HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION
Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky
Written by: Michael McCullers, Genndy Tartakovsky
Based on characters created by: Todd Durham
Starring: Adam Sandler, Kathryn Hahn, Selena Gomez, Jim Gaffigan, Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key and Mel Brooks
Run Time: 1h 37min
Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family
3 Frames out of 5
By: Shari K. Green
‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ is very entertaining family fun with a powerful message that no one can ignore… or would even want to.
The third film in the franchise is a bit different than the others and in a positive way. Love is still in the air but we’re not in the Hotel. We are now on a cruise ship which lends the filmmakers plenty of room to offer the audience new sight gags, characters and outlandish situations. Moving from the Hotel allows for interesting and fun events for the characters to attend which works very well as the audience I saw it with went particularly crazy watching this fun animated feature. When you’re on a cruise in real life you have places you stop and get off before you reach your final destination. This happens here, as well, and each time they do or as the characters move from one area of the ship to the next, the tone, music and mood shifts and the children I was watching the movie with couldn’t have been more pleased. They were cheering. I’m betting yours will be, too.
When the movie starts, we see a nemesis of Dracula’s, named Van Helsing (Gaffigan), who, as his father and father’s father had done, chases Dracula through the years. Van Helsing never gives up his pursuit until, after watching him give chase for several minutes, he too meets his death. More about that after we see what Dracula is up to now. His daughter, Mavis (Gomez), sees him sulk about the house. He’s depressed, miserable and showing visible signs of tension and anxiety. She books him a trip on the cruise thinking he just needs to relax, never realizing he’s simply lonely. He lost his wife and wants to find love again.
You’re now all caught up.
So, off to get on a cruise they go. I have to mention that you’re going to howl at the plane ride they take getting there.
Anyway, on the ship, he meets Ericka (Hahn) who ends up being the granddaughter of the famous Vampire Hunter; not that he knows this. Her ship caters to monsters and is now filled with them. Several monsters, which are based on hysterical stereotypes of humans, are meeting and falling in love, which is what Dracula does the moment he sees her. He feels a Zing (true love) happen, which is supposed to only happen once. Is it a true Zing? He is willing to find out.
However, it doesn’t matter if he Zing’s or not. Love is not in her plans. She wants to fulfill the family legacy and do as her ancestors did. She intends to rid the planet of Dracula and, in fact, all monsters. Though she starts to grow fond of Dracula and his family, she finds the ‘Instrument of Destruction’ to destroy the population of monsters and is going to use it. When she has it, she does use it; to raise a giant monster who, when under the spell of music, goes bonkers and wipes out everything around. This explains Atlantis and The Bermuda Triangle and… ‘WAIT! She raises a monster that will take out all monsters?!’ Okay. A little weak there but it works if you don’t think too hard.
I won’t give away the rest accept to let you know that you’ll love the Fish Man that’s voiced by Chris Parnell, delight when ‘Good Vibrations,’ ‘Be Happy’ and the ‘Macarena’ are used and strongly appreciate the intentional point revealed in the film which is that you have to be ‘greater than the haters’ because… ‘we’re all the same.’ Go see ‘Hotel Transylvania 3’ with the whole family and if you haven’t seen the first two yet, check them out, too. I can’t imagine this storyline will continue much longer but they managed to keep this sequel riveting, something all of the adults will be particularly fond of.