Hotel Transylvania 2 Parent Review
Like so many other kids’ movies, messages about tolerance that were subtle in the early scenes turn into a full out lecture by the end.
Mixed marriages can come with a lot of challenges, yet none seem to be as tough as deciding whose culture to emulate once the kids come along. Such proves to be the case for Mavis the vampire (voice of Selena Gomez) and her husband Johnny the human (voice of Andy Samberg) when their bouncing bundle of joy joins the family.
Still living in Mavis’s childhood home, the Hotel Transylvania (where the two met in the first movie), little Dennis (voice of Asher Blinkoff) spends plenty of time with his maternal grandpa Count Draculla (voice of Adam Sandler) whom he affectionately calls Poppa Drac or Vandpa. Following in her father’s over-protective footsteps, Mavis has mollified the ghoulishness of their environment by baby proofing the castle, taking strict control of her son’s diet (meaning he’s not eating brains, eyeballs, spiders or any of the other staples consumed by the locals) and redefined the meaning of monster by showing the boy videos of the stuffed puppet kind. Her mothering methods, along with the fact that the youngster is the spitting image of his father, has poor Drac fearing there may not be any vampire blood stirring in Dennis’s veins.
Although it’s a well-known fact (according to the script) that a child has until their fifth birthday for their fangs to appear – and that’s still a few days away—Drac decides to expedite the process. Knowing his daughter and son-in-law are considering relocating to Johnny’s California birthplace, the anxious grandpa encourage the couple to visit the sunshine state before making a decision. Then he takes advantage of his babysitting time to scare out Dennis’s inner monster.
Co-written by Adam Sandler, the first two-thirds of this movie deliver many funny lines and sight gags—although these may tickle adults more than kids. However things fall apart when Dennis’s estranged, great-grandpa Vald (voice of Mel Brooks) comes to meet his new great-grandson, whom he assumes is a vampire. When he discovers the boy’s human relatives—things break into an ugly brawl between the bigots (mostly made up of an army of giant bats) and the accepting (many of whom are small children). This final act feels like an unnecessary addition bolted on to the screenplay to make the story long enough to qualify as a movie. And, like so many kids’ movies we’ve seen lately, the messages of tolerance that were subtle in the early scenes, turn into a full out lecture by the end.
Parents should be aware that the frightening moments, most of which are intended to be funny, get more intense as the film progresses. Other concerns include some name-calling, potty humor and a few strangely sensual costumes. Assuming your little ones are old enough not to be scared by the creepy creatures, and young enough not to feel preached to, they may be amused by this second visit to the Hotel Transylvania.Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Starring Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Steve Buscemi, Andy Samberg. Running time: 90 minutes. Updated May 10, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in Hotel Transylvania 2 here.
Hotel Transylvania 2 Parents Guide
When Drac tries to introduce his grandson to the world of scary monsters, he is discouraged to find that the world has become sissified.(For instance, the camp he attended as a boy no longer throws children from a tall tower to force them to fly – instead they practice on an inflatable toy). What real world practices are these depictions poking fun at? Is our world too over protective? Or are heightened safety concerns a good societal change?
How do the families of Mavis and Johnny try to support the couple? How does the couple adopt different ideas from both family cultures?
From the Studio: The Drac pack is back for an all-new monster comedy adventure in Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania 2! Everything seems to be changing for the better at Hotel Transylvania… Dracula’s rigid monster-only hotel policy has finally relaxed, opening up its doors to human guests. But behind closed coffins, Drac is worried that his adorable half-human, half-vampire grandson, Dennis, isn’t showing signs of being a vampire. So while Mavis is busy visiting her human in-laws with Johnny - and in for a major cultural shock of her own - “Vampa” Drac enlists his friends Frank, Murray, Wayne and Griffin to put Dennis through a “monster-in-training” boot camp. But little do they know that Drac’s grumpy and very old, old, old school dad Vlad is about to pay a family visit to the hotel. And when Vlad finds out that his great-grandson is not a pure blood - and humans are now welcome at Hotel Transylvania - things are going to get batty! Written by Sony Pictures