Movie Name: Hotel Transylvania 2
Studio: Sony Pictures Animation
Release Date(s): September 25, 2015
MPAA Rating: PG
Mavis and Johnny are now married and have their own child named Dennis. Dracula has big dreams for his grandson and hopes he grows-up to be a monster himself. When Dennis fails to develop his fangs, Dracula learns that Mavis wants to move him to America to have a “normal” life. With Johnny vacations in America with the hope of convincing her that they shouldn’t move, Dracula, Frankenstein, Griffin the Invisible Man, Murray the Mummy, Wayne the Werewolf, and Blobby the Blob secretly take Dennis on a trip to turn him into a real monster.
Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, Hotel Transylvania 2 is the follow-up to 2012’s Hotel Transylvania. The movie was released to strong showings at the box office and met with mixed to positive reviews.
I surprisingly rather enjoyed Hotel Transylvania. It wasn’t the best movie, but it also wasn’t a stinker like a lot of “off-brand” (aka non-Disney and non-Pixar) animated films. The movie still is a bit unbalanced, but it is also still fun.
I would say as a kid I’d really enjoy Hotel Transylvania. I didn’t feel it was loaded with jokes for parents (there are a few), but it is much better balanced than some animated films in that respect. The story itself doesn’t have a ton of substance past the basic plot (a mother trying to let go and a grandfather trying to shape his grandson). The jokes do develop from the two plots and it doesn’t drag that much…a monster fight at the end of the film seem a bit forced and an unconvincing way to force an ending, but kids will like the amped up action.
The cast remains quite strong. This (and the previous film) are some of Adam Sandler’s better work…probably because he can’t be Adam Sandler. Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez are good as the newlywed couple but it is Kevin James, Steve buscemi, David Spade, and Keegan-Michael Key as Drac’s friends that steal the show. Other voice actors include Mel Brooks, Dana Carey, Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman, Rob Riggle, Chris Katan, Jon Lovitz, Chris Parnell, and Sandler’s daughter Sadie as Dennis’ werewolf friend.
The movie also looks a lot better than some of DreamWorks’ animation. I like the character designs and they do a good job with the cinematography and framing…it feels like there is more work put into the film than some of the other animated films.
Hotel Transylvania 2 feels like more of Hotel Transylvania, but it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If you enjoyed the first film, you’ll like the sequel. It isn’t heavy, it isn’t necessarily aimed at adults first and kids second…it is a kid’s film that can be enjoyed by adults (a concept sometimes lost on animated “kids” films nowadays). The success of the film has already spawned a sequel. Hotel Transylvania 3 will be released in 2018.