Sommerleigh Pollonais, Senior Writer
Plot: When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention the “Mosterfication Ray” goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans while Johnny turns into a monster. It’s a race against time to find a rare crystal that can restore them to their natural states before their transformation becomes permanent.
Review: If you had told me that Hotel Transylvania would not only have sequels, but FUN sequels that actually manage to be equally as funny as the first movie, I would’ve probably laughed my head off while pointing and telling everyone around me how stupid you were. Three sequels later and I would’ve been the stupid one because I genuinely enjoy these movies created by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky, (the latter being the genius behind Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and Star Wars: Clone Wars) and produced by Sony Animation.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania was released by Amazon Studios this time around and nearly all of the voice actors return to their monstrous roles with Andy Samberg and Selena Gomez leading the pack as Johnny and Mavis respectively, and Brian Hull taking over from Adam Sandler as Count “Drac” Dracula.
The animation continues to evoke Tartakovsky’s style (something fans of his hand-drawn work can relate to) and the vibrant colours and crazy designs added to the frenzied directing by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska brings a lot of energy to the screen. If I have any complaints when it came to this is there were times when I wanted things to slow down a bit, or maybe an action sequence felt like it went a bit too long. But for the most part, it all gelled together nicely.
The story I felt was a natural and somewhat predictable next step. We’ve had three movies prior so it makes sense the next one would want to “flip the script” and make the monsters human. In this case Dracula is the one we spend the most time with and Hull still manages to make the character equally funny and sweet. Samberg as Johnny also got to do something more than just be the goofball of the family as his monstrous “evolution” is directly linked to his relationship with his vamp father-in-law.
The biggest letdown would be we didn’t get to spend much time seeing how the “switch” affected the other monsters. When I saw the trailer I thought this was going to be focused on Dracula AND his friends dealing with being human again. Sadly they don’t get much screen time other than a few throwaway moments, which was a shame because for those going into this expecting group shenanigans they’re going to come away very disappointed.
The main theme explored here is about seeing things from a different perspective. We all tend to think our way is the best way and it’s not always easy passing on something you created or built from the ground up. The HT movies have all had different themes and while they aren’t Toy Story levels of deep emotions (except the first film, THAT one hit me in the feels) they still managed to bring the emotions and the laughs here, especially the laughs. Maybe I’m just a big kid but I found myself laughing out loud a good many times, and to the movie’s credit I was never bored.
So while Transformania isn’t better than the first Hotel Transylvania movie, I would say it’s equal to the sequels that came before. If you’re like me and you’ve enjoyed this crazy and sometimes heartwarming ride so far, I don’t see any reason you shouldn’t check this one out.
Sommer’s Score: 6.5 out of 10
Sommerleigh of the House Pollonais. First of Her Name. Sushi Lover, Queen of Horror Movies, Comic Books and Binge Watching Netflix. Mother of two beautiful black cats named Vader and Kylo. I think eating Popcorn at the movies should be mandatory, PS4 makes the best games ever, and I’ll be talking about movies until the zombie apocalypse comes.
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