Written By Wayne Townsend
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation follows the same simple recipe that made the first two movies in the franchise successful. One-part visuals, one-part sound effects, two parts silly plot points, all baked into a fluff piece of a movie. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of the jokes were funny, and there were a couple sidesplitting bits definitely geared toward the adults, but the appeal for the kids is in the animation. Cute blob creatures, furry werewolf off spring, and a Frankenstein monster that looked look a carnival stuffed prize. There is enough (barely) goofy fun to keep the kids entertained, although the eight-year that sat near me become restless half way through the movie. To her credit, she made several observations that would by worthy of a review of her own. Adam Sandler returns to voice Dracula, proprietor of the titular hotel that is a vacation spot for the worlds monsters who seek refuge from the humans who persecute them. This time out, his daughter Mavis, voiced again by Selena Gomez, suggest to her dad they take a family vacation together so the family can reconnect. After all, saving monsters from humans is a never-ending task. The antagonist of the film is Van Helsing, voiced by standup comedian Jim Gaffigan pursuer of Dracula for decades, and his great-granddaughter as she doubles as the captain of the cruise ship Ericka, voiced by Kathryn Hahn, and who Dracula develops a crush on. The Caribbean hotspot for the monsters is none other than the Bermuda triangle, another joke lost on the kids. Returning director Genndy Tartakovsky, is the creator of the television shows, Dexter’s Laboratory, Powerpuff Girls, Samurai Jack (a personal favorite), and Star Wars: Clone Wars. These shows demonstrated his ability to successfully balance enough animation, story development, and dialogue to keep adults entertained. But the story here is more set pieces. The film takes turns at delivering laughs, one scene for kids, then jokes for adults, rinse repeat, instead of his style of blending all elements which usually complement each other seamlessly as it occurs in the above-mentioned TV shows. 2 ½ out of 5.