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Fun with monsters

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky
Cast: Selena Gomez, Adam Sandler
Price: R599
Rating

When Hotel Transylvania released in September 2012, it grossed $42 million in the opening weekend itself as it ran to packed houses in 3,349 screens across USA. Now, after grossing over 3.5 times that amount in the past six months, the film’s DVD is ready to spook you even inside your own home.

But here’s what: even though this film is all about Count Dracula and his band of monster pals, it’s by no means scary. I did crack up quite a few times. It’s downright funny!

For those, who haven’t seen the movie, this animated 97 minute film tells the story of Count Dracula, who operates a high-end resort away from the human world and who goes into overprotective mode when a boy discovers the resort and falls for the count’s teen-aged daughter.

The film is set in 1895 (the real Count Dracula was born in the 15th century in the Romanian district of Transylvania), when Dracula builds a resort in Transylvania, hidden from humans, to raise his daughter Mavis in a safe environment. The scene then moves to the present day when the place is renamed the Hotel Transylvania, where monsters bring their families to chill out from scary humans. One day Dracula invites his friends — the whole jing bang lot actually — Frankenstein and his wife Eunice; Wayne and Wanda, the werewolves; Griffin, the invisible man; Murray, the mummy; the Bigfoot and others — to celebrate the 118th birthday of Mavis.

But just as the party is rolling, a confused 21-year-old boy called Jonathan gatecrashes into the hotel. Dracula disguises the kid as a monster to hide him from the guests. But his daughter Mavis sees Jonathan as he is and falls in love. Uh oh!

Genndy Tartakovsky does a great job with the direction and Dracula (Adam Sandler), the Invisible Man (David Spade), Frankenstein (Kevin James), and his bride (Fran Drescher), all put in super performances. But Jonathan (Andy Samberg) and Mavis (Selena Gomez excel in cracking us up big time.

The DVD version (we got hold of an early bird copy) has a few cool additional features. Want to see the scenes that were deleted from the final cut of the movie? Or go behind the scenes to check out how some of the make-up was done and what happened when the actors goofed up their lines? There is also an option to switch on the ‘filmmaker’s commentary’ by Tartakovsky. Pretty cool we’d say. A must, not just for kids but all adults who don’t have a problem laughing out loud.  

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