with his characters. Adam Sandler as Dracula and Andy Samberg as Jonathan are charming. Also Kevin James as Frankenstein, Fran Drescher as Eunice, David Spade as the Invisible man, Selena Gomez as Mavis and Steve Buscemi as Wolfman are worth mentioning.
What keeps the film moving at a rapid pace is the good humour jokes and gags on familiar monster lore. Also, with a lot of obscene gags, the co-writers Smigel and Baynham have ensured they cater to the front-benchers.
Apart from this, the movie in its entirety is a feel-good, fun movie which is not scary enough. In fact, it is funny in the positive sense. In short, "Hotel Transylvania" is one mad monster party that's well-worth attending.