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Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

★★★

directors: Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska (debut)
starring: andy sandberg, selena gomez, kathryn hahn, and steve buscemi

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

Van Helsing's mysterious new invention transforms Drac and his pals into humans, and Johnny into a monster.

The latest and fourth installment of the Hotel Transylvania franchise Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is one of the many films to be impacted by the ongoing pandemic. Worldwide, families have been reluctant to return to cinemas, so happily Hotel Transylvania: Transformania has found a new home on Amazon Prime Video. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is everything you want in a kid’s animated feature: it's a hilarious, energetic slapstick adventure with great animation and message to boot.  

 

Drac and the Pack are back, like you’ve never seen them before in Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Reunite with your favourite monsters for an all-new adventure that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention, the 'Monsterification Ray,’ goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! 

 

In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent. 

 

I don’t know how it happened but I managed to miss the first three Hotel Transylvania: Transformania films. It wasn’t intentional, but they just didn’t cross my radar. So while I can’t speak to how this film dovetails into the rest of the franchise, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania manages to stand on its own two monstrous feet without the audience necessarily having to have seen the other films.

 

First off the bat Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is really funny. Traditionally slapstick comedy has been at the heart of animation from the early Disney Mickey Mouse shorts to Warner Bros. Looney Tunes. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania has this at its very heart, from Drac hurtling through a crowded street to Mavis falling out of a blimp. Kids and those that are kids at heart will love that kinda stuff. 

 

The story is your traditional, adventure fare which while not wholly original, is still entertaining and engrossing stuff. The animation isn’t as artistically detailed and thematically nuanced as Disney or Pixar films, but that doesn’t really matter in the end. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is still a really entertaining, animated kids film that children and their folks will equally enjoy. 


Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is everything you want in a kid’s animated feature: it's a hilarious, energetic slapstick adventure with great animation and message to boot.

★★★