Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation

The Summer holidays have begun. The sun is/was shining, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, and people are wearing colourful shirts.  However, even the monsters under your bed need a vacation. But what sort of holiday would they have? Now is the time to find out as your little monsters take time off school. This is Genndy Tartakovsky’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation.

Mavis (Selena Gomez) and Dracula (Adam Sandler) enjoy first-class travel on Gremlin Airways

Dracula is lonely and unhappy. To cheer him up, his daughter Mavis books a family vacation on a cruise. There he meets and falls in love with Ericka, the ship’s captain. Unfortunately, she is a Van Helsing and has sworn to destroy all monsters forever.

I have an odd relationship with The Hotel Transylvania series. The film’s star Adam Sandler and the rest of the Happy Gillmore crowd. It comes from Sony Animations, the studio that brought us The Emoji Movie. From these two facts, I would have assumed that I would hate it with every fibre of my being. However, thanks to a unique spin on Universal movie monsters and stylish animation these films have become guilty pleasures of mine.

Ericka van Helsing has some plans to destroy the happy families

Now with the third Hotel Transylvania, we have more creative world building; we explore Atlantis, the Bermuda Triangle and a Gremlin Airline. Genndy Tartakovsky, the film’s director, injects original set pieces and a great sense of humour into the film. He uses the frame in such unique ways. Tartakovsky blends 2d and 3d planes to create some of the most entertaining animated scenes you will see all year.  It is mesmerising watching the way these characters move. The animators never resorting to stock poses; it is a remarkable feat of expressive animation.

The figures can bend and stretch beyond the model which makes them more expressive

Overall, however, these elements do not add up to anything that interesting. Hotel Transylvania 3’s plot is incredibly predictable; you know the outcome almost instantly if you have seen any other movie. Furthermore, It feels like there are chunks of the plot cut clumsily out of the film. Some characters, like Mavis, make leaps in their assumptions that are never really explained. Despite these issues from moment to moment it is some of the funniest scenes in a kids’ movie this summer, thanks to the visual flair and some comedic genius.

Parenting be like…

Similarly, the excellent voice cast perfectly inhabit the role. Unfortunately, that does include Sandler as Dracula. But it also includes his regulars like David Spade as the Invisible Man and Kevin James as Frankenstein’s Monster. Moreover, Hotel Transylvania 3 has deadpan delivery of Chris Parnell as an army of fishermen waiters. Not to mention the odd one-off characters like Tinkles, the giant dog, and Bob. A highlight was a sequence where Wayne and Wanda drop their pups off at the daycare centre. Not to mention the quick visual asides with interestingly designed monsters, that are either modelled after familiar favourites or entirely new inventions.

Damn it Drac, where do I get a shirt like that!

Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation is not going to be an animated classic. Despite this, you will have fun with Hotel Transylvania 3. It has an important message that doesn’t feel like your teeth would fall out due to the sheer amount of sugary sweetness. More than that, this film explores characters you want to be with. They are all incredibly relatable and engaging, even if one of them happens to be voiced by Adam Sandler.

You can watch Hotel Transylvania 3: Monster Vacation in cinemas now



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