Transformania ‘Review – The Hollywood Reporter

The end of a surprisingly successful series about a vampire hotelier and his crew of monstrous friends, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania allows most of its monstrous protagonists to have a brief and unrelaxed vacation like normal mortals.

Assigning directing duties to animators Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon, Genndy Tartakovsky acts as a screenwriter and performance producer, while Adam Sandler, who voices Dracula, has completely sunk into the shadows. dark. (He was replaced by Brian Hull, who sounded close enough to the original that kids probably wouldn’t recognize it.) There was never much to write home about in the writing department – Tartakovsky excels with style. more, less words like Samurai Jack Transformania still goofy-sweet enough to please its target demo; Those who find toothless humor should at least appreciate the special animation, which can be as powerful as the classic. Looney Tunes.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

Key point

Visually energetic, even when the story is fuming.

Release date: January 14 (Amazon Prime Video)

Cast: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull

Directors: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska

Writer: Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo, Genndy Tartakovsky

Rated PG, 1 hour 27 minutes

By continuing even without Sandler (and Sandler’s friend Kevin James who once voiced the Frankenstein monster), the series tacitly acknowledges that it never cared much for the musty old Count. like about the kids created for the first movie. Drac’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her casual husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) are characters the kids expect to identify; all others are just supernatural comic relief. (Never mind that those extra characters – werewolves and mummies etc – are designed to be much more appealing than the top paying characters, including the generic-looking Count.)

In fact, Mavis and Johnny are about to inherit not only the attention of the movies but also their prestigious hotel. Drac, ready to retire with new wife Ericka (Kathryn Hahn), wants to hand the place over to them, but has second thoughts when Johnny starts talking about the very non-ghost improvements he wants to make. show for this place. On the spot, he claims to have discovered a real estate law that prevents humans from owning monster-centric resorts.

But in-laws can be difficult problems to deal with. Thinking he’d successfully brought down his son-in-law, Drac didn’t anticipate what his father-in-law (reformed vampire hunter Van Helsing, voiced by Jim Gaffigan) would create. For some reason, the old man has a ray gun that can turn humans into monsters and vice versa. He shoots it at Johnny, who is happy to be a duke-sized dragon. Some counter-violence ensued, and in the mayhem, Drac and all of his best friends were taken down as soon as the gizmo broke, meaning they couldn’t be proven again. .

The sequence in Van Helsing’s basement lab showcases some of the fun the animation team has here. Over the years, most of the mad scientist’s limbs have been replaced by steampunk robots, and his swanky basement is filled with small passages that he can only walk through after a reconfiguration. his body, Transformer-style. (Johnny, as we all know, is such an easy-going surfer, his body is practically made of rubber; his fluid movements are the perfect match for the screen. Samberg’s sweet performance.)

Of course, the film’s fun animations match the action scenes beautifully, and there’s a bit of action to be found. After learning that the transforming device can only be fixed with a crystal buried in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, the now mortal Drac and his dragon groom set off into the forest without telling anyone. know. The script has some fun watching the rest of the cast at home, dealing with their transformed selves (you mean, the Invisible Man was walking around naked!?), before they realize where your friends have gone and where they’ve been. out to save them.

Parents will almost certainly be less engaged in stories than their children, but it would be wise not to follow up and start checking their email: TransformaniaThe saving graces of most are hard-to-miss jokes involving zombie curators, oversized guinea pig habitats, and dozens of werewolf children raised by the resident lycanthrope couple. hotel. (Thanks werewolf Steve Buscemi for not following Sandler out the door.) The best thing about Hotel Transylvania may end up providing several years of profitable employment to witty visual artists who will continue to create more interesting things of their own.

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