The Hotel Transylvania films have benefited greatly over the years from the presence of Adam Sandler.
Whether you like the comedian and actor’s stylings or not, he’s been a draw to the general public since the 1990s, and his films have left an indelible mark on pop culture.
Throughout the first three Hotel Transylvania animated films, Sandler lent the voice to Dracula, executive produced the first two, wrote the second instalment, and contributed songs to the films also.
So when I heard Sandler wouldn’t be involved in Hotel Transylvania: Tansformania, I began to get worried. While no one ever quite figured out why he left, one thing remains certain: This new iteration suffers for it.
It follows Dracula, his family and wonderful band of monsters as a “Monsterfication Ray” developed by Van Helsing accidentally wreaks havoc on the group. When Jonny – Drac’s human son-in-law – decides to become a monster to impress his new dad, it also inadvertently turns Dracula into a human.
The two must go on a quest to switch things back and find a cure before it’s too late. Role reversals are usually ripe for a good time, and I love animated movies, but this one just feels stale.
Both Sandler and pal Kevin James aren’t in this sequel, and one has to wonder if there’s bad blood, given the original cast was chalk full of regular Sandler collaborators.
The cast is full of stars – including Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key and Jim Gaffigan. But the replacements Brian Hull and Brad Abrell just don’t have the same energy.
The biggest rule for remakes and sequels is you can’t mess with the original. Unfortunately, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, didn’t get the memo.