What makes the franchise unique among family films

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2022 marks the conclusion of the Hotel Transylvania film series with the release of Hotel Transylvania: Transformania. Originally intended for theatrical release, the film was delayed and sold to Amazon Prime. The release marked an important milestone because, alongside toy story and shrekthe Hotel Transylvania The film series is one of the few anime franchises to reach the quadrilogy.

It also arrived ten years after the release of the first Hotel Transylvania in 2012. Since that original movie, the franchise has focused on adventures surrounding monsters who reside in a plaza hotel where monsters can relax and get away from humans for fear of persecution, all under the ownership of Drac (Adam Sandler), his only daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her boyfriend/husband Johnny (Andy Samberg), the film series is about Drac learning to grow and adapt to a changing world as he must open both his hotel and himself to new possibilities. The film features a wide variety of celebrity voices from Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, Fran Drescher, Kathryn Hann, Keegan Michael Key, Mel Brooks, David Spade and Molly Shannon and features a variety of monsters, many of which are homages to the classic. Universal monsters.

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At a time when the animation industry was dominated by Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, Dreamworks, and Illumination Entertainment, while Adam Sandler’s live-action films lost their way with audiences and critics, the Hotel Transylvania movies have found a way to stand out among the rest. Yet what was it about this franchise that was so unique, and how did it become such a consistent hit with audiences? Thanks in part to the animation style, tone, and family embrace of the monsters, that’s what happened. Hotel Transylvania into a box office hit franchise.

Hotel Transylvania entertainment style

CGI animation tends to reproduce a certain sense of reality, but the Hotel Transylvania movies embrace their animated nature by having exaggerated physical expressions and movements, which embraces the contrived nature of animation. The Hotel Transylvania the films are influenced less by Pixar’s animation work or even Walt Disney’s animated features, but more by the over-the-top cartoonish movements found in Tex Avery and Chuck Jones looney tunes. The franchise uses the supernatural nature of these characters as a quick explanation for the gravity-defying actions the characters do. They’re not realistic characters or designs, so why should they follow conventional rules of realism?


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This is largely due to the work of franchise director Genndy Tartakovsky, who directed the first three films in the franchise. Tartakovsky has a wealth of animation experience, having created a wide range of animated series like Dexter’s Laboratory, samurai jackand the original 2D Star Wars: Clone Wars animated shorts. Whereas samurai jack and clone wars Showcasing his strengths as an action director, the animator’s rich knowledge of animation and love for the art form comes into play through the franchise’s old-school influences.

Mainly comic franchise

Everyone knows that walking into a Pixar film there will be a certain level of emotional maturity that will bring audiences to tears. Thanks to shrekDreamWorks animated films have a self-referential nature with many pop culture references and jokes for older audiences, although later films like the kung fu panda and How to train your dragon frankness pushed emotional maturity.


The Hotel Transylvania the movies, however, are mostly silly comedies. There are emotional moments, like the reveal of the death of Dracula’s wife in the first film, but the main focus of the series is to explore all the visual and humorous concepts these monsters allow. This is more apparent in the sequels, as the structure of the films becomes more of a series of comedy sketches. The movies barely feature villains, and the few that exist are almost afterthoughts. Given the presence of Adam Sandler and several of his comic friends, the Hotel Transylvania the films have much in common with his Happy Madison productions. They are good-time mood films, about the fun of colorful characters with the main purpose of making the audience laugh with jokes, slapstick or sight gags in the background.


Box office success of Hotel Transylvania

One thing to note about the Hotel Transylvania series of films, until Sony Pictures sent the fourth film for streaming, is that each film subsequently made more money than the previous film at the box office. Hotel Transylvania grossed $148 million domestically, with Hotel Transylvania 2 grossing $169 million for the country.

In 2012, Hotel Transylvania opening weekend of $42 million made it the biggest opening weekend of September, with the record being broken three years later by Hotel Transylvania 2 with $48 million. This gave Sony Pictures the confidence to release the third film, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation in a privileged summer slot. Still, just because this franchise operated off-season doesn’t mean it could necessarily be successful in the summer. Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation grossed $167 million domestically, down two million from its predecessor, but the worldwide total of $527 million made it the most successful entry in the franchise. At a time when other animated franchises like the Cars movies or How to train your dragon trilogy earned less with each installment, the fact that Hotel Transylvania continued to grow was talking about the endurance of films.


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This ever-increasing box office success made Sony Pictures’ decision to sell the film to Amazon all the more puzzling, as the franchise has been a consistent earner and winner with family audiences for the past ten years. years.

Introduction to classic monsters for youngsters

One of the things that made the Hotel Transylvania movies so enduring after all these years is the fact that they are family movie versions of classic monsters. This makes it a great entry point for younger audience members, as this for many will become their first exposure to classic monsters like Dracula, Frankenstein, a werewolf, etc. These animated films provide children with a safe and comfortable association with them, taking elements that may scare them and teaching children a valuable lesson in knowing that there is no need to be afraid. Then, thanks to the exhibition, the children who watch the films will look for these characters in other mediums.

It also makes it a perfect annual viewing around Halloween for families. Parents can show their children Hotel Transylvania movies over the holidays as a friendly scary alternative, and kids will associate the franchise with the holidays as something they want to rewatch on their own or with their kids later. The same way as The Nightmare Before Christmas and Hocus Pocus have remained Halloween classics for the whole family, Hotel Transylvania the films will surely be there for generations to come.

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