Producer/actor Adam Sandler's first animated feature since 2002's Hanukkah-themed "Eight Crazy Nights," 2012's "Hotel Transylvania" was a giant surprise hit, earning $358-million worldwide and instantly guaranteeing a sequel. A child-friendly movie turning many of Universal's classic horror characters—Dracula, Frankenstein's monster, the Wolfman, the Mummy, etc.—into cuddly, homogenized, wisecracking protagonists, the film came out at the right time (late-September, just as Halloween fever was getting underway) and, in doing so, captured its target audiences' interests. What it didn't have was a particularly knowledgeable script, botching the core traits that make up these figures' cinematic legacies. Thus, Dracula (voiced by Sandler) and 118-year-old adolescent daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) were vampires who apparently didn't need to suck blood to live and were threatened with little more than mild sunburns if they ventured outside during the daytime, while Frankenstein's monster was incorrectly called Frankenstein (the name of his mad-scientist inventor). Beyond the wayward education "Hotel Transylvania" provided, it also had a chaotic, slapdash narrative and proved emotionally dishonest in its treatment of a happy-go-lucky romance between the immortal Mavis and human backpacker Jonathan (Andy Samberg).
In mounting a follow-up, returning director Genndy Tartakovsky and co-writers Sandler and Robert Smigel have righted some of their predecessor's missteps (an explanation for Frank's name is finally divulged) and concocted a far more appealing, socially conscious story. When the newly married Mavis and Johnny announce they are going to have a baby, Transylvanian hotel owner Dracula is overjoyed by the news. As his precocious grandson, Dennis (Asher Blinkoff), develops from baby to toddler to a tyke one week shy of his fifth birthday, Dracula becomes concerned that he hasn't yet shown any signs of becoming a vampire. With Mavis and Johnny visiting Johnny's parents (Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman) in California as they figure out if they want to make the West Coast their permanent home, Dracula enlists pals Frank (Kevin James), werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi), invisible man Griffin (David Spade), mummy Murray (Keegan-Michael Key), and tagalong Blobby (Jonny Solomon) to accompany him on a tour of their old haunts in hopes that learning how to be a monster will turn Dennis into one. If Dennis hasn't grown fangs by his birthday party, Dracula will have to make amends with the reality of his mortal humanity.
See Dustin Putman, TheFilmFile.com. for full review