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Hotel Transylvania Blu-ray 3D Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4 (2D); MVC (3D)
  • Resolution: 1080p/24 (23.976Hz)
  • Audio Codec: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), English Descriptive Audio Service, French (Quebecois) & Portuguese DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit), Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Subtitles Color: White
  • Region: ABC (Region-Free)
  • Rating: PG
  • Run Time: 91 Mins.
  • Discs: 3 (1 x Blu-ray 3D + 1 x Blu-ray + 1 x DVD)
  • Digital Copies: UltraViolet
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Blu-ray Release Date: January 29, 2013
  • List Price: $55.99

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(All TheaterByte screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG at 100% quality setting and are meant as a general representation of the content. They do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Film

[Rating:3.5/5]

Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky makes his feature debut with this family-friendly creature-feature starring a cast of A-list actors voicing the roles. Hotel Transylvania is a monster-based coming-of-age story of sorts that features Dracula (Adam Sandler), who has built a high-end hotel and resort for monsters away from the “dangerous” humans who killed his beloved wife. There, he raises the apple of his eye, his young daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), keeping her sheltered and away from the world of humans. When the “teenaged” Mavis reaches her 118th birthday, she feels the urge to break free from her overprotective dad and venture out to explore the human world. But on the eve of her big birthday bash, when visitors such as Uncle Frankenstein (Kevin James), the werewolf Wayne (Steve Buscemi), and Murray the Mummy (CeeLo Green) show up to celebrate, a clueless 21-year old human guy, Jonathan (Adam Samberg), stumbles into the hotel. This sends Dracula into protective overdrive, trying to hide Jonathan’s humanity from the monsters in attendance for Mavis’ birthday, and keep him away from Mavis, who starts falling for Jonathan.

What Hotel Transylvania lacks in originality, it makes up for in energy and visual style. The story borrows heavily from lots of teen films of recent vintage and its boy meets girl core theme is nothing new. However, the classic monster lineup, especially from the old Universal B-movie heydays, is presented in a great way that kids today can certainly enjoy.

Where the film falters the most is in often resorting some crude, bathroom humor that 12-year-old boys may snicker at, but parents may find unnerving. This is certainly no Pixar level of storytelling being put forth by screenwriters Peter Baynham and Robert Smigel. Still, the relationship between Dracula and his daughter Mavis, as overbearing as Dracula tends to be, is nothing but sweet. Any parent can relate to wanting to protect their child. It’s certainly a nice change to see Dracula and his many monster friends portrayed in such a lighthearted manner as well.

The voice acting for Hotel Transylvania is better than most non-Pixar outings as well. Sandler does a marvelous Dracula voice, Steve Buscemi seems just perfect as Wayne the werewolf, and Samberg is spot on as the easygoing “dude” Jonathan, even if he does seem like a throwback to Bill & Ted.

Video Quality

HD: [Rating:5/5]

3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]

One can find no fault in this CG-animated treat from Sony. The digital characters look textured and detailed, colors are rich, particularly the midtones, and there are no instances of aliasing or noise to be spotted. The 3D effects are superb as well, adding a strong sense of front-to-back dimensionality, good pop-out, and subtle but effective use of 3D. Nothing too gimmicky here, but just enough to add a little “wow.”

Audio Quality

[Rating:4.5/5]

The English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz/16-bit) soundtrack is about as good as it gets for a film like this. The high frequencies are airy and natural, dialogue is clean, and the lows are beefy. The overall balance is handled well, the surrounds carrying lush amounts of ambience and discrete effects at times while the front channels are also aggressively panned.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3.5/5]


Most of the extras here are self-explanatory, the best one being the animated short Goodnight Mr. Foot, which the kids will surely love.

The supplements:

  • DVD
  • UltraViolet

2D (Available on the 3D Disc in 2D):

  • Commentary with director Genndy Tartakosky, producer Michelle Murdocca, and visual effects supervisor Daniel Kramer
  • Goodnight Mr. Foot (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:04:07) – Animated short
  • Deleted Scenes (1.85:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:21)
    • Prologue
    • Shadows
    • Caught in the Acts
  • Meet the Staff and Guests: Voicing Hotel Transylvania (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:06:29)
  • Making the Hotel (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:03:44)
  • Progression Reels (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:08:04):
    • Genndy Blur
    • Mavis Ventures Out
    • Look of the Picture
  • “Problem (Monster Remix)” Music Video by Becky G featuring Will.I.Am (1.78:1; 1080p/24)
  • Behind the Scenes of “Problem (Monster Remix)” (1.78:1; 1080p/24; 00:02:21)

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

This star-studded animated feature is visually stunning, filled with lots of great voice acting, and generally enjoyable. Although it doesn’t quite raise the bar on these sorts of films, families are sure to find something to like here, and the 3D-capable will love the 3D visuals of the 3D version as well.

Additional Screen Captures

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BestBuy.com:
Hotel Transylvania - Blu-ray 3D

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BestBuy.com:
Hotel Transylvania - Blu-ray 3D

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Film
[Rating:3.5/5]
Video Quality
HD: [Rating:5/5]
3D Effect: [Rating:5/5]
Audio Quality
[Rating:4.5/5]
Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3.5/5]


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1 COMMENT

  1. Because of how well Adam Sandler does in animated films, I think I should rent this for my kids to watch on our next movie night, so I added this one to my Blockbuster @Home rental queue. Because I work at DISH, I’ve stayed informed on all products and services we offer, that’s how I discovered and use Blockbuster @Home for my movie rentals. I used to buy every movie I wanted a while ago, and my bank account hated me for it. Once I started renting movies and games from Blockbuster @Home, I noticed that with its flat-monthly fee how much cash in my budget it freed up. I think I’m going to use that extra money to save up for something new.

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