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Laramie Movie Scope:
Hotel Transylvania

A hotel to hide monsters from people

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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November 15, 2012 -- I didn't want to spend full price on this movie, so when the local theater started doing half-price nights, I finally decided to go see it. I was the only person in the whole auditorium for the 3:30 p.m. show. My $3.25 ticket probably didn't even pay for the power to run the projector, but they ran it for me anyway. In the old days, the print might be a bit worn by the end of the run (which ended today), but it is all digital now, so the image is just like new.

“Hotel Transylvania” is a movie about Count Dracula and his daughter, Mavis, who live in a castle in a forest in Transylvania. Graveyards and haunted woods surround the castle, protecting it from the prying eyes of humans. Due to a tragic past, Dracula hates and fears humans. He tries to protect his daughter, who has reached the tender age of 118, from the world outside the castle. Dracula is a serious control freak, but he means well. He goes to incredible lengths to convince his daughter to stay in his small kingdom and away from the rest of the world, even going so far as to construct a Potemkin village filled with menacing zombies disguised as humans.

One day, a human, Jonathan, wanders into the castle and falls for Mavis, who is celebrating her birthday. Dracula tries to get rid of Jonathan, but he will not go. He then tries to hide the fact that he is a human by disguising him as a monster, remotely related to the Frankenstein Monster. There is such a misunderstanding amongst the monsters in the castle, that they are afraid of humans. The monsters don't realize that in the 21st century monsters are not feared anymore. They are, in fact, considered cool.

The usual variety of misunderstandings and mishaps shuffle by in the plot before true love finally wins out. The monsters in the castle find out that humans are not so bad after all. Dracula decides that his little girl has grown up and needs to make her own decisions. Dracula also re-discovers how to have fun, thanks to Jonathan. There are some nice comic touches with the other monsters, including The Mummy, Quazimodo, zombies, skeletons, werewolves, a hydra and some shrunken heads who act as doorbells. There are even some musical numbers in the film, but it isn't really a musical.

This is a perfectly O.K. animated film. The animation is really quite good. The characters are interesting, but the story isn't really very compelling. It is also predictable. This is not a great film. It is a slightly above average animated feature. It rates a C+.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2012 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)