Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Hotel Transylvania" (2012)

I must say I was disappointed in this film. It wasn’t terrible. Technically it was fine, and the story was well told. It is just nothing like what I was hoping it would be. It did not live up to its potential.

First, you have such a rich concept to play with, and all you can do is tell a story about a father having to let go and let his kid live? We have seen that story before, often, and done masterfully. Why would you want to retread that story? Especially when some of the best children’s stories throughout history—the ones that stand the test of time and become classics—are often scary and dangerous. When you have the chance to tell an animated feature involving some of the great monsters from literature and cinema, you should go the creepy route. Then you add insult to injury and bring in the naïve but popular lie that all evil in the world is merely perceived. (Yes, far too much conflict in the world is simply misunderstanding based, but come on… there are bad people in the world too.)

Then there is the Genndy Tartakovsky element. This guy is a highly entertaining and visually distinctive animator. Why is this film so generic? Sure, the animation is fine, but it all looks like the same stuff that everybody who is not Pixar is producing these days. It is not until the credits role that we get a Tartakovsky looking bit. Then, they show us some concept and research art that really makes one sad about everything that just covered the screens for the past hour and a half. Missed opportunity.

This was not a bad film. It was just not a great one either.

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