By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated October 19, 2012 at 04:00 AM EDT
DADDY DRACULA Adam Sandler and Andy Samberg reunite for the animated flick
Credit: Sony Pictures Animation
  • Movie

Famous monsters who want to get away from pesky (and terrifying) humans book their holidays at the title luxury resort in the neutered and hectic 3-D animated comedy Hotel Transylvania. That’s the way the joint’s owner, Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler), likes to do business. A single father in the old Disney tradition, the count would prefer to keep his budding 118-year-old daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez), safe from contamination by dreaded outsiders forever. The arrival of a young human dude (Andy Samberg) — Romeo to her pale, undead Juliet — messes with those plans.

A lot of human directors checked in and out of Hotel Transylvania over the years before the project landed in the hands of the nifty TV-animation whiz Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory. Tartakovsky’s zippy, boing-boing touch shines through in the purely physical antics of the monster mob; words aren’t necessary as the freaks bounce around the place with nutso energy. (Kevin James, Cee Lo Green, Steve Buscemi, and Fran Drescher are among the guest ghoul voices.) It’s the parental mush about trusting one’s kid to make her own discoveries and blah blah blah (spoken in a Sandlerized version of a Dracula voice) that drains the movie of blood. What’s left are platitudes, and Sandler singing a novelty song in a Transylvanian-accented falsetto. B-

Hotel Transylvania

  • Movie
  • 92 minutes
  • Genndy Tartakovsky