In the first Hotel Transylvania movie, Dracula’s daughter Mavis fell in love with a human boy, Johnny—so it makes perfect sense that in Hotel Transylvania 2, Johnny and Mavis now have a son. But Dennis is approaching his fifth birthday, and shows no sign of being able to fly or turn into a bat—his baby teeth aren’t showing even a hint of a fang. Is he just a “late fanger?” Or could he actually be a human, like his father?
One of the things that make Hotel Transylvania 2 work better than its predecessor is that I genuinely wasn’t sure what the answer to those last two questions would be until the climax of the movie. In Hotel Transylvania 1, the only relationship in the story that I believed in was Dracula’s growing and reluctant liking for Johnny—while Johnny’s big romance with Mavis was reduced to “Zing.”
In Hotel Transylvania 2, Dracula’s affection for his grandson rings true. His anxiety about the fact that Dennis shows no sign of being a vampire rings a bit shallow…until you realize that the heart of Dracula’s fear is that if Dennis is human, his daughter and her whole family will move to California, so Dennis can grow up around humans instead of monsters. And when you add in Dracula’s relationship to his own father, it gives the whole movie more heart than the first one had.
The humor seemed sharper and better in this movie too—the scene where Dracula & co. take Dennis to his old summer camp for vampires was utterly delightful. It’s still a fairly slight story, but if you liked the first movie this one’s better. And even if you didn’t like the first one, you might give Hotel Transylvania 2 a try.
It also has a bit less of the “scary vampire face” which we were concerned might frighten very young kids in the first movie—though there’s still a bit of that, which is why we put the age range at four and up.
On a one to five ticket range, we each give Hotel Transylvania three tickets—and we only gave the first movie two, so this is definitely a step up.
Our full video review is here, on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/suOgKxKCc1E
Hilari Bell and Anna-Maria Crum are two childrens book authors, who love kid movies and go to them for fun! Their YouTube channel is: Should I Take My Kid To This Movie, and you can also follow them on Facebook and their Twitter handle is Kid2Movies