Review: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

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The fourth installment in the Hotel Transylvania series is exactly what you would expect: kids will likely enjoy it for the silly humor and hijinks while those expecting an elevated animated outing won’t quite find it here.

When Van Helsing’s “Monsterfication Ray” turns Johnny (Adam Samberg) into a monster and ends up going haywire, it’s up to a newly-human Dracula (Brian Hull) and Johnny to find the cure. Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is much of the same in terms of animation with high quality visuals and a fun story. Unfortunately the scale seems small for a fourth film. Though the plot takes the characters out of Transylvania for a leg of the film, the story feels too contained for what it is trying to accomplish with the high stakes of what has happened. Adam Sandler choosing not to return was likely a smart move as the franchise has run out of the unique juices that made the first film in particular such a welcomed success. Any wit that was present before is left behind as this is a film with a low bar: entertain the kids.

That doesn’t mean it’s a terrible movie; Hotel Transylvania: Transformania simply isn’t for me. The voice acting is absolutely fine, though nothing special. Though there is a core message of acceptance and “never changing for anyone,” the delivery is weak and overshadowed by so many better animated films of recent memory. It all seems so money-grabby, an attempt to keep something going even though the bag of ideas is empty. A below average ending to a the franchise indeed.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania hits Amazon Prime Video Friday.

Rating: 2/5

Photo from The Hollywood Reporter

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