Sunday, September 30, 2012

Hotel Transylvania [2012]

MPAA (PG)  CNS/USCCB (A-II)  Fr. Dennis (3 1/2 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB listing

Hotel Transylvania (directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, screenplay by Peter Bayhman and Robert Smigel, story by Todd Durham and Dan and Kevin Hageman) is an animated parable about exclusion, reconciliation and ... finding a way to positively/happily move on.

Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) a vampire, having lost his wife to a mob of angry villagers terrified of him, retreats to the woods with his and his wife's infant daughter Mavis into the words where he uses his fortune (he is a count after all) to build a retreat called "Hotel Transylvania" intended _exlusively_ for "monsters" who could go there and "to be themselves."  The hotel becomes  very popular place for the "excluded" -- Frankenstein (voiced by Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (voiced by Fran Deschner), Wayne and Wanda Werewolf (voiced by Steven Buscemi and Molly Shannon) and their brood werewolf cubs (they are "animals" after all ...), Griffin the Invisible Man (voiced by David Spade) and assorted zombies (often working as "staff" ... :-).  But it _also_ becomes a very isolated and lonely place for Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) as she approaches her "teenage" 118th birthday ;-).

What to do?  Dracula tries to protect his daughter as best he can from the evil threat of bigoted humans who he believes hate them.  But one day, a bumbling "Euro-traveling" human named Jonathan (voiced by Andy Samberg) finds the hotel and finds it kinda cool!  Wasn't he scared of the zombies protecting the perimeter?  Of course not, he found them quaint.  And worse, at 19-20 he's the same age in "human years" as Mavis.  Much ensues ... ;-).

Parents, this is a lovely story for pretty much everyone except possibly the smallest of children.  The monsters are scared of the humans and think that they are evil.  But it's been 100-200 years since the Gothic novels about Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolfman were written.  And today's humans kinda find them cool and kinda would want them to be part of their lives.  So what to do?  What to do? 

Honestly, it makes for a lovely, lovely and _hopeful_ children's story!

Finally, parents, like many recently released animated films, this film has been released in both 3D and 2D.  IMHO the 3D continues to _not_ be necessary to appreciate the story (I saw the film happily in 2D) though I would imagine that the 3D would probably be quite good as there are scenes in this animated picture that would appear to me would probably have looked really, really cool in 3D.  HOWEVER, I still continue to believe that 3D films are being made primarily to give the studios an excuse to charge an additional $3-4/ticket.  And I wish to tell parents here that the 2D version worked just fine ;-).

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