My kids loved ‘Hotel Transylvania,’ even my youngest monster

My 11-year-old and 9-year-old really wanted to see “Hotel Transylvania” so we went this weekend. The 5-year-old was scared throughout much of “Brave” earlier this summer so I wanted to leave her at home with her father. When I told her she was going to be cleaning the playroom, she decided to be brave and see the movie with us. And as it turned out “Hotel Transylvania” wasn’t scary at all. It was mostly funny with a little bit of “sad stuff,” according to the 5-year-old.

I was worried at first. It seemed like a rip-off of “Nemo” and “Tangled” thrown together and I was seeing Adam Sandler and not Count Dracula. His song at the beginning just made me picture him in “Saturday Nigh Live” singing on Weekend Update. But then as the other characters were added, it got better.  Andy Samberg’s human was particularly loveable, and I really like Kevin James’s Frankenstein and the Steve Buscemi’s Wayne the Wolfman.

There were several times throughout the movie where Count Dracula would lose his temper and his eyes go red and he’s supposed to be scary but it didn’t really scare my 5-year-old.

The sad part comes at the end. My 5-year-old was sad about Dracula’s daughter leaving the nest and finding love. (I was surprised she was sensitive to that.)

Now, I am always concerned about whether to pay the extra money for 3D and I never find reviews to answer that questions. So you can follow this link to find out my thoughts on this.

Overall I would recommend “Hotel Transylvania.” Common Sense Media said 7 was the youngest age that should see it, but my 5-year-old did fine. It’s not “Toy Story” or even as cute as “Tangled” but it was laugh out loud funny and the kids enjoyed it.

Did you see “Hotel Transylvania” this weekend? What did your kids think? What did you think? Did they find it to be scary? Would you recommend it? Did you see 3D or 2D?

25 comments Add your comment


October 2nd, 2012
3:47 am


October 2nd, 2012
6:17 am

Reviews were not great from many critics. I think we’ll wait for “Wreck-it Ralph” and the rerelease of “E.T.”

Blue Fish in a Red Lake

October 2nd, 2012
8:31 am

We took our kids, 7 & 9 to see it, and they loved it. They claimed nothing in it was scary :-) The theatre for the showing we went to looked like it might have been a sell out, it was quite full and there was a line for the next showing already formed up by the time ours was done. We didn’t see the 3D, and I’m fine with that. Our question of “To 3D or not to 3D” is usually answered by the show time that works best for us.

All in all, it was a pleasant and light hearted outing, and all of us enjoyed it.

Over here

October 2nd, 2012
9:00 am

Our whole family saw it and loved it. It is a bit faster-paced than some kid movies, so no one was begging to leave before the end (unlike Paranorman). Plus, the adults are huge fans of Genndy Tartakovsky (Dexter’s Lab, Samurai Jack), the director, and you could certainly feel his influence.


October 2nd, 2012
9:21 am

3-D gives my kids headaches, so we don’t ever do it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 2nd, 2012
12:18 pm

We went to church on Saturday night and went to the movies Sunday morning and the place was packed too!! I couldn’t believe there were that many people there at 10 a.m. on a Sunday morning!! The 3D time was full too — it was at 10:30 –


October 2nd, 2012
12:21 pm

TWG! OMG spoilers…I thought we had a general rule not to talk about a movie for a week.

I am starting to side with your detractors….Are you pregnant again, is that why your filter is on the fritz?

I stopped reading the above due to the filters.

I do want to comment on this:

“When I told her she was going to be cleaning the playroom, she decided to be brave and see the movie with us”

Why would you tell her to do a boring chore when the others are getting a treat? Was she being punished for being scared at Brave? I think Michael and she could have had a great time doing something fun if she had not wanted to go. Good for Lili to realize she was getting the short end of the stick if she stayed home and choosing to go.


October 2nd, 2012
12:21 pm

I and my 8 & 9 year-olds enjoyed it! We did not see it in 3D. The kids aren’t really impressed with it. But, we will do Imax if it’s a movie with quite a bit of action. We, too, are awaiting “Wreck-It Ralph”! I’ve been trying to get them to watch the original E.T. for years, but they won’t bite. Maybe it will have a different affect on the big screen.


October 2nd, 2012
12:21 pm

er stopped reading due to lack of filters and the spoilers.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

October 2nd, 2012
12:24 pm

Sorry about spoilers — didn’t give it all away just trying to say what might have scared the kids —

She was supposed to clean the playroom on Saturday, which is ALL her mess, and she refused to do it. So since I was leaving her at home anyway I figured she and dad could at least make it useful time.

No, not pregnant — thank God!!!

From the Washington Post — it set a September Record and had the highest numbers for the weekend!!! It was full even on a Sunday morning
“Hotel Transylvania,” the animated monster movie starring the voice of Adam Sandler, set a record for earnings in September by making $43 million at this weekend’s box office.


October 2nd, 2012
12:31 pm

Theresa – you said what was SAD and probably the main part of the movie…what happened at the END with the daughter.

I am going to take my Little Sister to see it. It can’t be anywhere as terrible as Paranorman. I think it will be good and we are both looking forward to seeing it…even though I know the ending.


October 2nd, 2012
1:50 pm

TWG…trust me if we had been face to face friends since 2006 I would have said that too.

New question:

“She was supposed to clean the playroom on Saturday, which is ALL her mess, and she refused to do it.”

Then why did she get to go? I mean, isn’t one of the consequences of refusing to get it clean is you miss the movie?


October 2nd, 2012
2:01 pm

Seriously, Theresa, why do you think you need to give specifics?! Why not just say parts were a bit sad to your 5-year-old and leave it at that? Same thing yesterday — the paragraph where you described the biggest, most tense scene in the show was completely unnecessary to your post. You clearly don’t have a filter for what’s appropriate to reveal in a review, so you really should just stop writing these.


October 2nd, 2012
3:31 pm

OFF topic but since this is not going too far today:


“It’s paradoxical, the more confident you feel in things you are good at, the more willing you are to dip your toe in new worlds. ”

Let’s pass confidence on to our children …it appears to be a good thing!

It did make me think of the post by Walsh yesterday morning at 8:43
Smug: contentedly confident of one’s ability, superiority, or correctness; complacent.
Also the definition: Mother Jane Goose


October 2nd, 2012
4:02 pm

oh MJG don’t let them steal your joy….if you were a duck it could roll right off ya! It is like we always tell folks, if you don’t want to read what I said then, don’t!

I do think your post at 3 something AM this morning was the shortest I have ever seen form you!

I do agree with you about helping kids find something that they are good at and growing them from there. I have one who LOVES to sing. She wakes up singing, she goes to bed singing, I have even heard her sing in her sleep! I asked about voice lessons and was told she was too young yet…have to be 13 before your voice matures, or you can really do damage to it. (Who knew?). The instuctor encouraged her to do the school choral program though. That instructor is about to have is PhD conferred. He has performed all over the world and also does opera. He listened to my child and said yes, this is her talent. He was approached by his boss and told her, yes (child) and I are on the same page about music.

This year she was old enough for chorus and another club. Both have singing. I cannot tell you how she has changed. It is like a light went off in her. She still loathes the academics, but I *think* that may change. I already see how she approaches her studies changing, for one thing no good grades, no performing!

Tonight older child is in concert. First for the year. She thinks she will get to sit 1st chair (there are 2 classes so she is not sure). It is her 4th year playing. Her grades are up this year too, mostly b/c she feels more confident in school in general. However, I know that just doing well in Orchestra & the private lessons really helped her last year.

Oh, well now I can be accused of bragging too much and typing long post!


October 2nd, 2012
4:18 pm

KUDOS FCM! Yes, I wondered why no one commented on my NOPE post. It was succinct.

As a parent, it is a wonderful thing when your children find their passion. Amazing too, when their passion is something you know nothing about and then you stand in awe as your flesh and blood is sharing expertise in an area you have no clue about. I love this about both of my two. My husband is VERY mechanical…pulled/changed my rotor and brake pads after we got home on Sunday night as they sounded weird on the way home from Florida. I can barely screw in a lightbulb. Our daughter takes after her Dad. Our son not so much but he is brilliant in Math and I have NO idea where he gets that from. Kind of fun to watch!

Enjoy your children…they will be gone soon!


October 2nd, 2012
4:27 pm

FCM, Theresa just can’t win can she? I mean, you wanted her to go and then didn’t want her to go…make up your mind. MJG – let the trolls topics go. How many different posters here have told you that? I can only guess this blog is the most of your life if you go to bed worrying about a smart arse comment someone throws at you and have to bring it up the next day or even a week later. Let it go already.


October 2nd, 2012
4:34 pm

@ uuuh…NOPE this is not the most of my life. Sorry to disappoint you! I tend to file comments in my brain and then later, when a situation arises or I read something, they pop back up. I remember LOTS of things. Since I am a visual learner…the things I read, in print, tend to stick. So anything I read here fits that bill. Got anything else to share?


October 2nd, 2012
4:35 pm

P.S. I thought the confidence thing was kind of neat and might be something other parents would be able to relate too….maybe not?


October 2nd, 2012
4:54 pm

@ uhhhh no TWG gave additional facts when she replied, perhaps you missed it? The first post it sounded like Lili was going to be left behind to do chores and I asked why punish the kid. The second time she said that Lili had REFUSED to clean up the mess that was ALL HERS (something not originally stated)….so I asked why she got to go.

I did not flip flop at all…In the first instance, itsounded more like we will be busy since you are staying home you can clean. With the additional information it looks like she was rewarded with a movie, while refusing to clean the mess she made.

My mind is made up: You refuse to clean fine. I refuse to take you. Pretty simple.


October 2nd, 2012
5:30 pm

MJG – I love to see people do things well that I cannot do at all. It’s sooooooooo exciting…to me anyway. It’s easy for me to validate and encourage people when they are the opposite of me and I love doing it. It’s harder to get SUPER excited about things that I think people “should” be able to do. I know that is probably wrong. I think I got that from my parents. They were rarely excited about anything I did even when I did very well. Or else they didn’t tell ME. I was grown before I really understood how proud they were of me. I would have liked to have known that a lot earlier.


October 3rd, 2012
6:45 am

@ Denise…you just never know what effect things will have on a child. My Dad would see a test with a 92 and ask where the other 8 pts are. My Mom used to tell him to stop it, apparently he was teasing. Like you, we did not clearly hear any of the praise until my brother and I were grown, and even then we both found out at first through friends of my parents.

I do try hard not to do that with my kids. Sure there are times I say ok you got a _________ would you like to tell me why that test has been known for week and yet you told me you had it covered? This grade would indicate some more effort on your part would be a good idea.

5 Love Languages for Kids was the best book. I read before the oldest was 5 and made concentrated efforts to speak in all 5 languages. Today, they are 10 & 13 and I have a good idea of what languages they hear best in, so I make sure to speak it. Keeping that tank full goes a long, long way.


October 3rd, 2012
1:05 pm

Hi there,
My family went to see, “Hotel of Transylvania”. My kids absolutely loved that movie. I definitely recommend it. I took my 14 year old and my 8 year old. At first, they thought it was spooky in the beginning, but overall, the movie was funny and not scary. It was sort of like a love story. My favorite part was the ending of the movie. So, overall, I think you should take your kids to that movie, it’s one of the best movies yet to see that’s in theaters. Thank–you


October 4th, 2012
7:24 pm

It’s good that the kid got to make the decision, but not so much that the playroom was STILL a mess when you got home. Why wasn’t it cleaned up before church on Saturday evening, so when the (presumably well planned) movie trip came up early on Sunday there would be no problem?

I’m not a fan of people providing spoilers, even to write a column as a movie review. I think the topic should have focused less on a particular movie and talk in generalities or bring up older movies so that everyone (or most) could relate: Bambi, Ol’ Yeller (sp?), Snow White and so on. We don’t have to say that at a new movie THIS is what happened and the five-year-old wasn’t happy during the sad part.

This movie was also a PG rated film, not G. So, you can’t be surprised that the movie might be more intense in some way. You can’t treat children from ages 11 to 5 the same. Sometimes, dad has to step up; currently, it seems that it was just easier to take her so that’s what happened.


October 8th, 2012
7:04 am

You might all be insane. Parents are the most intensely critical subset of humans. I was just wondering if my 5 & 6 year olds would be scared. We are trying to use the passes we got when we blubbered our way out of Brave. One kid gets scared at every Disney movie and I don’t want to go if she’s likely to flip out. Sounds like we could give it a try….but there’s really not a lot of movie critiquing happening here. Whole lotta parenting critique. (you had to mention you went to church Saturday night lest everyone judge your Sunday am movie time?)
Thanks, sort of….