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Hotel Transylvania


At first glance, Hotel Transylvania might strike you as your usual family-oriented computer-animated movie. But it actually breaks new ground in terms of computer animation. But more on that later.

It doesn't break new ground in castle design, though.

First, a quick discussion on the voice actors. Let me just go through some of them real quick. There's Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi, who you might recognize from the film Grown Ups.

They basically get paid to hang out.

Now for the other voice actors who didn't appear in Grown Ups, there's Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher (a.k.a. the most annoying voice in showbusiness), Molly Shannon (a.k.a. the American Catherine Tate), CeeLo Green, and John Lovitz.

I still don't know who Andy Samberg is.

All right, now we're done with the voice actors (who technically aren't even voice acting), let us now go to what I mentioned earlier, about how this film breaks new grounds in computer animation.

I guess you can consider flying tables as groundbreaking.

Remember back in the day, when cartoons were more exaggerated than they are now? Like when a cartoon character got surprised, his eyes would pop out of his head? Or when a character would be rendered speechless and his jaw would literally drop to the ground? You might remember something like that from The Mask, starring Jim Carrey.

Eye-popping and jaw-dropping.

That technique, ladies and gentlemen, which involves exaggerated movements and actions, is actually considered as cartoon slapstick, and is pretty much avoided in the animation industry, in pretty much the same way that the antics of Charlie Chaplin or the Three Stooges are no longer replicated in modern comedies. Do you remember any Pixar character doing that? Exactly.

So what is the reason animators no longer do cartoon slapstick? It's because it's just not funny anymore. Or so we thought.

"You thought wrong, puny mortals!"

Enter now Genndy Tartakovsky, a name 90s kids might find familiar as the creator of Cartoon Network classics such as Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, and The Powerpuff Girls. As part of his first full-length directorial debut, he tried merging cartoon slapstick with computer-generated animation.

It would've been funnier if he turned his eyelids inside-out.

And surprisingly, it worked. Good job, Mr. Tartakovsky.

Hotel Transylvania. USA. 2012.

Rating: Seven out of ten.

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