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Hotel Transylvania 4 Reviews Have Arrived, Check Out How Critics Are Responding To Transformania

Dracula is shown from Hotel Transylvania: Transformania
(Image credit: Sony)

 

Hotel Transylvania’s monsters are coming back, with the fourth installment of the animated monster comedy series, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, set to hit Amazon Prime on Friday, January 14. Critics have had a chance to screen the movie, so we can get a little inside information to help us decide if we want to stock up on the microwave popcorn this weekend.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania features an all-star cast, with Selena Gomez and Andy Samberg returning as Mavis and Johnny. Kathryn Hahn, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon and David Spade are among the other returning voices. Dracula and Frankenstein, however, who were voiced by Adam Sandler and Kevin James respectively in the first three movies, have been replaced by Brian Hull and Brad Abrell. Genndy Tartakovsky, the series’ previous director, had a hand in the screenplay, but he handed over the reins on this one to Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon. Let’s see how the critics liked this final installment of the fun franchise.

Starting with our own CinemaBlend review, Mike Reyes gives the franchise finale 3.5 stars out of 5, saying the zany humor and sight gags that have endeared audiences since the first movie’s release in 2012 are still there in what is a fitting end to the series. Transformania might even pack an emotional punch for those who have been there from the beginning:

As with any animated family franchise, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is going to be a good source of laughter and tears. Children who grew up with Drac and his family are not only saying goodbye to a piece of their childhood, they might even be doing so while introducing it to families of their own. No matter your age or circumstance, if you’ve been with the Drac Pack since the beginning, the final Hotel Transylvania is an essential check-in that bids everyone a fast, fond, and funny farewell.

 Debopriyaa Dutta of Screen Rant gives the movie 3 out of 5 stars and says Adam Sandler's absence is a little jarring at first, but Brian Hull settles into the role, and the monster-human reversal at the heart of the plot is fairly well-executed by the big-name cast: 

The absence of Adam Sandler among the voice cast, especially as he does not return to reprise the role of Dracula, admittedly feels out-of-place in the beginning. However, Hull manages to grow into the role quite well, adding an element of heartrending empathy to the way in which he re-evaluates his hesitation to accept Johnny as his family. The rest of the voice cast plays their respective roles fairly well, especially the core monsters who turn into humans, as these scenes provide a genuine streak of hilarity to the narrative as a whole.

 John Defore of The Hollywood Reporter says the Hotel Transylvania movies have never really been about the script, and the visual gags and wacky energy should make its target demographic happy. The humor is mostly geared toward the kids, but Mom and Dad should find enough to appreciate as well: 

Never much to write home about in the script department — Tartakovsky excels in more stylish, less verbal fare like Samurai Jack — Transformania remains sufficiently goofy-sweet to please its target demo; those who find the humor toothless should at least appreciate the distinctive animation, which can be as energetically wacky as classic Looney Tunes.

 The review from Josh Spiegel of SlashFilm rates the movie a 5 out of 10. He says Transmorphia is fine, but it hits the exact same character arcs as the previous three. The writing seems to suggest that all involved know it’s time to wrap the series: 

If there is anything new to this film, it's the sense that the series is self-aware enough to understand that it's time to wrap up. This movie isn't ever trying to hit the same kind of emotions as Pixar's "Toy Story" series, but it's quite clear that the filmmakers introduce the idea of Drac's retirement because it might be time for the series itself to be retired.

 Adding to the crowd of voices with mixed-opinions, Simon Abrams of The Wrap agrees that while Hotel Transylvania: Transformania doesn’t break any new ground, the formula is one that’s worked for it, and the final installment is still well-crafted, creepy and silly: 

The “Hotel Transylvania” movies may not be sophisticated comedies, but they are clearly made by gifted and engaged craftsmen, who, thanks to whatever fluke of circumstances, have been allowed to smuggle in just enough personality to the latest studio-produced computer-generated animated series. And while many of the jokes in “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania” probably won’t linger in your mind, they are still fairly well-executed.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania sounds like a kid-pleaser, and hey, that’s the goal, right? The critics seemed to agree the new sequel stays in the lane of the previous three, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially for a children’s franchise that’s proven successful. Whether mom and dad will zone out remains to be seen.

Skipping theaters, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania will be available on Amazon Prime on Friday, January 14. Be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Schedule to see what other movies are coming soon. 

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.