Give Genndy Tartakovsky's Hotel Transylvania credit: its script may have been a potluck of ideas - many of which were leftovers from the visions of five different directors who worked on the project before Tartakovsky - but its giddy pacing and exaggerated 3D animation style makes the film a unique entry in the current slate of computer-animated entertainment. That helps to account for how Transylvania generated solid word-of-mouth and a $254 million gross around the world, despite an overall mixed critical reception (read our review).
Tartakovsky will continue favoring classic cartoon Impressionism over photo-realism with his next project, a CGI-animated movie starring everyone's favorite spinach-popping sailor, Popeye. Meanwhile, Sony is jump-starting development on Hotel Transylvania 2, which will come a year after Tartakovsky's Popeye is scheduled to arrive on the scene.
Sony Pictures Animation will be occupying the last Friday in September as a launch pad for its upcoming 3D features over the next three years, replicating the same model that's proven so fruitful for Transylvania (if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right?). Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 will be first to arrive on September 27th next year, followed by Popeye on September 26th in 2014 and Hotel Transylvania 2 on September 25th the year thereafter.
Heat Vision says that the Transylvania sequel is currently in "early development stages" and needs a director, since Tartakovsky is going to be busy putting Popeye together. The celebrity-studded voice cast from the first film (which includes Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, Steve Buscemi, and Kevin James, among others) is expected to be brought back for the monster-comedy followup.
Popeye has our interest over Transylvania 2 for the time being, since the character (who was created by Elzie Crisler Segar back in 1929) seems like an organic fit for Tartakovsky's artistic sensibilities. Moreover, Tartakovsky's direction and approach was easily the highlight of Transylvania; take that away and the film could've been mistaken for your average run-of-the-mill DreamWorks 3D toon, complete with a pop song/dance number as the finale (though, to be fair, the celebrity voice acting was actually pretty good).
That's to say: a Hotel Transylvania sequel that doesn't involve Tartakovsky in any significant creative capacity just sounds less appealing to us, right off the bat. Of course that could change, depending on who does ultimately end up sitting at the helm; not to mention, what direction they take to continuing the (mostly) self-contained story from the first film.
Which are you more intrigued by - Popeye or Hotel Transylvania 2?