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HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION

What to know: Entertaining family film with distinctive animation style and wonderful voice acting.
KIDS FIRST ENDORSED
Recommended age 6-18
97 minutes
FeatureFilm
SONY PICTURES ENTERTAINMENT
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HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 3: SUMMER VACATION cover image Click to play video trailer
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation is an entertaining animated film filled with unique creativity. Wonderful voice acting and a distinctive animation style separate this from the majority of animated films. This is sure to be a worthwhile watch for all families.

The movie follows Dracula (Adam Sandler) as his boring hotel business and lack of love continue to bring him down. Wanting to bring back his joy, daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) surprises Dracula and the rest of his best friend-monster pack with an adventurous monster cruise. Initially angered by this, Dracula slowly begins enjoying himself and even finds a new crush in the mysterious yet charming cruise captain Ericka (Kathryn Hahn). However, things take a left turn when former nemesis Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) hunts the cruise, threatening the lives of all monsters aboard.

Adam Sandler, as Dracula, is my favorite character as his transformation to being his old adventurous self is well-presented. His love for his daughter and kind acceptance of humans also provide for a nice central message. Selena Gomez, as Mavis, continues to shine by providing an equally strong father-daughter bond with Dracula. Kevin James, as Frankenstein, greatly presents a dumbfound friend to Dracula whose deteriorating body assures for some inventive comedy. Steve Buscemi, as Wayne/Wolfman, regales with his signature voice highlighting the character's parenting struggles with his many cubs. David Spade, as Griffin/Invisible Man, equally entertains despite not having a corporeal form. Last but not least, Keegan Michael-Kay, as Murray/ Mummy, completes the pack with his unique, child-like nature. Kathryn Hahn, as Ericka, adeptly portrays her mysterious past and interesting attraction for Dracula. Jim Gaffigan, as Abraham Van Helsing, exhibits a new take on the legend monster hunter.

Genddy Tartakovsky brings out his zany and fast-paced direction in new ways. In spite of that, this is nowhere as memorable and groundbreaking as his other works, such as Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. My favorite scene is the opening one which quickly introduces us to the Dracula-Van Helsing rivalry and sets the stage for a grand adventure. The biggest flaw in the movie is that some of the humor comes across as farcical and this could dissuade adults from watching. Also, the plot is rather one-note and forgettable, especially when compared to the standard of Tartakovsky's other work.

The movie's message is to never discriminate against a person based on their looks and instead, appreciate them for who they are. I give this film 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 6 to 18. The movie releases in theaters on July 13, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun N., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

This comedy film had me laughing the entire time with all the ways the creatures are portrayed and how the director, Genndy Tartakovsky, manages to bring them to life through the exceptional animations. I love how all the actors resonate with their creature, making it sound natural and fitting. I was excited waiting for this movie to come out since it is the third film in the Hotel Transylvania series. I have seen the previous films and, when I found out there was going to be a sequel, I practically counted the days to the premiere.

The story follows the monster family embarking a vacation on a monster cruise ship. They mostly go so that Drac can take a summer vacation from providing everyone else vacations at his hotel. The whole pack starts to have fun by getting involved in all of the activities the cruise has to offer such as monster volleyball, excursions and tanning. But, the amazing vacation turns into a nightmare when Mavis realizes her father likes Ericka, the captain of the ship, who she suspects to be hiding something from Drac and his family.

My favorite scene is when Ericka, the captain of the ship, welcomes all the guests and informs everyone that the first time that a monster cruise has been created. Because monsters are not allowed to live and socialize with people that are not monsters, they have had the opportunity to take a cruise before. I like this scene because, in it the variety of creatures are shown and I was amazed at the creative animations that the creators designed and brought to life.

The important message of this film is that letting go of old grudges and being open to changes in your life are very important. This film is a reminder that one has to honor the past, but be willing to allow new aspects to take place in your life. For example, since his mother's death, Drac has never fallen for anyone else. But when the family arrives for the cruise, the head of the pack starts having feelings for someone else, making it weird for the rest of the family. As time progresses, Mavis, her daughter and the rest of the family accept the fact that they have to let go of the past and be open to new changes in their lives. I recommend this film for ages 5 to 18 and I rate this 5 out of 5 stars. This film opens in theaters July 13, 2018 so look for it.

Reviewed by Alejandra G., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Mavis surprises Dracula with a family voyage on a luxury Monster Cruise Ship so he can take a vacation from providing everyone else's vacation at the hotel. The rest of Drac's Pack cannot resist going along. But once they leave port, romance arises when Dracula meets the mysterious ship Captain, Ericka. Now it's Mavis' turn to play the overprotective parent, keeping her dad and Ericka apart. Little do they know that his "too good to be true" love interest is actually a descendant of Abraham Van Helsing, ancient nemesis to Dracula and all other monsters.
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