'Hotel Translyvania': A Tween Review

'Hotel Translyvania': A Tween Review

My tween saw the movie 'Hotel Translyvania' this weekend and rated it an 8 out of 10.  She saw it with a group of 7 friends on a birthday outing. While I didn't get to see the movie with them, they happily provided their own ratings and the average was a 8.5 out of 10.

The movie is about Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) raising his daughter, Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez), alone because his wife was killed by humans. To avoid humans all together, Dracula opens a resort hotel for his fellow monsters, including Frankenstein, Frankenstein's Bride, the Mummy and Wolfman. At Hotel Transylvania, the guests are safe from the threatening people and Dracula can safely raise his daughter. That changes, though, when Mavis turns 118 and is acting very much like a teenager. She meets Jonathan, a human who has made his way into their inner sanctum for monsters. Of course Jonathan and Mavis like each other, as in "like like" each other, and Dracula has to deal with that and hijinks ensue.

My tween's review: "'Hotel Transylvania' was really funny.  Super funny! I thought it was cool. It was also sad. Well, not THAT sad, but sad enough to make you think about it and have sympathy for the two main characters.  I was surprised at how far the characters would go to get something and what Dracula would do to keep his daughter away from humans, but I understand that it was because he was scared of them."

"It wasn't a very scary movie.  I thought it would be, based on the commercials, but it was not. It might be a bit scarier for little kids. The mom dies, and I wonder how that would be for little kids," my tween said, and she's not the superbrave type. Common Sense Media recommends it for ages 7 and up.

She said, "The animation is very good.  The colors were good. I never thought you could make a bat cute, but this movie did. The eyes of all the characters are amazing."

Although I'm not sure she got all the jokes, particularly those about shrinkage in cold water, she said the movie "was a tiny bit gross." She reports that it is not quite as gross as Diary of a Wimpy Kid. She said, "The grossest thing had to do with boogers. I don't get why, but there are booger things in a lot of kid movies?"

My tween and her buddies were not the only ones in the theater this weekend.  Hotel Transylvania raked in $43 million and was the number one film for the weekend. Although only 41% of critics recommended the movie, about 80% of audiences enjoyed it, according to survey site Rottentomatoes.com. You can find the trailer here.

A review by an adult at the Chicago Tribune who did not have the same favorable opinion as my tween and felt that "staring at your laundry will be funnier" can be found here. I didn't get to see the movie with her. The Common Sense Media review mentions that the Dracula-Mavis relationship is a sweet, and appreciated the father-daughter portrayal more than the Tribune reviewer. My daughter picked up on that and I appreciate that she could feel for both characters as they deal with Mavis growing up. I'm wise enough to know that I will get none of her sympathy, but I appreciate that the parent relationship was a positive one.

Did you and/or your tween see it? What did you think?

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