Movie Review: Hotel Transylvania 2
Hotel Transylvania 2 is directed by Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Powerpuff Girls) and is the sequel to the surprise hit, Hotel Transylvania, starring Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, and practically every buddy Sandler has. The first one really surprised me, so I had some what high hopes for this, and I can say with confidence that this sequel is definitely another fun romp through this magical world of monsters mingling with humans.
After learning that humans are not scared of monsters anymore from the first movie, Drac has opened up his hotel to humans, as well as monsters. Mavis and Johnathan are doing well. They are married and had a child. Drac feels proud to be a Vampa, as he so likes to call it, and can’t wait for the little guy to grow up into a vampire and carrier on the lineage of Dracula! Or does he? The main theme in this film is acceptance, and that Drac’s pride and joy of a grandson may in fact be human. While he has accepted humans into his world, Drac may not be too thrilled to have a human as a grandson. So with Mavis and Johnathan out of the way, he and his monster squad (Frankentein, Wayne, Murray, and Griffin, and Blobby too) try to train the kid to be a real monster. Unfortunately for them, like what they learned in the last movie, modern day monsters may just be too different than how they grew up to be.
I thought the story was really nice and sweet. It’s not overly different, but the characters are so much fun to watch that you don’t mind. Right from the beginning the film as you hooked as you get to see the wedding, and all the fun stuff that puts a smile on any child or adult. The film wasn’t too kiddie, and it’s definitely open enough that all ages will enjoy it. Most of the jokes hit home and are truly funny, while at other times some jokes get a little tiring, particularly in the second act. The only problem, and it’s more like a nitpick than a problem, is that I don’t think the third act was entirely necessary. Vlad, Drac’s dad, finally pops up at the end of the film, played by Mel Brooks. His short arc is basically what every other character learned in the first film, so it felt sort of rushed, and not necessarily an aspect of the film that needed to be include. But it did give us a cool action scene with slo-mo and bat punches.
It’s taken me a long time to finally appreciate computer-generated animation, and while I still adore and love traditional animation, (And think that it’s the only true way to animate) I have to admit that this film was animated very well. There was a lot of focus put on characters, backgrounds, and lesser characters. Everything felt like its own unique thing. The shadows were very well-used, and everything was consistent. If I never saw Inside Out, or the trailer to the Good Dinosaur with it’s photo-realistic foliage, then I’d say that Hotel Transylvania has some of the best animation out there. And if you want to know more about good animation and bad, just compare this film’s trailer to Norm of the North’s trailer, and you’ll instantly see the vast superiority that HT2 has.
This film was a blast to watch, and I’m sure it was a blast to make. Every voice sounded like it had a lot of energy put into it. You can definitely tell that the actors had a great time recording their lines, and the dialogue in the film is really good as well. The only thing I can really knock on this film about is that Drac’s foray into trying to teach his grandson to be a monster ran a little longer than I’d like, and the third act could have been handled better. And the fact that they like to use modern hits in their soundtrack. But ultimately this is a great film for the whole family to enjoy.