A Hallowe’en movie for kids too young for the zombies of ParaNorman or the reanimated pet of Frankenweenie, Hotel Transylvania is an animated adventure featuring cute and cuddly versions of some of horror’s best known characters: Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Mummy and the Invisible Man among them.
Terrified of humans (after all, they do tend to come armed with stakes and pitchforks), Dracula (Sandler) decides to build a hidden castle for himself and his daughter Mavis and turn it into a holiday retreat for all the monsters who lurk in the shadows. When Mavis reaches her 118th birthday and says that she wants to leave and see the world, worried Drac wants to stop her, but things get more complicated when a backpacking human named Jonathan (Samberg) stumbles upon the hotel and falls for Mavis. What is a vampire dad to do?
Slickly animated and nicely voiced by a cast that also includes CeeLo Green, Fran Drescher and Jon Lovitz, this does have some terrific gags but is slightly bogged down by the over-protective dad plot that we’ve all seen before. Kids however, will love Murray the mummy, Frankenstein and Wayne the werewolf and his cheeky pups, and will squeal (with delight) at a terrific sequence involving a chase across levitating dinner tables. Fun stuff.
Is Hotel Transylvania suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger viewers (under 7) may be scared by the first scene when Dracula arrives in a bedroom, and also the few moments when he loses his temper with Mavis and we get a close-up of his red-eyed scary face.
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