Ghosts, goblins, werewolves, and witches epitomize the Halloween season.  But, maybe they could use a summer themed vacation to escape those autumn chills.  Sony Pictures Animation’s latest installment of the Hotel Transylvania series takes the lovable cast of characters to uncharted waters, resulting in fast paced, humorous fun aimed mostly for a younger crowd, but enjoyable for all ages.

Sometime following the events of Hotel Transylvania 3, Dracula (Adam Sandler) continues managing his busy hotel.  Overworked and single, his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises him with a cruise vacation.  As friends and family board the monster-friendly ship Legacy, Drac is instantly smitten by the ship’s energetic skipper, Captain Ericka.  As it turns out, however, Captain Ericka is in fact the great grand-daughter of Dracula’s long time rival, Van Helsing.  Oh my, what a twist!  Will Drac find love on the ocean or will the vampire hunters reign supreme?

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Remarkably, Drac’s grandson Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) managed to sneak his giant puppy onto the plane.

I’ve always been a fan of the Hotel Transylvania movies.  The plots of them are nothing to write home about, but the way they are presented is what stands out.  The team at Sony captures the cartoony humor in some of my favorite past time 2D shows and films.  Compared to the past two films, Hotel Transylvania 3 truly pushed that cartoonish feel to the max, which may be a good thing or a bad thing for some.  For me, however, the facial expressions, fast paced movement, and amusing character designs made the experience all the more hilarious.

Of the newly featured characters, I got a kick out of the gremlins in both design and performance.  This certainly doesn’t mean I’d ever want to fly Gremlin Air, though.

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Gremlins having a tea break

I do believe there were some areas for improvement, specifically I wished Dracula’s father, Vlad (Mel Brooks) got a bit more screen time.  This movie’s lighthearted tone is probably not going to appeal to vampire fanatics, but there are a few adult-oriented jokes thrown in for some good laughs among the older crowd.

Overall, I thought Hotel Transylvania 3 is the best in the series.  As much as I enjoyed the sights of Transylvania, it was fun to see our beloved characters somewhere new. I really think Sony nailed the character animation all around, reminiscent of the 2D humor I grew up with.  For potential viewers, do not expect this movie to have slow moments; it’s always on the move.  It’s a good film to watch with friends but no need to fully pay attention to in order to understand what’s going on.  If you’re up for a good laugh, this is the summer movie for you.

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