In an age where photorealistic CGI seems to be sitting its fat kiester on every animated film getting released, it’s refreshing that a movie like Hotel Transylvania can come along and say, “Hey, you know what? We might not have a very surprising and deep plot and most of our jokes don’t land, but we’re a CARTOOOOOON!”
I love that. I love that about these movies.
Yes, I’ll be the first one to admit that, quality wise, calling them average would be a compliment. They are never surprising, what you think will happen ends up happening, and there is absolutely no deeper meaning in any of the plots. At the same time, this is a cartoon. An honest to God cartoon where characters movie and squish and bounce like cartoons. Physics and realism be damned.
That is really what sets the Hotel Transylvania movies apart from all of the other cheap and easy CGI films that come from places like Illumination and or even Sony… there is a frenetic energy to it bursting with joy and goofiness that is one part exhausting and one part contagious.
Keep in mind, this is Genndy Tartakovsky we’re talking about, the guy behind Samurai Jack and the 2D Clone Wars shorts. This is a director who knows what he’s doing and does it well. Seeing the characters in this movie behave like Looney Tunes is no accident, this is a very talented director with a mission to bring that old style to what can be called a visually stagnant genre.
The energy and enjoyable characters in this movie carries it because, brother, there really isn’t that much else. The plot is thin, the jokes aren’t that great if you’re over seven years-old (though, I will admit laughing at the Guacamole fart jokes), and the ending is as predictable as the sunrise and my inevitable and lonely death.
But, that’s tolerable. The movie is tolerable because I love seeing genuine cartoons again.