|“||I think Hotel Transylvania is a really cute father-daughter film that kinda touches on growing up, and on experiencing your daughter wanting to have independence. It’s a really sweet story that daughters and dads can relate to.||”|
– Selena in an interview with The Skanner
|Directed by||Genndy Tartakovsky|
|Produced by||Michelle Murdocca|
|Country of origin||United States of America|
|Release date||September 28, 2012|
Hotel Transylvania is a 2012 American 3D computer-animated comedy film produced by Sony Pictures Animation and distributed by Columbia Pictures. It was directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, and Sym-Bionic Titan, and produced by Michelle Murdocca. The film features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade and Cee Lo Green.
The film tells a story of Dracula, the owner of Hotel Transylvania, where the world's monsters can take a rest from human civilization. Dracula invites some of the most famous monsters, including Frankenstein's monster, Mummy, a Werewolf family, and the Invisible Man, to celebrate the 118th birthday of his daughter Mavis. When the hotel is unexpectedly visited by an ordinary 21-year-old traveler named Jonathan, Dracula must protect Mavis from falling in love with him before it is too late.
Released on September 28, 2012, the film was met with mixed critical reception, while the general population received it very favorably. Despite mixed reviews, Hotel Transylvania set a new record for the highest-grossing September opening weekend, earning a total of $291 million on a budget of $85 million. A sequel, titled Hotel Transylvania 2, is scheduled to be released on September 25, 2015.
In the aftermath of the death of Dracula's wife Martha (Jackie Sandler) at the hands of an angry human mob, Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) designs and builds a massive five-star hotel in Transylvania in which he raises his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and to serve as a safe-place getaway for the world's monsters from fear of human persecution.
Famous monsters such as Frank (Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne and Wanda Werewolf (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon) and their massive immediate family, Griffin the Invisible Man (David Spade), and Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green) often come to stay at the hotel which is completely human-free and safe for monsters.
On Mavis's 118th birthday, Dracula allows his daughter to leave the castle in order to explore the human world, but he sets up an elaborate plan using his zombie bellhops disguised as humans to make them seem intimidating and frighten her home. The plan works, but the zombies inadvertently lure a 21-year-old human named Jonathan (Andy Samberg) to the hotel. Dracula frantically disguises him as a Frankenstein's Monster and passes him off as "Johnnystein", a distant cousin of Frank's right arm. Jonathan soon encounters Mavis and the two "Zing" (a form of magical attraction). Unable to get Johnny out of the hotel without notice, Drac quickly improvises that Jonathan is a party planner, brought in to bring a fresher approach to his own traditional and boring parties. Jonathan quickly becomes a hit to the other monsters, especially Mavis but this disgusts Dracula greatly. Drac orders Johnny to leave, but Johnny is brought back by Mavis. After being shown the beauty of a sunrise by Johnny, Mavis is inspired to give humans another chance. Meanwhile, the hotel chef Quasimodo (Jon Lovitz) with the help of his pet rat Esmeralda learns that Johnny is a human and kidnaps him in order to cook him. Dracula intervenes and magically freezes Quasimodo to keep him from telling anyone that Jonathan is human. Dracula leads Jonathan to his quarters and shows him a painting of his wife. Much to Dracula's surprise, Jonathan knows the woman in the painting and relates a story about how she fell perfectly in love with a count, but died in a mysterious fire. Dracula reveals the full painting with himself in it and confirms the truth of the tale, and proceeds to tell the full version, thus explaining why Dracula built the hotel and the origin of his overprotective behaviour. Jonathan is understanding and Dracula develops respect for his knowledge, and the two bond. Jonathan then tries to leave for good, but Dracula convinces him to stay to avoid ruining Mavis's birthday.
The party is a great success the next night, and Mavis looks forward to opening a gift from her deceased mother. However, when Jonathan and Mavis share their first kiss, Dracula overreacts and in his outburst confesses to deceiving Mavis with the town. A still-frozen Quasimodo bursts in and the Fly (Chris Parnell) translates from his frozen speech that Johnny is a human disguised by Dracula. The guests are outraged by the deceit at play, but Mavis is undeterred and wants to be with Johnny even knowing he is human. Jonathan feigns disinterest in Mavis and rejects her out of respect for her father and leaves the hotel. Mavis then angrily yells at Dracula and flies off. Dracula finds Mavis on the roof with her mother's present. He learns it is a book about how her mother and Dracula "Zinged" and fell in love. Dracula realizes that Mavis and Jonathan are the same, and he should not have interfered.
The monster guests are furious and checking out en masse, but Dracula apologizes and quells their anger. After confessing that he isn't certain if human kind has become tolerant of monsters, Dracula manages to convince Frank, Wayne, Griffin, and Murray to head out into the human world help him find Jonathan, and with the scent-tracking ability of Wayne's daughter Winnie they learn that he is bound on a flight to America soon. The four head to the airport, but are held up in a town celebrating a Monster Festival along the way. Instead of being frightened by the appearance and powers of real monsters, the humans admire the group, and a team of men dressed as vampires help Dracula by providing him shelter from the sunlight while he rushes to the Airport. Drac arrives to see Jonathan's plane taking off, and he gives chase in bat form, burning in the sunlight. After getting Jonathan's attention, Dracula makes his way to the front of the plane and uses his mind-controlling power on the pilot (Brian Stack) to help him apologize for his actions. Jonathan accepts his apology; Dracula then manipulates the pilot to return to the Transylvanian airport for a "refuel".
Dracula returns Jonathan to Mavis. Jonathan confesses that their Zing was mutual and the two kiss, making Dracula realize his daughter has grown up and can make her own decisions. The monsters finish celebrating Mavis's party as Dracula, Mavis, Jonathan and their monster friends sing "The Zing" to the audience of hotel guests.
Hotel Transylvania has been in development since 2006, when Anthony Stacchi and David Feiss were set to direct the film. In 2008, Jill Culton took over the directing position, and around 2010, Chris Jenkins, with Todd Wilderman. In February 2011, Genndy Tartakovsky took over as the sixth director to direct his feature directorial debut.
In less than a year, Tartakovsky rewrote the script and reimagined the film to follow the energy, organic-ness and exaggeration of the 2D animation, particularly of the Tex Avery's cartoons. "I took all the aesthetics I like from 2-D and applied them here," Tartakovsky said. "I don't want to do animation to mimic reality. I want to push reality." "I wanted to have an imprint so you'd go, 'Well, only Genndy can make this.' It's hard, especially with CG, but I feel there's a lot of moments that feel that they're very me, so hopefully it'll feel different enough that it has a signature to it."
In November 2011, it was announced that Miley Cyrus would voice Mavis, Dracula's teenage daughter, but in February 2012, Cyrus left the film. It was later announced that Selena Gomez would replace Cyrus.
Hotel Transylvania received mixed reviews from critics, praising the direction and animation, but criticizing its script. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 43% of critics gave the film positive reviews, with an average rating of 5.3/10 based on 136 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Hotel Transylvania's buoyant, giddy tone may please children, but it might be a little too loud and thinly-scripted for older audiences." Another review aggregate, Metacritic, calculated an average score of 47 out of 100, based on 32 reviews. CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend revealed that the average grade cinemagoers gave Hotel Transylvania was an A- on an A+ to F scale.
IGN editor Geoff Chapman rated the film 9 out of 10 and wrote "This is a fun film, full of quirky gags and lovable characters. There are a few songs that smack a bit like soundtrack marketing for the kids, and the story is of course fairly predictable, but this movie is about enjoying a fun journey with great characters. It's a romp that kids and families will all enjoy. Hotel Transylvania is definitely somewhere you'll want to check in."
Hotel Transylvania earned $148,313,048 in North America, and $198,149,826 million in other countries, for a worldwide total of $346,462,874. Officially reported budget for the film was $85 million, although some reports claimed that the film actually cost $100 million.
It topped the box office with $11 million on Friday, and $42.5 million domestically and $50.6 million worldwide for the weekend, breaking the record for the largest-grossing September opening ever, ahead of Sweet Home Alabama ($35.6 million). It is also the highest-grossing debut for Sony Pictures Animation, beating The Smurfs' opening ($35.6 million). According to the Sony's president of worldwide distribution Rory Bruer, Sony was very satisfied with the film's performance: "Hotel Transylvania is performing beyond anyone's imagination, and the holds are ridiculous. It exceeds expectations in every new market it opens in."