It’s Friday night in the School Hours household and we’re doing our usual rush around to prepare for family friendly movies night. The Apple TV gets fired up and before I can get the focus across to the movies in our collection (DVD’s we’ve bought and put on to our computer’s hard drive) the kids spot a new release movie called Hotel Transylvania and it starts – “Please can we watch Hotel Transylvania, Please can we watch Hotel Transylvania, Please can we Hotel Transylvania, Please can we watch Hotel Transylvania, etc”; you know the drill right.
So we talk about the infamous Disney’s Brave incident of 2012 where Miss 6, then Miss 5, wouldn’t go anywhere by herself, and I mean anywhere by herself for weeks for fear of bumping into a 10 foot high cartoon grizzly bear. “If you think I’m gonna let you watch a movie full of Werewolves, Franensteins, Vampires, etc after that little episode, you’ve got another thing coming”.
Less than two minutes later I caved (as usual) and we started to watch the movie. Was it everything I said it would be with the Werewolves, Franensteins, Vampires, etc; you bet it was. Was it scary; maybe not so much. There are horror themes in there, albeit cartoon horror themes, that could bring you unstuck and Dracula does an awesome freak out face which caught my kids (and me) by surprise a few times, but they/we managed to laugh it off and we’ve never heard anything about it since.
The quick version of the plot is Count Dracula owns and lives in a secret hotel only for monsters with his daughter Mavis, who is turning 118 years old. She longs to leave the hotel to look at the world, but Drac doesn’t want her to leave because his wife was killed by humans shortly after Mavis was born and he does his best to discourage her from leaving. Jonathan, a 21 year old backpacker, stumbles on the hotel and thinks it and it’s inhabitants are pretty cool and they in turn think he is too, especially Mavis. Despite Drac’s best attempts at keeping them apart, Mavis and Jonathan develop a thing for each other.
Where’s the goodness you ask? Well like all our reviews, this movie is loaded with great messages for children and adults alike, but perhaps the most endearing lesson this time is for the adults, or I should say the parents. Drac isn’t all that keen on his daughter hooking up with a human, particularly after what happened to his wife and goes to great lengths to keep Mavis and Jonathan apart. In the end Drac sees the folly of his ways and how it is negatively impacting Mavis and humorously goes about rectifying the wrongs he’s created.
While I think when push comes to shove, this will be very hard to do, as parents we can’t tarnish a group or section of society with the same brush. An example would be when a boyfriend enters the scene with a tattoo, I’ll need to remember that not all men with tattoos are in bikie gangs and are bad, and while you think no one is good enough for your son/daughter, sometimes, not all the time, they might need to find out for themselves without intervention from you.
Alright I’ll admit this is all coming from a relatively inexperienced parent of two girls aged only 5 & 6, but while it hasn’t been put into practice, this is what I’ll be looking to practise when the time comes. And if I don’t I am sure this article will come back to bite me on the backside. So was it good? Well with a cast that includes Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Fran Drescher and Kevin James to name but a few, it’s very well done and I’d personally give Hotel Transylvania 5 werewolves out of 5 vampires and wholeheartedly recommend you and your kids sit down and watch it together soon.