Review by Camden Ferrell
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is the newest film in the children’s animated franchise. It is the fourth film in the series, following 2018’s Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. This installment introduces animation veterans Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon as directors. Even though the series isn’t known for the best quality of children’s entertainment, this film marks a new low for the franchise as it gets through its runtime with barely a laugh.
In this movie, as Dracula prepares a new chapter in his life, an invention causes him and his friends to become human while Johnny becomes a monster. Together, Drac and Johnny must go on a journey to find a cure before it is too late. This premise is interesting new ground for the franchise to explore and has great potential for further character development of both Drac and Johnny.
One of the most notable differences for this film is the change in its voice cast. While it retains most of the same cast such as Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, and Steve Buscemi among others, it no longer has Adam Sandler voicing the film’s lead character, Dracula. Instead, it is played by Brian Hull who, while talented, fails to capture the same enjoyable energy that Sandler brought. The film also no longer features Kevin James as Frankenstein.
Another thing that is noticeably lacking in the film is the same sense of timing that the first few films possessed. These movies haven’t been renowned for clever comedy, but it at least had the physical comedy solid if nothing else. However, in this movie, most of the gags fall flat, and there’s far less enjoyment in these scenes. The script also fails to make the most of its premise, and it will elicit a mild chuckle at best and groans at worst.
Despite being under 90 minutes, the movie still drags considerably and stands out as the worst the franchise has to offer. The dynamic between Drac and Johnny isn’t enough to carry the film, and the animation is consistently awful from start to finish. It has brief moments of mild comedy, but the rest drags on in a way that is uncharacteristic for this series.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is easily the worst film in this series so far. It features unfunny gags and poor animation that will put off viewers. While most adults could find something to enjoy in previous installments, I’m afraid that this 4th movie in the series may be an experience for kids only.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is available on Amazon Prime January 14.