Right in time for Halloween, the classic monsters of our childhoods have been given new life. Sony Pictures Animation’s 2012 children’s comedic animation release, “Hotel Transylvania”, directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, brings together an all star cast of voices with adequate 3D technology to create a laughable experience that evolves old archetypes of fantasy horror characters to bring them into the modern era. Though the storyline is quite typical of a children’s animated comedy, the real value of “Hotel Transylvania” is the rebirth of the classic forms of scary fiction characters, such as Dracula, Frankenstein’s monster, and the mummy, with a modern presentation through current technological animation methods, a diverse mix of all star voices, with today’s popular musical styles and dancing.
Tartakovsky employs a typical plotline in which a single father shields his daughter from perceived danger in the outside world (in this case, by secluding his vampire daughter, Mavis – whose voice is lent by Selena Gomez – from any human contact), only to eventually be unable to contain her curiosity for the world, when she inevitably encounters one and romantic feelings begin to surface between the two. What is special, however, about “Hotel Transylvania” is the archetypes used for the monster characters are of the classical Hollywood nature, only brought to life in a twenty-first century context. At one point the film even implicitly illuminates the contrast between the classical nature of the character forms used in its play against the evolution of the vampire image in today’s pop culture by briefly referencing the Twilight Saga movie series.
The voice cast, including such Hollywood big-shot names as Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Andy Samberg, Fran Drescher, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, John Lovitz, and Miley Cirus allows both young and old to connect with characters using familiar sounding voices they know and love. Additionally, the use of 3D technology (which was of adequate, but not outstanding quality), along with the inclusion of popular electronic based upbeat music and the voice of Nicki Minaj further lend to the fostering of a new world of old characters, set within a platform of classic modernity. Children of all ages will be entertained and parents and adults will enjoy a sense of nostalgia with “Hotel Transylvania”.