27 October 2012 | TheLittleSongbird
Count me among those who thought the movie was surprisingly good
After reading reviews that either disliked or were indifferent to Hotel Transylvania and being dubious because Adam Sandler(who has been in a lot of really bad movies recently) was in the lead role, I was unsure of whether to see the film. But my love for animation and the appetising trailer over-rode my doubts and I saw it anyway. And you know what, while The Pirates and ParaNorman were better animated movies from this year in my opinion I found Hotel Transylvania much better than expected. More could have been done with the relationship between Jonathan and Mavis, it is a romantic angle that has been used many times before and as well as feeling somewhat under-baked very little new was done with it. While a vast majority of the film is fast-paced with no real dull spots, some parts of the film did feel rushed. On the other point of view, the animation is excellent, the backgrounds are both beautiful and Gothic and that is the same with the colours. The characters are well-modelled. The soundtrack is catchy and upbeat, though some of the songs could have been more than just snippets. The writing is zany and often witty with a surprising amount of heart also.
The story is predictable, but not dull. It has a number of great moments, the genre references are not as inspired as they were in ParaNorman but they are fun to spot, and I loved a lot of the slapstick-in-style gags. Especially the zombie Beethoven, the scream cheese Hors-D'Oeuvres, the shrunken heads do not disturb tags and the digs at Twilight(much more fulfilling than any of the movies combined). But it does have a lot of heart. Is the over-protective father idea clichéd? Of course. But I did find it genuinely touching instead of overly-exaggerated as I have seen described. Dracula's past is also shown in a darkly emotional way. The characters are not the most memorable I have ever seen, but they do have their likability, my favourite here was Dracula. And the voice acting was surprisingly great, to me from a non-fan who has liked him in some movies(Punch Drunk Love, Reign Over Me, Spanglish and Happy Gilmore) and hated him in others(Jack and Jill, Going Overboard, Zookeeper and Mr Deeds) Adam Sandler gives one of his better performances of late in the role of Dracula, he is actually funny as well as emotive in alternative to irritating. Selena Gomez is endearing as daughter Mavis and Adam Samberg brings some heroism to Jonathan. Kevin James, David Spade, Jon Lovitz, Fran Drescher and especially Steve Buscemi give solid support. In conclusion, surprisingly good. 8/10 Bethany Cox