In association with the Grosvenor
Despite the title, Hotel Transylvania was always more about family than about hotels. The second film still raises the same questions about tolerance and love, but focuses on the child of a human-vampire relationship and his conflicted parental heritage.
This sequel has all-round comedy for all ages, and maintains a feel-good mentality, with the focus simply on hijinks from an accessible and likeable cast of characters. Slapstick comedy is slightly overused, but considering its expected audience that’s not really an issue. The sarcasm is enjoyable, and some scenes are awkwardly drawn out for the sake of it, pulling out a few chuckles.
The character of Dracula is a well done father figure, emphatic and supportive. The film allows the father figure to be more emotional than portrayals in other animated films, and giving a better image to the typical “dad” look. Some of the other characters are a bit stereotypical, presumably since it helps younger audiences to have noticeable differences between the characters to keep them memorable and differentiated.
The animation is in an empathetic style, especially in the human and vampire characters’ faces. In every interaction there are big, gleaming, eyes, and ear to ear smiling faces, allowing most of the characters to really have extreme facial changes in short periods of time, which is partially done for comedic purposes. In some ways these cartoons seem more human than humans themselves: small changes seem relatively large in their faces and they convey emotion extremely well, providing a visually enjoyable experience.
Although the music scenes aren’t particularly great on their own they add to the enjoyability of the film as a whole. Steve Buscemi as an exhausted father-werewolf is a good addition and another simple and accessible character, though the film feels a bit like a sitcom episode in which difficulty occurs, characters engage with it and end up in questionable situations, but ultimately everything comes round full circle and all is well once more. Simple, enjoyable, a nice relief from the stresses of daily life.