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Summer Vacation

Hotel Transylvania 3
Summer Vacation

2018 has already proved to be a spectacular year for animated films. Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES 2 delivered a sequel that fans had been waiting 15 years for, and proved to be just as engrossing and entertaining as the original. 

Wes Anderson’s ISLE OF DOGS was a stunningly original, quirky work of art that added another impressive chapter in the filmmakers growing list of eccentric and hypnotic productions. It would be difficult for any movie to follow these two top-notch titles, and though HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 will no doubt delight the majority of the youngsters that will fill the theater this summer, it doesn’t compare to the two aforementioned films in any conceivable any way.

Produced by Sony Animation Studios, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 is the type of family film that makes no qualms about being a straight-forward, low-brow comedy. After spending years watching his guests, and even his daughter, spend quality time with their spouses, Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) makes the sudden realization that he is lonely. He attempts to use dating apps on his phone, but these are filled with nothing but old hags, literally. His friends, including Frank (Kevin James) and the Griffin (David Spade) try to hook him up with an eligible bachelorette, but this too fails to yield any positive results. Realizing that her father needs to get away from the hotel, Mavis (Selena Gomez) decides that it’s time for a vacation. She surprises dear old dad (along with every single friend that they have) with a trip aboard a cruise. Though he is reluctant at first (“It’s a hotel … on zee water!”), once he catches a glimpse of Captain Ericka (Katherine Hahn) he suddenly becomes a lot more interested.

The next quirky installment of the Hotel Transylvania titles has arrived!

At this point, if you are taking your kids to see the third installment of this franchise, you already know what you are getting yourself into. There is not going to be any deep, thought-provoking content, and the wit and charm exhibited in INCREDIBLES 2 and ISLE OF DOGS is nowhere to be found. It is, after all, an Adam Sandler vehicle that just so happens to be animated. And, if you are well aware of this going in, then its difficult to believe that you’ll be disappointed with the end result. 

The visuals are dazzling at times, particularly when the group visits an underwater volcano, and also takes an excursion to the lost city of Atlantis. Bright and vibrant, these sequences are attractive to look at, and deliver a few laughs along the way. Like most comedies whose jokes are based largely on butt and bodily fluids, paired with thinly veiled double entendres, there are countless hit-or-miss moments that will either make you laugh or groan. The voice-over work by the cast (which also includes Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, Chris Parnell, Molly Shannon, and Keegan-Michael Kay) is amiable enough for the characters that were created, and the performers fit comfortably in their roles. Hahn and Jim Gaffigan (as the decrepit Van Helsing) are nice additions, and Sandler and his crew certainly help garner a number of laughs throughout. 

Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) decides to attempt dating to curb his lonliness with the help of his daughter and friends

Whereas some animated flicks strive to achieve a crossover appeal that allow their work to be just as attractive to adults as it is to children, HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3 never attempts to be anything more than it’s not. At the end of the day, it can be viewed as a success in that regard. We brought our two children (ages 9 and 6) and they laughed hysterically throughout. They loved the first two movies in the series, and this one proved to be no different. And, while I may prefer to see a bit more depth in a movie, it’s hard to
dislike anything that can keep me moderately entertained while delighting my kids. 

Hotel Transylvania 3: GRADE: C

RATED: PG

RUN TIME: 1h 37min

GENRE: Animation, Comedy, Family, Fantasy

STARRING: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, Molly Shannon, Fran Drescher, Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Mel Brooks

DIRECTORs: Genndy Tartakovsky

Writers: Genndy Tartakovsky, Michael McCullers

A special thanks goes to Regal Cinemas at Destiny USA for allow me attend this month’s film.

Brian Miller
Film Critic
Based out of Central New York, Brian Miller is a film critic who works in television, radio, and print. Providing passionate and energetic takes on every movie he sees, he looks for the best in a movie, not the worst.