Most people who read my reviews know I am not the biggest fan of Adam Sandler’s comedies. I actually don’t mind him when he works on other people’s projects (Spanglish, Punch Drunk Love, etc) however most of his Happy Madison produced films I’ve loathed. Movies like The Ridiculous 6, Little Nicky, and That’s My Boy should barely be referred to as films.
Fortunately there has been one bright spot in Sandler’s career. Since 2012 the Hotel Transylvania movies have been pleasant, well animated romps with Sandler in the lead as Dracula and directed by the visionary Genndy Tartakovsky. Of course, I wish Genndy’s more ambitious projects like Primal could get the same attention but alas Hotel Transylvania will probably be what he is most remembered for. And I guess they are fun enough films.
I actually enjoyed Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation film the most. The 2nd one flirts with a bold message but then cops out at the end and the first is just ok fish out of water story. The 3rd is a vacation movie with the most humor and sparkling animation.
Now we have the 4th entry Hotel Transylvania: Transformania which has Genndy as only a screenwriter and Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon taking over as directors.
We also have Brian Hull taking over for the voice of Drac, which honestly he does a near flawless Sandler impression. It has got to be a weird thing to be Sandler and hear someone doing your voice so identically. Unfortunately Brad Abrell is not as adept at taking over for Kevin James in the voice of Frankenstein.
As far as the story it’s cute enough. Drac’s son-in-law Johnny (Andy Sandburg) stumbles upon Professor Van Helsing’s (Jim Gaffigan) ‘monsterfication ray’ and turns himself into a monster. Then Drac and the monsters get turned into humans. It’s a one-joke premise but executed with enough manic energy to be entertaining. I particularly enjoy any time Fran Drescher’s Eunice gets to shine (they don’t give her enough to do in this franchise but she’s always hilarious). David Spade also gets some good laughs as the Invisible Man who isn’t so invisible any more!
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is a good film to go to streaming. You can turn it on with the kids and have some laughs while folding laundry and getting things done. Maybe that’s a low bar but it’s a reality. It’s no masterpiece but it will have the whole family laughing and that’s important. I say give this scary hotel one more shot.
6 out of 10