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October 12th, 2012

Movie Review - Hotel Transylvania

Hotel Transylvania

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Ceelo Green, Jon Lovitz, Brian George, Luenell, and more...

Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky Screenplay by: Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel Written by: Todd Durham, Dan Hageman, and Kevin Hageman Original Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh

Premise: In 1895, in an attempt to make sure his daughter would grow up safe, Dracula built a hidden castle where monsters could come and stay and not worry about being attacked by humans. In 2012, as his daughter's 118th birthday approaches, Dracula is desperate to curve her stubborn desire to see the world beyond their safe haven. He has a plan, and it miraculously succeeds, until his worst nightmare becomes a reality - a human has found the hotel. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: A lot of comedic talent was brought in for the voice acting in the film and it worked fabulously. Adam Sandler does a great job as Dracula, the over protective father and still grieving widower. Mr. Sandler brings just enough of an accent that his portrayal fits the standard Dracula mold, but not overly so. He got it just right. Andy Samberg is a fun, happy, Johnny. And Selena Gomez was incredibly sweet as Mavis. 

The side actors brought most of the levity to the film and you can tell they had a lot of fun doing it. They all did a wonderful job. The little old Gremlin lady was hilarious. 

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: The Sony Animation Studios continue to put out some fun stuff for the whole family to enjoy. "Hotel Transylvani" is also available in 3D, and that always works well with animated films. All the signature parts of the old black and white monster movies are in the movie, then are taken one step further, as if all the monsters of old are reaching their later years - they've mellowed, married, had children, and have been saddled with the same types of problems normal families have. Some of these situations are very subtle, but also hilarious because of it. The shot of the wolfman in bed with his wife said it all.

The setting had a good, creepy vibe, very reminiscent of the real Dracula's Castle in Transylvania. And the audience gets to see a lot of it - from the giant ballroom, to the roof, to an underground maze, and more. The food served here will not make you hungry, so some of the gross factor kids love is present, but not enough to bother the parents. Seeing the problems of running a hotel from the eyes of the proprietor was fun as well.  Dracula does have a definite flare, even when only dealing with clogged toilets.  

There were several beautiful spanning shots. And a truly lovely sunrise during one part of the film. All the settings were excellent.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up:  Though the main theme is emotional - an overprotective parent and his independence seeking child at odds - there is also a lot of humor woven throughout the film. My husband was laughing out long almost continuously. 

The movie has a lot of old monster movie and parenting/marriage jokes as part of the story, so there's a lot of fodder for the parents to enjoy. The kids will totally love the monsters, especially the wolfman's kids. Mayhem abounds to keep everyone's attention glued to the screen. 

Conclusion: A fun, spooky, and rather poignant film that will be enjoyed by the whole family. If you're a fan of the old black and white monster movies, you'll find plenty to love here. 

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price To See Again!)

Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic



(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!

"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."


(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!

The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."


(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.

(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”


“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.

(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”


Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”

(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”


Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.

(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”


Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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