Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
review by Bobby Blakey
After the success of 2012s animated feature Hotel Transylvania it came as no surprise that it was followed up with the 2015 sequel Hotel Transylvania 2 and 2018s Hotel Transylvania: Summer Vacation. Now the most of the original band are getting back together for one last outing with Hotel Transylvainia: Transformania featuring the voices of Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, Molly Shannon Brad Abrell taking over as Frankenstein from Kevin James and Brian Hull taking over the role of Dracula previously played by Adam Sandler. Could this new chapter transform the series or will it fail to evolve past its monstrous nature?
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania follows Drac and the pack like you’ve never seen them before that presents Drac with his most terrifying task yet. When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention, the 'Monsterification Ray,' goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it’s too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.
Like many others this film has been delayed a couple of times due to the pandemic, but now instead of getting the original theatrical run it will be heading to Amazon Prime directly to stream for subscribers making it more accessible for those still not fully ready to return to cinemas. I for one was glad to get to check it out at home but also made me concerned if it was going to be inferior to what came before it. I must admit I wasn’t originally a fan of the original but over time it has grown on me and the sequels have entertained. By
the fourth film they rarely keep their steam, but too my surprise this one is a ton of fun once again.
One thing I have come to love about these films outside of the comedic approach towards the monsters, is the growth of the characters in each film. This latest film not only continues the evolution it flips it on its head with turning the monsters into humans. This gives a fun new dynamic to the film that keeps it from just feeling like another rehash of the same story although it is still the same ideals of family and acceptance. It’s these lessons that help it to feel like a deeper movie than it probably actually is. They go through a lot on this adventure that will keep you laughing, but also hit you in the feels.
The animation is great as always with some fun new monsters and I love the human looks to all our favorite characters. I always get annoyed with these sequels feeling the need to make everyone leave the places that make it so cool, but here it got to explore a variety of locals and it all works for the story and visuals. It continues to be a silly, clever little feature that stands out thanks to the monster theme and sure to entertain. If you aren’t a fan of this franchise then you will likely not like this one either, but fans will no doubt have fun.
Check out Hotel Transylvania: Transformania when it hits Prime Video exclusively on January 14, 2022 from Sony and Prime Video.