Usually I’m not interested whatsoever in anything involving Adam Sandler, but one movie he’s got coming up in September has definitely made me curious.
Hotel Transylvania is an animated family cartoon where Sandler is voicing Dracula, and Miley Cyrus is voicing his daughter, who falls in love with a human boy her own age. The film is also directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, who also gave us Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and the Powerpuff Girls.
Again, for Sandler and Cyrus alone I would usually bypass this, but at second glance, this reminds me a bit of one of my all time favorite movies, Mad Monster Party, created by Rankin Bass, who gave us the great stop motion animation Christmas specials such as Rudolph the Red Noses Reindeer. In later years, they helped created the Thundercats, and the animated TV versions of The Hobbit and Return of the King.
The work of Rankin Bass were big influences on Tim Burton and Andrew Stanton (Toy Story), and Mad Monster Party was always great fun to watch again every Halloween.
In Monster Party, Boris Karloff is hosting a shindig at his castle, and every classic monster you can think of is coming over, including Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Creature From the Black Lagoon, Kong, and the Invisible Man. Mad Monster Party came at a great time in the sixties, when kids were indeed monster mad. The Munsters were on TV, kids were reading Famous Monsters magazine, and monster toys, like the glow in the dark Aurora model kits, were flying off the shelves.
In the book The Enchanted World of Rankin Bass, Rick Goldschmidt writes that Mad Monster Party was “one of the best loved Rankin / Bass ‘Animagic’ productions,” and it’s clearly a different world today, where Transylvania Hotel will be computer animated, instead of being brought to life by stop motion animation. One would think that Mad Monster Party was an influence on Hotel Transylvania, and like their holiday specials, Monster Party has a wonderful spirit you don’t want to outgrow. If Transylvania has even a fraction of that spirit, it could make a terrific family film.
In other Adam Sandler related news, the so-called comedian recently broke the Razzie records with eleven nominations for Jack and Jill, and because he plays a man and a woman in the film, he’s being nominated for both worst actor and actress. Sandler’s also up for Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, which he co-wrote, and worst actor again for Just Go With It.
Like The Artist at the Academy Awards this year, looks like Sandler should sweep the Razzies no problem, and his competition this year for worst movie include New Year’s Eve, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1. For worst actor, Sandler’s up against Russell Brand for the reboot of Arthur, Nicolas Cage, who’s nominated for three movies (and that’s probably because he was only in three movies last year), Taylor Lautner in Abduction as well as Breaking Dawn, and Nick Swardson for starring in Bucky Larson.
Sandler’s got two new flicks coming up this year, That’s My Boy, which looks like typically painfully unfunny Sandler, and, as noted above, he’s also providing the voice of Dracula for the animated Transylvania Hotel, which I have a little more hope for because it looks a bit similar to one of my favorite films of all time, Mad Monster Party.
Still, Sandler could probably sweep the Razzies next year no problem, oh wait a minute, he’s got stiff competition with Eddie Murphy with A Thousand Words, which got 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, which Jack and Jill couldn’t even sink to. (It got 3%).