“Dracula may be a world-famous monster, but he’s really just a family guy,” says director Genndy Tartakovsky, who helped to reinvent classic monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, the werewolf, and more in the hit animated comedy “Hotel Transylvania.” The 2012 original film grossed more than $350 million worldwide and still holds the all-time record for highest opening movie during the month of September in the U.S.
Now Drac’s pack is back, with Tartakovsky returning to the helm, for an all-new adventure in “Hotel Transylvania 2.” The film kicks off with humans and monsters finally learning to co-exist. “All is good in Drac’s world,” says Tartakovsky. “Jonathan and Mavis have gotten married, and then they have a baby boy – Dennis. And that leads to the big question in this film: is Dennis a vampire or is he a human? Mavis and Johnny are ready to accept their son for whoever he is, but of course, Dracula secretly hopes that Dennis is a vampire. He’s afraid that if Dennis is a human, Mavis will want to raise him in the non-monster world instead of the hotel. So Drac is going to do anything to try to bring the fangs out of Dennis.”
Like any loving mother, Mavis wants what’s best for her child. As much as she loves the hotel – the only home she’s ever known – she feels that if Dennis is a human, the best place for him is to be raised with other humans. So, to check out what that might be like, Mavis entrusts her dad to watch Dennis while she and Johnny visit her human-in-laws in his hometown of Santa Cruz. While she is discovering the exciting ways of human life—from their 48 flavors of slushies to the 24/7 mini-markets—Drac is going a little batty back at the hotel imagining a life without his daughter, which makes him more determined than ever to bring out little Dennis’ fangs and give Mavis a reason to never leave Hotel Transylvania.
Drac’s solution: an epic road trip, in which Drac and his pals pull out all the stops, putting the little “monster-in-training” through monster boot camp. Plans go awry though when Drac’s own dad, Vlad (Mel Brooks), pays them an unexpected visit.
“Vlad is an old-school vampire,” says Tartakovsky. “Drac and his father have this very tumultuous, confrontational relationship – they’re at each other all the time. Vlad is judging him, Drac is defensive.”
Through it all, Tartakovsky says that the filmmakers haven’t lost sight of what makes “Hotel Transylvania” so special. “We got to redefine monsters – Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Mummy. What a great sandbox to do something really cartoony, really fun, not take itself too seriously, and make a really funny movie. For this film, I felt like there was still a connection to the characters, and it would be fun to revisit this world and see what the next adventure would be like. So that’s our goal: to make it silly, irreverent, fresh and fun, while still holding on to that emotional core.”
Ultimately, Tartakovsky says, the film is the perfect family entertainment. “We have a ton of fun in this movie, with four generations of Draculas under one roof and humans now being accepted into the monster world, but there’s also a great message about accepting each other as we are. That’s a lesson we all, parent or child, need every day.”
“Hotel Transylvania 2” stars returning castmembers Adam Sandler (Dracula), Andy Samberg (Johnny), Selena Gomez (Mavis), Kevin James (Frank), Fran Drescher (Eunice), Steve Buscemi (Wayne), Molly Shannon (Wanda), David Spade (Griffin), Keegan-Michael Key (Murray), and new cast addition, Mel Brooks (Vlad).
Opening across the Philippines on September 23, “Hotel Transylvania 2” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.