Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the "Monsterfication Ray," goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster. In their new mismatched bodies, Drac and Johnny must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it's too late, and before they drive each other crazy.

  • Released: 2022-02-25
  • Runtime: 87 minutes
  • Genre: Animation, Family, Fantasy
  • Stars: Brian Hull, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Keegan-Michael Key, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Asher Blinkoff, Brad Abrell, Fran Drescher, Jim Gaffigan, Molly Shannon, Ninja, Zoe Berri, Genndy Tartakovsky, Asher Bishop, Jennifer Kluska, Victoria Gómez, Derek Drymon, Aaron LaPlante, Melissa Sturm, Chloé Malaisé, Scott Underwood, Michelle Murdocca, William Townsend, David Berón, Natalia Castellanos, Todd Haberkorn, Jess Harnell, Marabina Jaimes, Lex Lang, Caitlin McKenna, David Michie, Diego Osorio, Juan Pacheco, Jacqueline Pinol, Ben Pronsky, Michelle Ruff, Fred Tatasciore, Amanda Troop, Debra Wilson, Michael-Leon Wooley, Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Adam Sandler
  • Director: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska
  • fernandoschiavi - 28 January 2024
    As a conclusion to a story, it fails to provide an appropriate outcome for the characters, although it still provides a lot of fun moments
    "Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania" focuses on the relationship between Dracula, his daughter Mavis and human son-in-law Johnny. Given the lack of dialogue and trust on Drac's part, a transformation into a human was necessary for the vampire to learn to trust his son-in-law, just as it was important for Johnny to live as a monster to understand Dracula's desires. The transformation results in situations that are emotional, but quickly changes the key to the film's intention: ensuring laughs. The great example is in the scene when the human Drac looks at the sun for the first time. It's a beautiful moment of the vampire having a human experience, but it soon turns into a funny sequence with the effect of strong sunlight on the eyes. All this family conflict is bathed in the franchise's signature humor. The animation takes advantage of the potential of each character, using many references such as the classic Johnny Bravo cartoon in the scene where Frankenstein turns into a human.

    One of the main characteristics of the saga has always been gothic multiculturalism mixed with an interesting palette of misfit monsters and the ways in which they deal with each other, in addition to placing the human species with a certain degree of threat to the monstrous community. All of this based on historical contexts and urban legends. All these "ingredients" have always amused the adult audience, who naturally sit next to children when watching these films, which have enough slapstick comedy to intrigue and amuse. This universality has always occurred due to the touch of Genndy Tartakovsky, an animator who worked at Hanna-Barbera and won the Emmy Award for Samurai Jack. The filmmaker directed the first three features of what is now one of Sony Animation's main franchises, but paved the way for his pupils Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska to direct the farewell on the big screen.

    That said, it's valid to say that the filmmaker duo does regular work directing Transformania, but handing over the baton to something that has been led by the same person for almost a decade is a bit risky. In the new chapter, we come across the comedy jokes and the dynamics between the characters that won us over in the first three films, in addition to the entire atmosphere of adventure that ends up being built due to the script by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky - All of that is still there, but it's easy to say that it's missing that spice, the one that actually makes the film series engaging. As if that weren't enough, in Hotel Transylvania 4 we also lost Adam Sandler's performance in the original voice cast. The actor, one of the main names in comedy films, literally did a great job playing the protagonist Dracula in the first three films, but whose farewell ended up going to Brian Hull. Although the new protagonist performs his work with clear affection and dedication, he still doesn't hold a candle to his predecessor. For an animated franchise, which has voice acting as one of its main points, losing the protagonist's performer ends up having a major impact on the film.

    Some will say that the series just lost its steam, however what happens in "Hotel Transylvania 4" is that these behind-the-scenes changes end up spilling onto the screen, even if there is no intention of making them. But one thing is a fact: the characteristic humor that attracted so many fans to the saga in 2012, the exaggerated faces and mouths and the unique moments of each of the characters; in addition to all the lively "horror" atmosphere that children loved so much from the beginning of the story, they are still there. All of this is mixed with an attempt (successful, by the way) to make "Freaky Friday" into an animated and monstrous version. The dynamic, both due to the ease of the characters and the fact that it follows a successful formula, ends up producing good and entertaining moments, and still carries the atmosphere of farewell for an hour and a half.

    In effect, the renewal of the plot and the resolution of its conflicts work somewhat abruptly. Just notice moments such as: the other monsters that also become human with just one element of the story that appears out of nowhere (the drink they drink from the fountain); the meeting of Drac and Johnny's companions with themselves in South America; the sudden discovery of the crystal necessary to alter the protagonists' bodies; and the tension between these two at the end of the plot, which clearly serves to not leave her dead in her final stretch. In fact, the adventure that the characters go through is quite lukewarm within the concept of adventure itself, as in addition to the tiny time shown in this core, there is also the lack of friction in the journey they undertake. On the other hand, this dynamism that demonstrates a certain laziness in the script is also expressed, in a somewhat different way, in some moments of quick cuts and a lot of mess, highlighting the cartoonish nature that the film has. Especially in the first half, there is this cartoonish aura that permeates Hotel Transylvania, especially in Drac's features, which change strongly and corroborate the existing atmosphere of agitation. There is also excellent work in terms of the visual aspect, with a single shot usually having a varied amount of color tone, brightness and light, creating a very vivid experience - with emphasis on the sequence that incorporates a vaporwave aesthetic in the second act. In short, the charisma of the characters, the stimulating visuals and all this euphoria in the body movements of the monsters and humans are responsible for the contagious side of this work, which unfortunately is hampered thanks to the script's lack of creativity.

    With an argument made up of a sequence of justifications that are not very convincing, "Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania" raises a few smiles, but does not reach the heights already presented in the franchise. The script by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky recycles the formula that pleased the first film - the clash between Drac and his human son-in-law - and updates it, forcing the characters to change places; Therefore, despite bringing something new, it ends up building the same adventure already experienced by the public, based on the repulsion that the vampire has towards humans, and takes the whole gang along for the trip, as has also been seen in the last two films. In its hour and a half duration, 'Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania' misses the opportunity to explore what was really interesting in its premise: the resourcefulness (or lack thereof) of the monsters when transforming into humans, giving it little space. By once again focusing on the father and son-in-law relationship, Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska's film shows little creativity, once again moving away from the franchise's original protagonists - Dracula and his daughter -, relegating Mavis once again to a secondary space, in in order to enlighten the human boy.

    Despite these hilarious sequences, the viewer spends more time admiring the production than laughing, as they did in previous films. The subplot involving Johnny's non-acceptance in the family had already been explored before, mainly in the first film, and Dracula had understood it, so much so that the following adventures showed the vampire living similar situations when he fell in love with a human. The lack of a villain is also annoying, as explored in Hotel Transylvania 1, 2 and 3; with only Johnny's transformation and the threat of him losing his reason as the main antagonistic elements. Thus, without a major threat, just with jokes involving the human version of Dracula, the film loses its narrative strength and only leaves the audience to enjoy the animation effects, already anticipating the lack of new surprises. As a "supplementary adventure", that is, an unprecedented excuse to put Dracula and his friends in danger, it serves the desired purpose. The conclusion is predictable: any spectator will understand that the obstacles constitute mere tests so that they emerge stronger and become better people.

    As a conclusion to a story, it fails to provide an appropriate outcome for the characters and tie up the ends of the franchise. The opening scene starts from a recap of the three previous films, but the ending leaves paths open for subsequent productions, or perhaps for series and derivative products. Without references to the fantastic universe, as was common in previous films, "Hotel Transylvania 4" leaves a slight feeling of disappointment, although it still provides fun moments. The chances are high that this will be the last film involving Dracula and the monsters that inhabit the hotel, which is a shame. Even if most of the jokes no longer work, it's always a good idea to visit the hotel facilities in search of a room.
  • jjthegamer124 - 4 December 2022
    Best of the 4
    This movie is the best of the 4 hotel Transylvania movies it's gimmick is good characters are nice animation is better than ever but the gimmick is shown in the trailers so it's not suspenseful what the transformations will be Murray,frank, Wayne,wanda,mavis and Erica appear for 10 minutes maximum and they could've been fleshed out more but Johnny and Dracula are more fleshed out for some reason and the villain (if you can call it that) only appears for 5 minutes and barely appears in the middle in fact I forgot it existed until the end where it is defeated in 10 seconds overall was a fun ride would watch again.
  • akrammhamedi - 7 July 2022
    WHY ?
    Why isn't it in theaters ? Very Bad the idea that let him be just in prime video but, the movie was pretty cool but ( again ), no fun, like hôtel Transylvania's movies, the story was pretty weird too in a lot of scenes, and i prefere if the movie was 10+ because of these scenes !!!
  • taranpandit - 9 April 2022
    No good
    Literally had a hard time watching this knowing Adam Sandler was not the voice of Dracula. I was glad the other original characters were back in their normal voice but just could not get over Adam. Decent film with an OK plot.