Hotel Transylvania (2012)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 11/11/12
Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Music: Mark Mothersbaugh
Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Bescemi, Fran Drescher, David Spade, John Lovitz

Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) owns and operates the Hotel Transylvania, where monsters can come to relax in a safe, human-free environment. The over-protective Count also has a teenage daughter named Mavis (Selena Gomez), who naturally longs to see the world outside of the hotel walls, but he won't let her out of his sight. On the day before Mavis's 118th birthday, a clueless human named Johnny (Andy Samberg) stumbles into the hotel and makes a mess of everything. As these things go, despite all of daddy's attempts to get rid of him, Mavis and Johnny fall in love, and monsters start to trust humans more and fear them less.

Apart from the overly juvenile and family friendly plot, this is a fun and entertaining outing. The characters are fun, the writing is smart, and the film has some genuinely funny moments. Genndy Tartakovsky's character design and sense of humor are well realized, and the voice acting is superb. Much to my surprise, Adam Sandler does an excellent job as the grumpy Count, and is a perfect comedic foil for Andy Samberg's intensely annoying surfer dude performance. Selena Gomez is delightful as Mavis and Steve Buscemi is perfectly cast as a middle-age, domesticated werewolf. Mark Mothersbaugh provides a wonderful music score that complements the fun attitude and breakneck pace. The animation is good, but nothing stands out as particularly noteworthy. Overall it's a fun film, but adults might get annoyed by some of the more juvenile aspects.