I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: If there’s one genre of film I am really excited about, it’s animation. Seriously.
Having arguably evolved more than any other type of film in the last twenty years, animation has thrived as technology has developed. But it’s not just technologically that these cartoon creations have progressed. With each generation children become better media readers. As such, storylines can be beefed up, sub-plots created and characters fleshed out.
Plus the studios are more savvy; they seem to have realised there’s more profits to be had if their flicks appeal to the ‘big kids’ of the world too.
Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks have led the way, with visual stunners like FIND NEMO, generation jumpers like SHREK, and story-telling genius like UP. And, in the last fifteen years, Sony Animation has also joined the throng.
Admittedly Sony Animation is like that accident child you never intended to have and leave to lurk in the shadows cast by your bigger and better kiddies. They broke onto the market with mediocre productions like MONSTER HOUSE and OPEN SEASON. Then came ARTHUR CHRISTMAS (with possibly the most annoying trailer I have ever seen in my life). Then there was THE SMURFS…and SMURFS 2…hmmmm.
For me, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 1 was the jewel in the Sony Animation crown. It had a lovely message, was fast and funny, and embodied the type of family film that children of all ages could enjoy (except maybe easy-to-scare little ones!). So I was excited to see the second instalment.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 follows the same characters, plus one: The grandson of Count Dracula, baby Dennis. While hotel operations are going smoothly (with human guests now welcome) baby Dennis is presenting challenges: He’s sweet, cute, nice and….undeniably human. Dracula and friends are forced to try and bring out the monster in Dennis or accept that he will be taken away to grow up in the human world.
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 has a similar feel to the first; the loving father/daughter relationship remains and the message of acceptance still rings true. Some may complain the jokes are too ‘samey’, yet this didn’t bother me an ounce – I still giggled.
It’s designed with hyperactive kids in mind, so the humour is a little random and rather obvious in places, but this is to be expected of most kiddie flicks.
In previous years I’ve referred to Sony’s style of animation as “ugly”, yet HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA looks fab and they utilise some great 3D.
The vocal cast is strong, with lots of recognisable names; Adam Sandler, Mel Brooks, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Selena Gomez, Kevin James and Jon Lovitz to name a few (Adam Sandler’s daughters even offer their voices – they’re rather cute!)
All in all there’s lots to like about HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2, even if it isn’t overly memorable.
The end, though bound to please the kiddies, may have some adult viewers divided. It’s easy to feel it’s a bit of a “cop-out”…but I can say no more without offering spoilers!
HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 is a fun, fast-paced film that can be enjoyed by children both young and old. It’s a little less scary than the first film, so younger kiddies could give it a try. It’s quite similar to it’s predecessor, but this is bound to please the kids who tend to like ‘more of the same’. I rate it 6 stars.