Hotel Transylvania 2

 

Half

 

 

Dracula celebrates his diversity - up to a point...
 
Hotel Transylvania 2

Monsters, Inc.

 

If a cartoon is halfway successful these days there will, inevitably, be a knee-jerk sequel. Take The Nut Job (US gross: $64m) – the sequel is already in production. Meanwhile, we have Hotel Transylvania 2, a computer-animated 3D romp in which the figure of Count Dracula is voiced by Adam Sandler. Sandler also receives credit as co-scripter, co-producer, co-lyricist and co-composer. His imprint is all over the thing. Here, Dracula runs his own hotel in Romania and now that his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) has married a Homo sapien (Andy Samberg), he allows humans to stay in his hotel. This is a kinder, gentler vampire, like Jeremy Corbyn’s politics. But when Mavis gives birth to a ginger-haired boy – a very un-menacing Dennis – the boy’s ‘Vampa’ is terrified that the family line is threatened…

 

Taking its cue from Monsters, Inc. and any number of recent precedents, Hotel Transylvania 2 has a child’s cupboard of toys to play with and actually displays some wit in the process. The computer animation may look slapdash but still excels in its detail and much of the throwaway humour does have its moments. On a TV show little Dennis is watching – a sort of Sesame Street version of Monsters – one critter proclaims, “but the scariest monster of all is Diabetes.” And we almost miss the gag. Much of HT2 descends into mindless lunacy, but responsible parents will appreciate the message of tolerance and integration while also accepting the film’s condemnation of the extremes of health and safety. It may try too hard to have its cake and suck it, but for a second helping there’s still a fair share of comic invention.

 

JAMES CAMERON-WILSON

 

Voices of  Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Mel Brooks, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Dana Carvey, Chris Kattan, Jon Lovitz, Sadie Sandler.

 

Dir Genndy Tartakovsky, Pro Michelle Murdocca, Ex Pro Adam Sandler, Screenplay Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler, Pro Des Michael Kurinsky, Ed Catherine Apple, Music Mark Mothersbaugh.

 

Sony Pictures Animation-Sony Pictures.

89 mins. USA. 2015. Rel: 16 October 2015. Cert. U.