Eunice (Fran Drescher) hugs Mavis (Selena Gomez) with her father Dracula (Adam Sandler) watching in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, an animated comedy from Sony Pictures Animation. Photo By: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Animation. Copyright: © 2012 CTMG, All Rights Reserved.
- Adam Sandler
- Andy Samberg
- Selena Gomez
- Kevin James
- Fran Drescher
- Steve Buscemi
- Molly Shannon
- David Spade
- CeeLo Green
- Jon Lovitz
* Most external filmography links go to The Internet Movie Database.Home/Social Media Links
Hotel Transylvania (2012)
Also Known As: Hotel Transylvania 3D
Opened: 09/28/2012 Wide
|AMC Empire 25||09/28/2012 - 11/29/2012||63 days|
|Georgetown 14||09/28/2012 - 11/29/2012||63 days|
|AMC Deer Valley||09/28/2012 - 11/22/2012||56 days|
|AMC Loews Meth...||09/28/2012 - 11/22/2012||56 days|
|Village East||09/28/2012 - 11/15/2012||49 days|
|Showcase Cinem...||09/28/2012 - 11/15/2012||49 days|
|Columbia Park ...||09/28/2012 - 11/01/2012||35 days|
|Arclight/Holly...||09/28/2012 - 10/18/2012||21 days|
Trailer: Click for trailer
Rated: PG for some rude humor, action and scary images.
Welcome to Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them. On one special weekend, Dracula has invited some of his best friends -- Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, the Werewolf family, and more -- to celebrate his beloved daughter Mavis's 118th birthday. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem -- but everything could change for the overprotective dad when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
Columbia Pictures presents a Sony Pictures Animation film, Hotel Transylvania. The film features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and CeeLo Green. Directed by Genndy Tartakovsky. Produced by Michelle Murdocca. Screenplay by Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel. Story by Todd Durham and Dan Hageman & Kevin Hageman. Executive producers are Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel and Allen Covert. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. Music Supervision by Liza Richardson. Imagery and Animation by Sony Pictures Imageworks Inc.
Monsters: They're Just Like Us!
"Hotel Transylvania is a story about a father and a daughter -- it's just that the father happens to be Dracula," says Genndy Tartakovsky, director of the Sony Pictures Animation film, Hotel Transylvania. "Like all fathers, he's an overprotective, psychotic, and endearing guy who'd do anything for his daughter, but unlike other fathers, he's the Prince of Darkness."
In Hotel Transylvania, it turns out that the world's most famous monsters -- including Dracula, Frankenstein, the Werewolf, the Invisible Man, and the Mummy -- are just like regular people, with families and problems and a need to get away from it all... but unlike humans, they have to live in hiding from a world that thinks they're, well, monsters. What better place to hide than Hotel Transylvania, which Dracula himself operates as a sanctuary from the rest of the world and has been human-free since 1898? But Dracula has issues of his own... his daughter, Mavis, is a teenager -- in fact, she's about to turn 118 -- and as she becomes a woman, the vampire's greatest fear is losing his relationship with her. Well, his two greatest fears are losing his relationship with his daughter and garlic, but that's another story.
"One of the toughest things you have to do as a parent is to let your children go out into the world," says producer Michelle Murdocca, who has shepherded the film since its inception. "You can't protect them forever; you just have to trust that they're going to be able to take care of themselves. It turns out that even Dracula thinks the world can be a scary place sometimes."
"Hotel Transylvania makes these monsters funny -- funnier than they've ever been -- but the reason these monsters have lasted through the years is that they all have great personal stories," says Tartakovsky. "There's a humanity to them that makes them accessible, likable and friendly. And that's what we've found for our Dracula -- there's a great, accessible, bittersweet story, where you see how human the vampire is."
"When I first joined Sony Pictures Animation -- right at the very beginning of the studio 10 years ago -- and looked at the development slate, I was immediately struck by Hotel Transylvania," says Murdocca, who also produced Sony Pictures Animation's first feature film, Open Season. "I loved the fun that we could have with all of these traditional characters as we do a whole new take on them. When Adam Sandler joined the project, it really opened up a lot of possibilities about who Dracula could be -- suddenly, we saw the potential of it becoming a bigger and broader comedy than we had ever imagined."
In addition to the warm family story, the director is also bringing Hotel Transylvania a unique, fun look. Tartakovsky, a 13-time Emmy Award nominee, is well-known in the animation community, hand-picked by George Lucas to create "Star Wars: Clone Wars" after being the creative force behind "Samurai Jack" and "Dexter's Laboratory" for television. He also conceptualized and storyboarded the final action sequence for Iron Man 2 and provided the stylish and memorable prologue for the film Priest. For Hotel Transylvania, his first feature film, Tartakovsky sought to make an animated feature like no other: in an age when most animated movies strive to get closer and closer to reality, Tartakovsky sought to take advantage of what animation can do by pushing the boundaries. By straying further from reality, he could present a world he describes as "more real than real" -- more fun and more emotional than our own. "In feature films, you're constrained to be real. But I wanted to take this film to the extreme opposite by making the animation cartoony and fun and exaggerated," he says. "In television, you're allowed to stylize and use caricature to make each project look unique, and I wanted to bring that to the movies so badly. We pushed the animation style to be very broad and very physical. We wanted to make it super expressive. The movement in the movie is all caricature, unrealistic movement. That's what gives this movie its energy, and energy in a film is everything to me."
"When we say that the animation style is 'pushed,' we mean that facial features are exaggerated, body proportions are exaggerated, and when you see the characters animated, it's fun and unique and most definitely not like real life," Murdocca explains. "Every aspect of the character design lends itself to this 'pushed' animation style. There's a scene in which Dracula and Jonathan are walking and Dracula's legs look like big, long spider legs. It's unlike anything I've ever seen."
About the Characters
Casting the film helped the filmmakers to focus on the movie they were making and striking the right comedic balance and tone, as Tartakovsky explains. "I think what we've done is to take these iconic characters and reshape them. We had to stay true to the characters, but we wanted a fun movie with monsters, no t a scary movie -- we brought comedy, not scares. It's just that our main characters are monsters," he says. "For example, our Dracula is over-controlling and manic and crazy and obsessive -- it's taking those elements of his character and pushing them tenfold. The banter is very modern, conversational, and timeless, so it feels very contemporary. The end result is that the characters still have that iconic feeling, but modern, updated, and fun personalities."
Another aspect of the making of Hotel Transylvania that set it apart was the chance to bring several of the actors together into the recording studio to voice their roles together -- responding to each other as they would in a live-action film. After all, several of the actors, including Adam Sandler, Kevin James, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi, have known each other for years and acted together in several films, and all were excited by the prospect of working together on a film that everyone in their families could enjoy. "It really doesn't happen all that often in animation that you are able to bring your voice actors together," says Murdocca. "It was really fun to see Adam Sandler playing off of Kevin James, and Kevin playing off of David Spade. It was the beginning of them creating these characters and personalities together -- it helped make the characters really funny and really emotional."
All of the qualities that make Dracula the indisputable leader of monsters -- his strength, dominance, charisma, and perhaps over-controlling nature -- also happen to make him an excellent hotel manager. Problem is, where his daughter Mavis is concerned, he's a softy. Fearful for his daughter's safety, he's kept her in the sanctuary of his hotel her entire life, away from the torch-wielding humans he remembers so well. But now, on the eve of her 118th birthday, he must keep a promise he made to let her see the world for the first time. Unfortunately, in the midst of this, a hotel brimming with monster guests, and the unexpected arrival of the first human ever to set foot in the castle, Drac's well-laid plans start to unravel fast. What is a doting vampire father to do--continue to protect Mavis from the threat of humans, or relinquish control and let her spread her (bat) wings and fly...?
The role is voiced by Adam Sandler, himself a father of two, who leads an all-star comedy cast. "I wanted Adam to redefine Dracula for a new generation," says Tartakovsky. "We've seen the Bela Lugosi Dracula and all the other Draculas; I wanted a performance that would be a new Dracula for our generation."
The character is truly a new take on Dracula. "I'm most proud of Dracula -- he's a fun, manic character to watch," says the director. "I love to see how people react to the animation -- how crazy and fun it gets. The most important thing is that it never takes itself seriously -- it's just so fun."
"Adam is not only the star of the movie, but has been very involved with the making of the film," says Murdocca. "Of course, he brings the comedy, but he also has a lot of warmth, which comes out in his scenes with Mavis -- he's the loving, doting dad. Then, in the scenes with Dracula's friends, Dracula can be a little controlling -- a guy who wants things a certain way. Adam brings an amazing richness where he can turn on a dime -- all of these aspects are part of the same character, the same performance."
Working with Sandler brought an unexpected challenge for Tartakovsky that created a memorable moment. "It was very intimidating when we had our first creative meeting where Adam and some of his guys would be riffing on some jokes. I sat quietly, nervous to contribute. But then I gathered some courage and jumped in, and when they laughed I felt relieved."
"Dracula is just like any dad, really," says Sandler. "He's overprotective, controlling, manipulative, and slightly insane -- but it all comes from a good place: fear of his daughter getting hurt."
Mavis is totally pampered by her father; however, she is headstrong and smart, and in many ways, a typical 118-year-old teenage girl. She's grown slightly bored with the domain of her childhood--she has lived within her father's hotel and its grounds all her life--and she longs to travel, experience life and see the world. Now, she's met a newcomer who could make that a real possibility: but should she leave and risk breaking her father's heart, or remain, and break her own?
Selena Gomez voices the role. "Selena found a way to play the character that can be sweet and loving to everyone -- and also be the only one who can put Dracula in his place," says Murdocca. "Dracula is a softy who'd do anything for his daughter -- and doesn't she know it. Selena makes her a regular teenage daughter who knows what she wants and she's gonna get it from her dad."
"Mavis is like a lot of teenagers," says Gomez. "She's got the cute hairstyle, dresses stylishly, has a little bit of an attitude, but she's really sincere and cares about her dad -- she just kind of wants to have a little bit of independence. It's the same thing a lot of girls my age are going through -- she's very relatable in wanting to have freedom, to see what the world is like. Everybody tells her these stories but she wants to experience it for herself and meet new people and be independent."
Mavis is Gomez's first starring role in an animated movie. "I really wanted to do a fun, family movie -- not to mention that I grew up watching Adam Sandler, so working with him was super exciting. I'm glad to be a part of it -- it's a great movie," she says.
Jonathan is a typical 21-year-old human, backpacking his way across Europe in his continuing worldwide travels. He's confident, full of life, talkative, curious and good-natured--not to mention amazing on a skateboard. His motto is "just roll with it." Now, in his wandering, he's stumbled onto a hotel full of...monsters!? To help him blend in (and keep the monsters unaware of the security breach), Drac disguises him as Johnnystein, Frankenstein's supposed cousin. Drac's plan backfires, however, when his daughter Mavis and 'Johnnystein' hit it off, and Jonathan ignores his earlier promise to Drac, to run at his first opportunity. Because hey, this monster thing is kind of cool -- and he's intrigued by a cute teenage vampire girl.
"Jonathan is high on life," says Tartakovsky. "He's got a big personality, he's energetic, and outgoing. When Andy Samberg did the first voice reading, it was like, boom, there it is. It was instant humor, instant magic between him and Adam -- the contrast between Adam's super-articulate Dracula and Andy's free spirit was perfect. But Andy also brought a sincerity to the role -- he made Jonathan who he is."
"Jonathan is pretty much based on who I was in high school, and on a lot of dudes I knew growing up in the Bay Area in California," Samberg says. "He's kind of a backpacker, really loves seeing the world, and super positive in the face of adversity, even maybe when he shouldn't be."
"It was really fun to do more animation," says Samberg, who previously voiced a role for Sony Pictures Animation's hit film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. "The fact that this time I got to record with Sandler in the studio was a big plus. On other animated movies I've worked on the actors didn't really get to record together, but I think working together helped us play off each other and gave the characters the right tone."
Dracula's best friend (and Mavis' favorite "Uncle Frank") is none other than Frankenstein--an oversized working man with an even bigger heart. It's been a long time since this monster stormed through the countryside, frightening villagers and constables alike. Now, he's an unassuming married man who loves his adoptive family, Drac and Mavis. Imagine his surprise when he and his wife Eunice show up for Mavis' 118th birthday party--and he is introduced to a cousin he's never met, Johnnystein (human Jonathan in a last-minute disguise). Well, family is family, even if he looks a little strange, and Frank is happy to get to know his somewhat short and newly discovered relative.
Kevin James voices the role. "He can be funny and loving and endearing and sweet -- he shows us the true Frankenstein, who he is at heart," says Murdocca. "But make no mistake -- he is also a big guy who you do not want to mess with. That doesn't come out too often in our movie, but when it does, you better watch out."
"Frank seems like a big, tough guy, but there are times when he goes to pieces," says James. "I mean literally. Like to travel, he actually comes apart and gets packed in several suitcases... which is not fun at baggage claim."
Eunice is Frankenstein's beloved wife. What Frank lacks in forcefulness, Eunice more than makes up for. She's critical, brash and can have an 'in your face' attitude, but underneath it all, she's a loving family woman.
Fran Drescher, famous for her role on "The Nanny," voices the role. "Fran has taken her voice to the next level for this character," says Murdocca. "She booms, she's funny, she's very commanding. She creates a character who can get in Dracula's face -- her Eunice just doesn't care. Fran makes her larger than life."
Murdocca goes on to say that Drescher's performance as Eunice hits close to home. "Eunice -- and I don't mean any disrespect -- is my Aunt Theresa," says the producer. "She is a very brassy New Yorker who's going to tell you like it is -- and oftentimes, she's right. She doesn't mince words and she has no qualms about being open and honest and telling you what she thinks."
"The best thing I can say about Eunice is that she has very small feet and a nice petite waist," says Drescher. "She's kind of Mavis's godmother. She's very concerned about the fact that Dracula is even considering letting Mavis venture out into the real world -- why did he build this hotel if not to protect her? She definitely has her own agenda."
To play the role, the filmmakers encouraged Drescher to go to extremes. "Every time I came in to record, they always wanted me to sound a little gruffer, a little more obnoxious, a little more annoying, but I always want my characters to be likable," she says. "I do think that everyone will love her, in spite of the fact that she's a loudmouth."
Wayne is a werewolf, a miserable data processor by day and a put-upon father by night. He and his wife Wanda have produced litter after litter of pups, and as a result, he barely has the energy to get through a day and has lost most of his sense of smell from a barrage of poopie diapers. So even though he arrives with his misbehaved children and pregnant wife in tow, Wayne can't wait for his vacation at Hotel Transylvania to begin. He can let his hair down and just be himself, and maybe even take in a nap or two.
But perhaps the best part about visiting the cavernous old resort is that he might just be able to hide from his kids for most of the holiday.
"The way Steve Buscemi plays it, all Wayne wants to do is go to the pool and relax," says Murdocca. "He's great at playing the beaten-down dad who just wants to have a quiet moment for himself when that is simply impossible."
"Wayne is the classic dad -- the guy who works all day and just wants to come home to a little peace and quiet, only to find that the kids are just getting started and ready to jump all over him," says Buscemi. "OK, that's one thing, if you've got one, two, three kids -- but fifty-something?"
Wanda -- Wayne the Werewolf's wife -- is sweet, lovable and very maternal. She'd have to be -- as she's a mom to dozens of little pups, with more on the way!
"No matter how many kids Wanda has, she's sweet and loving and it never seems to faze her," says Murdocca. "I imagine that's how Molly Shannon, who voices Wanda, is in real life, with her own kids -- the down-to-earth, low-key fun mom."
"She just loves babies," says Shannon. "She loves being a mom and loves having more babies. Her husband, Wayne, is a tired, hardworking father, very excited to be checking in to the Hotel Transylvania for a little R&R."
The infamous Invisible Man has a name, and it's Griffin. He's good at lurking, and because no one can see him, he has a frustrating habit of blindsiding his friends. He's always ready with a funny quip... but while he can dish it out, he can't take it -- he's really sensitive, especially about his curly red hair.
"Griffin's problem is that he's often overlooked. But it's not his fault -- it's just that he's invisible," says Murdocca. "He's perfect for David Spade -- acerbic, dry, witty, but also really good-natured."
"Griffin loves going on vacation. He's extremely handsome and has a killer body. At least, that's what he tells me, and I'm not gonna disagree," says Spade.
Murray the Mummy is a big bandaged guy, who's actually larger-than-life. As a former entertainer to the great Pharaohs of Egypt, Murray is extremely likable, boisterous and always the center of every party. Living most of the year deep inside an Egyptian tomb, every time he arrives at Drac's hotel, he is ready to PARTY! He's a ball of fun, and uses humor to avoid confrontations, which he stays away from at all costs.
"CeeLo Green killed it, right from the first day," says Murdocca. "He's a really honest, sweet guy, and that comes across in his performance and his character. He's just a big, cuddly, loveable mummy, looking for love."
The head chef at Hotel Transylvania is none other than Quasimodo, the hunchbacked Frenchman famed for ringing bells and hiding out in cathedrals. Now, he has become quite the gastronomical genius, whipping up wormcakes, stirring steaming vats of slug soup, and making horrible hors d'oeuvres for hotel guests. The temperamental artiste wants everything in the kitchen his way--now he's pushing to add human to the hotel menu, despite the fact that monsters haven't dined on Homo sapiens in eons. Hardly anyone listens to his tirades, with the exception of his loyal assistant, a rat named Esmeralda. The nose knows, as he likes to say, and together they will sniff out the human that he knows is hiding in the castle.
"Jon Lovitz, voicing Quasimodo, is going to serve up his piece de resistance," says Murdocca. "He's only gotten to cook up monster food, and he's tired of it. For years, he's thought, if only he can get his hands on a human...."
Lovitz says, "Quasimodo is based on Julia Child... If she were an evil man... And short... With a hunchback... But still French!"