In theaters from director Genndy Tartakovsky and Sony Pictures Animation is a return to visit one of our favorite monster family’s at “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.”
The hotel is busier than ever as Dracula (Adam Sandler) and daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) miss spending family time together. Son-in-law Johnny (Andy Samberg) thinks Mavis’ idea of a family vacation is fantastic and along with son Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) pack immediately.
Mavis has booked passage on a monster cruise and invites the extended family with Frank (Kevin James), Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne (Steve Buscemi), Wanda (Molly Shannon) and their brood, Griffin (David Spade), Murray (Keegan-Michael Key) and Grandpa Vlad (Mel Brooks).
At first, Dracula isn’t thrilled about the idea but when Mavis implores him to use the time for family, he can’t exactly turn her down. Captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn) welcomes everyone aboard and promises them a fantastic vacation. Seeing all the ship has to offer, the gang is excited. Even Dracula changes his tune when he sees Erika because the one thing he thought would never happen is happening — zinging!
Worried how Mavis will react, he keeps his feelings under his proverbial cape. What he doesn’t know and that’s who is hiding below deck, what plans are taking shape and more importantly — who is Bob?
All of this and more will be answered because after all — they are family!
Sandler as Dracula once again puts on the cape to run the hotel and spending time being a good Dad and Grandpa. Wanting to spend more family time, the monster cruise is certainly something different. It’s good to see Sandler keep his character goofy and loveable even for a vampire.
Gomez as Mavis wants to spend quality time with the family having fun. Having her father ‘zing’ certainly isn’t on her itinerary. It doesn’t help that her suspicions about the ship’s captain are accurate but everyone deserves a second chance.
Hahn as Captain Erika is nimble, fun and very sneaky. She has her eye on Dracula but zinging isn’t why! Erika’s story of hereditary, history and revenge but she also hasn’t met anyone like Dracula.
Frank, Eunice, Wayne, Wanda, Griffin, Murray all return because this wouldn’t be “Hotel Transylvania” without them. They bring fun, charm and a gentle reminder that extended family hold an important place in our lives. This bunch is so loveable that I was “awing” every five minutes. This is a monster family that started it all and continues to keep us together.
Shout out to Mel Brooks as Grandpa Vlad for bringing the jokes and fun on deck. Of course, any time Mel Brooks shows up to a party it’s going to be awesome!
Other cast include Chris Parnell as Stan, Joe Jonas as The Kraken, Chrissy Teigen as Crystal, Aaron LaPlante as the Gremlin, Genndy Tartakovsky as Blobby, Sandie Sandler as Winnie, Sunny Sandler as Sunny, Tara Strong as Frankenlady, Libby Dickey as Lucy, and Joe Whyte as Tinkles.
“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” makes the difficult look easy in that the story is fresh and fun while leaving us the characters our own family’s have come to love. The comedy is there, family issues about our busy lives and, of course, how love shows up at the most unexpected time and place — no matter if your one or one thousand years old.
It is so easy to forget these are “monsters” when their situations are not so different than our own. Another reason this series of films has and continues to be embraced by family filmgoers. It’s a film we can take our kids to see while still being kids ourselves.
So pack up your own brood and prepare them all for popcorn, fun and loads of giggles. “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” is everything and so much more.
In the end — family vacations can suck the life out of you!