Two Adam Sandler films will reach theaters in 2015 and, oddly enough, they're both family-friendly offerings. The first is the live-action release Pixels, an action/comedy that pits Sandler (along with costars like Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage) against extraterrestrials in the form of pixelated video game characters, such as Donkey Kong. Sandler will be back on the big screen a few months after that, only in animated form, with the Sony Animation Pictures sequel Hotel Transylvania 2.
Hotel Transylvania's sequel picks up some time after its predecessor; Dracula (Sandler) has not just opened the eponymous resort's doors to humans and monsters alike, he's also now a grandpa vampire, as his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and his son in law Jonathan (Andy Sandberg) are now parents. However, in order to convince Mavis that she and her family ought to stay at the Hotel, Drac sets out to put his grandchild, Dennis, through a 'monster boot camp' and prove that he belongs in the world of supernatural creatures. Problem is, Dennis may not have much (if any) in the way of vampiric qualities, despite his mixed heritage.
Whereas the Hotel Transylvania 2 teaser took on the form of an extended sequence clip from the film, the newly-released trailer dives deeper into the sequel's actual narrative. Moreover, the above preview offers the first look at Mel Brooks (who once upon a time spoofed Universal monster films with such parodies as Young Frankenstein and Dracula: Dead and Loving It) as Vlad, Dracula's father, whom Drac calls upon to help bring out Dennis' monstrous tendencies... only for that plan to backfire when it turns out Vlad doesn't care for the ways things are run at Hotel Transylvania in the 21st century.
Hotel Transylvania 2 was co-written by Sandler and Robert Smigel, the latter of which also co-penned Hotel Transylvania and the Sandler live-action comedy You Don't Mess with the Zohan. So far, though, the trailer footage indicates that the pair have written a pretty standard comedy followup, complete with slight variations on jokes from the first installment (this time, Drac makes the pouty face instead of Mavis) and a narrative that appears to call for the main characters to have arcs that are only slightly (if that) different than those in the first movie. It's the Pitch Perfect 2 of Hotel Transylvania sequels, by the look of it.
Is that necessarily a bad thing? Well, not if you were a fan of the first Hotel Transylvania's madcap humor, cartoony stylistic embellishments, and overall zany tone. All of those elements appear to be present and accounted for here, what with Genndy Tartakovsky back as director on the sequel. The story for Hotel Transylvania 2 doesn't seem to be all that more innovative than its predecessor's though; nor does the world-building process come off as better or more inventive. Which is to say: if you weren't a fan of Hotel Transylvania, then the sequel probably won't be of much interest to you, either.
Hotel Transylvania 2 opens in U.S. theaters on September 25th, 2015.
Source: Sony Pictures Animation