Since the original Hotel Transylvania opened for business in 2012, Adam Sandler’s Dracula has not only opened the doors of his monstrous hotel to humans, but he’s welcomed them into his family, too: His beloved daughter Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) has married her schlubby human boyfriend (Andy Samberg) and given birth to a bouncing baby half-vamp named Dennis. Dracula wholeheartedly embraces his new responsibilities as a “vampa” — that’s vampire grandpa — but between Dennis’ flaming red hair and his total lack of fangs, it’s pretty clear that Dennis takes after his decidedly human father, no matter how many bloodthirsty lullabies Dracula sings him. When Mavis decides to move her family to her husband’s California hometown, away from the hotel’s dangerous ghosts and ghouls, Drac takes it upon himself to help his grandson find his inner monster and convince them to stay.
Genndy Tartakovsky returns as director, and the creator of Samurai Jack and Dexter’s Laboratory has somehow managed to kick up the energy even more for the sequel, with plenty of skateboard montages and madcap scooter races through the Transylvanian forest. Many of the wisecracks are low-hanging fruit (like jokes about the rampant gentrification of the Transylvanian countryside), but most of them still land, thanks to a game voice cast including Mel Brooks, Steve Buscemi, Keegan-Michael Key, David Spade, and Kevin James. Less effective are the cloying family moments, and the sheer number of emotional heart-to-hearts rob the flick of its fangs. B-