Hotel Transylvania 2

Posted on September 24, 2015 at 5:35 pm

Copyright Columbia 2015
Copyright Columbia 2015

Vampire Mavis (Selena Gomez) and human Jonathan (Andy Samberg) fell in love in the first “Hotel Translyvania,” and in this sequel they get married and have a baby named Dennis. He has his father’s unruly red curls. But his grandfather Drac (Adam Sandler) wants to make sure he has inherited his mother’s vampire genes as well. “He’s a late fanger,” Drac tries to reassure everyone, especially himself.

“Hotel Transylvania 2” suffers from sequel-itis — not as fresh or imaginative as the original and it feels like it was made because they wanted to do a sequel and not because they had anything special to say. But it is still entertaining.

Even before the movie starts, the Columbia logo statue turns into a vampire bat and we know we’re off to a place where cute monsters rule. The wedding scene is a lot of fun as it re-introduces us to the characters, all played by wonderful comic voice actors including David Spade (Griffin, the invisible man, who keeps insisting that he has an invisible girlfriend), Kevin James as Frankenstein and Fran Drescher as his wife, Eunice, Keegan-Michael Key as Murray the mummy, Steve Buscemi as Wayne the very fecund wolfman, and Molly Shannon as his wife, Wanda. We skip ahead quickly to the arrival of Dennis, and then ahead again as he approaches his 5th birthday, and Drac is still waiting to see if he will become a vampire. (Maybe when he grows up, he could marry similarly mixed-race Renesmee from “Twilight”).

This is even more pressing because if he is human, Mavis wants to move to California, near Jonathan’s parents, so he can be around other humans. Even though Dennis loves monsters, she thinks he will be happier around his own kind of people. So, she and Jonathan fly to California to see whether it is right for them, leaving Dennis with his grandfather.

Big mistake.

Drac promises to keep Dennis at the castle/hotel but instead takes him on a journey to try to get his vampire side to come out. And of course he brings his pals along. They visit a monster summer camp and try to scare some humans, but find that their scare power is significantly diminished. Humans ask for selfies and one of them even compliments Drac on his chocolate cereal. Dennis may be a late-fanger but these cuddly monsters are no-fangers, and when you’re looking for silly fun with a hug at the end, that’s just fine.

Parents should know that this film’s themes include monsters and scariness but it is mostly for humor. There is some comic peril and violence with no one hurt, some potty humor, themes of family/culture difference, conflicts. and prejudice.

Family discussion: What are the biggest cultural or ethnic differences in your family? Which is your favorite monster and why?

If you like this, try: the first “Hotel Transylvania” and “Megamind”

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3D Animation Family Issues Series/Sequel
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