Since the boy has two days off this week (parent-teacher conferences) we dropped the toddler at day care and went to a movie. That's kind of our day-off treat, now that he's a big school-ager. We get to see a movie and split a huge tub of popcorn for lunch.
So this time, we saw "Hotel Transylvania." Lots of good voice talent in this one: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, Selena Gomez and Kevin James, just for starters. The plot: Dracula builds a hidden castle as a refuge for the monster community, and to keep his daughter safe from the dangerous human mob who killed her mother. Enter the young human backpacking his way across Europe, who accidently stumbles on the castle and falls for Drac's daughter.
This is a pretty predictable movie, with the expected fish-out-of water jokes as the young human tries to blend in as one of the monsters. And the expected reaction as the monsters discover the human who's been hiding in their midst. And the predictable conflict of no boy ever being good enough for daddy's little vampire, followed by the usual change of heart, as Dracula realizes his daughter has to live her own life, he can't always keep her locked up and safe, and the humans aren't all bad after all.
In general, adults will probably have the feeling they've seen this all before, but hey, it's new to the kids. And even if the message/moral is a bit heavy-handed, at least the animation is pretty and the jokes are funny enough to entertain kids and adults. The monsters weren't at all scary, making this a good movie for the younger kids - and it's not like there are a lot of choices out there in that category.
It's hard not to compare this to "ParaNorman" (the last movie the boy and I saw together.) Both animated, both featuring misunderstood monsters, both with a moral at the end - but all-in-all, "ParaNorman" is the movie that will stick with you. "Hotel Transylvania," while fun, is ultimately forgettable. (Not that there's anything wrong with a couple hours of escapist entertainment on your day off!)