Your Stay at "Hotel Transylvania" Promises to Be Fluffy, Explosive, and Boring Review

Hotel Transylvania, starring Adam Sandler as Dracula, and Selena Gomez as his 118 year-old angsty daughter, is a wishy-washy movie that seems unsure whether it's about differences and tolerance or daughters growing up. The story begins how you would expect: Dracula (Sandler) is readying for his daughter Mavis' (Gomez) 118th birthday and he's invited everyone to his human-free hotel for a bit of celebration and safety. But, not long after everyone has arrived, a stumbling human enters (gasp!).

Chaos unfolds. Mavis slowly "zings" for Johnny the Human (Andy Samberg), and Dracula can't stand it.

It's safe to say no one expected this family comedy to amaze its audience with some profound lesson, but Hotel Transylvania seemed to achieve nothing worth mentioning. It felt like someone had tried to retell the story of The Little Mermaid while busy doing something else, like eating a really good burrito and only putting 35% of their attention to making the movie. Even with the pre-screening jam-packed with toddlers, children, and families alike, there just weren't very many laughs. This film may not have been aimed at my demographic, but I think I speak for the kids when I say the CGI and celebrities were not enough to hold the silly animation over.

In fact, If you've ever seen an eight-year-old try to bake a cake, you've already seen a fairly accurate representation of Hotel Transylvania. They just grab all of the candy they can find and cram it in a pan. Handfuls of gummy bears and Skittles tossed into a whole bunch of sugar and chocolate powder-- microwaved-- and absolutely suffocated with whipped cream.  And they always forget that a cake requires batter to keep it all together-- to help it to make sense. The cake may be colorful and goofy, but it's just not going to taste right going down.

Watching Hotel Transylvania, I was stunned by the fantastic CGI. Every character, and there were quite a lot of them, was done with a charming amount of detail. Visually, the environment and character design were immaculate and entertaining. The flying tables with their ghost-like tablecloths, and the sarcastic shrunken heads that hung from hotel room doorknobs were my favorite. 

There were a great entourage of comedians voicing the entire bit, SNL comedians, for the most part, and they created an overwhelming digital world with Frankenstein (Kevin James), a Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), the Mummy (Cee Lo Green), the Invisible Man (David Spade), and even Johnny the human (Andy Samberg). In the end, it's nothing more than too many Skittles shoved into a pile of very sugary chocolate powder and whipped cream.

It just makes your stomach hurt.

"Hotel Transylvania" opens September 28, 2012 and is rated PG. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Written by Peter Baynham, Robert Smigel. Starring Adam Sandler, Andy Bichlbaum, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez.

Steven Wishnack • Staff Writer

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