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Western Animation / Hotel Transylvania

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Even monsters need a vacation.
Hotel Transylvania is a computer-animated 3D comedy film produced by Sony Pictures Animation for Columbia Pictures. It's the feature film debut of the legendary Genndy Tartakovsky, best known for his work on Cartoon Network's Samurai Jack, Dexter's Laboratory, Star Wars: Clone Wars and Sym-Bionic Titan. It also stars Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Andy Samberg, and many other Celebrity Voice Actors.

The film is set in Hotel Transylvania, a five-star resort where the world's monsters can get away from the humans who hate them and rest in peace. The hotel is owned by none other than Dracula, and on the 118th birthday of his daughter Mavis, he invites some of the most famous monsters to celebrate. However, they receive an unexpected visitor; Jonathan, a human backpacking around Transylvania who quickly falls for Mavis.

It was released in the US on September 28, 2012. The film was followed by:

Hotel Transylvania provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert:
    • Jonathan puts his hand through a female skeleton's rib cage, much to her indignation.
    • Later, Dracula and Jonathan walk in on the same female skeleton in the shower and two fleas on their honeymoon.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Adaptational Heroism: Almost all of the monsters are considerably nicer than they were in their respective source material.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame is a hideous but nice character whose very point is to avert Beauty Equals Goodness; He certainly isn't the French Jerk Humanitarian portrayed in this movie. While gruffer in the original, literary version, he's still shown as goodhearted.
  • Adults Are Useless: Dracula could have easily stopped Quasimodo had he given Mavis any chance to explain what happened.
  • Aerith and Bob: Mavis is a real name but a very old, uncommon one. Considering her age, however, it's perfectly understandable.
  • An Aesop: Your lover may be different, but your love will be mutual no matter what.
  • Airplane Arms: Dracula runs with his arms extended behind him.
  • Alliterative Family: The werewolves all have names that start with the letter W. Besides Wayne and Wanda, three of their pups are named Wilbur, Wally, and Winnie.
  • All There in the Manual: The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania. Buy it, read it, be amazed.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Griffin greets Dracula by pinching his butt and then calling him irresistible. Hmm... In one of the video games, he actually calls Dracula handsome. However, in the sequel, at Mavis's wedding, he claims to have a nonexistent girlfriend and he's later seen hooking up with a real Invisible Woman named Crystal at the end.
  • Animated Armor: The hotel guards are suits of possessed armor that are, mysteriously, vulnerable to a Groin Attack.
  • Anthropomorphic Food: The "scream cheese", which is cream cheese that screams.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: After Dracula tells Jonathan the reason for him being overprotective, Jonathan suggests humans today might accept the monsters. Dracula then asks him if it's a guarantee that everyone will instantly accept them, to which Jonathan has no answer. The answer ends up being yes.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Dracula tells a scary story to little Mavis about a human who hunts down a group of monsters and burns their clothes, bites their toes and... takes their candy. Of course, being a small child at the time, Mavis thinks candy-stealing is the scariest thing ever.
    Little Mavis: Don't take my candy!
  • Art Shift:
    • Jonathan's retelling of Martha's death after seeing a painting of her is done in a different art style.
    • The credits are done in the same thick-line animation as Dexter's Laboratory and Genndy Tartakovsky's other previous works.
    • The drawings in the book Martha made for Mavis are much simpler than the regular animation of the film.
  • Badass Driver: Griffin does the driving during the Race for Your Love sequence. He is fearless and highly skilled at recovering from near certain crashes.
  • Balls of Steel: Zig-zagged - Quasimodo kicks one of the suits of armour between the legs. It slumps to its knees with a yelp and then wonders "Why did that hurt me?" In fact it sounds more like it didn't hurt, and it's wondering why it bothered to drop to its knees at all.
  • Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Wayne and Wanda are a suburban werewolf couple who don't wear shoes, since it would be redundant for their furry feet.
  • Batman in My Basement: Inverted. Dracula has to keep the fact that Jonathan is human a secret from the other monsters.
  • Bat Out of Hell: Subverted with Dracula and Mavis. They both turn into mega-adorable ones.
    Dracula: Don't give me the pouty bat face.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: In-universe, Drac is embarrassed at the twisted image humans have of vampires. We equate vampires as being blood-thirsty and saying "Bleh bleh bleh!" to which he states he had never said anything like that in his centuries-long life and has no idea where that even came from. Even Mavis thinks he talks like this. He then sees The Twilight Saga.
    Dracula: This is how we're represented. Unbelievable.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: The table cloths in the ballroom are all animated bedsheets, and they can make the tables fly.
  • Beehive Hairdo:
    • Eunice, complete with skunk stripe.
    • Jonathan's hair in his "Johnnystein" disguise.
  • Big Fun: Murray the Mummy is large and likes to flirt and sing.
  • Birthday Beginning: The plot starts when Dracula plans a big party for Mavis's 118th birthday. Mavis uses this to insist she's old enough to leave the castle and see the world.
  • Blank White Eyes: Seen briefly on Jonathan as he tries to scare Esmeralda. It doesn't work.
  • Blatant Lies: After eating things in front of other monsters, the gremlin says, "I didn't do that."
  • Blithe Spirit: Jonathan's carefree and accepting nature causes the hotel guests, and especially Dracula, to see humans as less monstrous and thereby opens a pathway for the two groups to reconcile.
  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Dracula gags the shrunken head hanging on Mavis’s door after she won't shut up about what an idiot he's been.
    • Quasimodo ties up Johnny and tries to bring him to the kitchen in order to make a meal out of him.
  • Boy Meets Ghoul: Jonathan meeting Mavis kicks off the core love story of the film. Although she at first believes him to be a monster, she is not at all fazed when she finds out the truth.
  • Break Her Heart to Save Her: Dracula convinces Jonathan his relationship with Mavis would never work out and could even put her life at risk. When she finds out Jonathan's human and still wants to be with him, he rejects her.
  • Brick Joke:
    • During his initial Motor Mouth enthusiasm about being in a castle full of monsters, Jonathan asks Dracula if his hand would disappear if he stuck it in the Invisible Man's mouth. Later...
      Griffin: He put his hand in my mouth to see if it would disappear!
    • The two honeymooning fleas that Dracula walks on? Much later, they are accidentally stomped by Frank and remark they should have honeymooned at one of their parents'.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: Between the werewolf couple, Wayne is stressed and pessimistic while Wanda is cheerful and upbeat.
  • The Cameo: Thing from The Addams Family (because how many other animated hands do you know of?) can be seen very briefly riding Johnny's scooter.
  • Casting Gag: In the Japanese dub, Kōichi Yamadera (as Dracula) previously voiced another, more evil vampire, Meier Link, in Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust.
  • Catchphrase:
    • Mavis: "Holy Rabies!"
    • Gremlin: "I didn't do that."
  • Chekhov's Gag: Jonathan's smelly old shirt becomes unexpectedly useful when it allows Winnie to track him.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Winnie's ability to sniff out anything is used at the climax to find Jonathan.
  • Classical Movie Vampire: Dracula has been around in one form or another for hundreds of years.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Jonathan to a degree. He wonders if Mavis is naked in her bat form, or if his hand would disappear should he put it in the Invisible Man's mouth.
  • Companion Cube: Jonathan's backpack is treated as such. It is even a groomsman during his wedding during the montage in the second film.
  • Control Freak: Dracula believes that one can only have fun if it's properly scheduled and executed. His friends put up with this, although they are clearly exasperated at him from time to time. This could count as Fridge Brilliance, because classical vampires had OCD as one of their weaknesses.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster features The Invisible Man wearing clothes, but he doesn't wear anything but his glasses throughout the film. Presumably it's to make it more obvious to the audience that there's an Invisible Man there.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Jonathan and Mavis meet when he crashes into her on an out-of-control flying witch's broomstick. This is a deliberate echo of how Mavis's parents met, colliding as bats.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In two parts. First, all the characters are animated in 2D style, then the rest of the credits are concept art for the backgrounds.
  • Creepy Family: Several of the monsters have their own nuclear family, most notably the Wolfman (a wife and several cubs) and of course Dracula, his daughter and late wife. The sequel has the next generation with Mavis, Jonathan and their son.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Mavis. If it weren't for her Cute Little Fangs, she'd look like just another Perky Goth.
  • Daddy's Girl:
    • Mavis for Dracula, lampshaded by the song he sings to her as a child. Now, since she wants to leave home so much, she seems to have grown out of that phase.
    • Wayne's only daughter, Winnie, is the only one of his children to respect him.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Probably one of the most blatant examples ever put on the screen, as it's apparent that monsters don't go out looking for trouble with humans, and are kind of freaked out by them. Except the Evil Chef, whose first impulse is to cook the human intruder.
  • Dance Party Ending: The movie ends on this note.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Dracula doesn't approve of Mavis being with Jonathan, for obvious reasons. However, Jonathan is disguised as a monster when their romance starts, so Mavis doesn't know he's human at the time.
  • The Dead Can Dance: And they sing too, with Auto-Tune used in their songs.
  • Dead Weight: Murray. He may be big fun, but he's a fat mummy, so he counts.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Dracula. Griffin gets quite a few zingers as well. The shrunken head on Mavis's bedroom door does nothing but snark at Dracula.
  • Defensive "What?": During the Race for Your Love climax, Wayne clears a line of sheep off the road by eating them up in two seconds flat. As the others look at him horrified, he says "What? Now there's no sheep on the road."
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: In the spa scene, Dracula by first saying Mavis shouldn't be with "Johnnystein" because of his kind, which is after disguising Jonathan and claiming him to be Frank's right arm's cousin. Frank naturally gets offended so Dracula backs himself up by saying that he has red hair, which Griffin gets mad. After a couple of scenes with Johnnystein and Mavis on the roof, we cut back to the spa where Wayne and Murray are now mad at Dracula.
  • Don't Explain the Joke:
    • Dracula explains the whole purpose of the hotel to which Jonathan sums it up in one sentence to Dracula's displeasure:
      Dracula: It’s a place I built for all those monsters out there lurking in the shadows, hiding from the persecution of humankind. A place for them and their family to come and be themselves, a place void of torches, pitchforks and angry mobs! A place of peace, relaxation, and tranquility...
      Jonathan: Cool, so it like a hotel for monsters?
      Dracula: Yes, exactly, a hotel for monsters. Way to sum it up.
    • During a scene when Dracula and Jonathan are doing an impression of Wayne, Drac explicitly tells Jonathan that it's less funny if he explains the jokes.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: Jonathan hears a story about a "spooky forest" and decides to check it out.
    Jonathan: Who's not gonna go into a spooky forest, right?
  • *Drool* Hello: During the prologue, while Dracula is overseeing the plans for the hotel, a blob of saliva splatters on the blueprints. It comes from young Mavis playing on the ceiling.
  • Dysfunctional Family: Wayne, his pregnant wife Wanda, and all their chaotic little werewolf offspring.
    Wayne: Hey, kids! Reel it in! You're only supposed to make Mom and Dad miserable!
  • Easily Forgiven: Even though he broke her heart, Mavis easily forgives Jonathan when he explains why. Probably by shifting her anger to her father for basically threatening to kill Jonathan if he didn't. Which was also easily forgiven because she knows how much of a Control Freak he can be.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Dracula employs them as bellhops and such. There's also zombiefied Beethoven, Bach and Mozart!
  • Evil Chef: Quasimodo.
  • Explosive Breeder: Wayne has dozens of children. And his wife is pregnant again.
  • Expressive Accessory:
    • The collar on Dracula's cape points up or curves down to match his moods.
    • Griffin’s glasses are quite expressive.
  • Expressive Ears: Mavis has these in her bat form.
  • Expy: The relationship between Dracula and Jonathan are not too dissimilar to that of Herman Munster and Grandpa Dracula from The Munsters. Grandpa and the Count are both based off of the Universal Studios adaptation of Dracula, each having a knack for invention (Grandpa's inventions, the Count's intricate Hotel) and a mild contempt for his son in law (Herman and Jonathan). Herman and Jonathan are both dim-witted, innocent and loving to their family. Where as Herman is based off of the Universal Studios incarnation of Frankenstein, Jonathan's "Jonnystein" identity is based off of Frankenstein in-universe. In the sequel, he becomes the son-in-law of Count Dracula and the father of his grandson, just like Herman. They are both prone to scheming with one another behind Lily/Mavis's backs with varying reactions from them and with varying success. Mavis herself resembles a bit and her look is similar to Marya Zaleska, the original daughter of the Count.
  • Extreme Omnivore: The gremlins.
  • Eye Glasses: Griffin has expressive frames. His eyeballs are invisible, just like the rest of him.
  • Eye Scream: Dracula considers Jonathan's attempt to remove his contacts to be this.
  • Face Palm: Dracula does this when one of the zombies in human disguise impales another disguised zombie in the head.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The movie starts off like a horror movie, with a vampire flying into a castle and walking towards a baby crib, hands outstretched... and then he says "Peek a boo!". The baby in the crib is Dracula's daughter, Mavis.
  • Fantastic Racism: Between monsters and humans in the past, bad enough that monsters went into hiding as humans became more adept at killing them. Dracula perpetuates this attitude on the monster side into the present day; Johnny even points it out in the film. Averted at the end of the film and through to the sequel, where as it turns out, most humans are pretty chill about the idea of monsters existing, and thanks to Johnny, monsters are quite accepting of humans.
  • Fartillery: Frankenstein farts in the hotel lobby, putting the blame on Murray.
  • Fearless Fool: Jonathan. He seems to be fine with taking a picture of a couple that's crying, adventuring through a "spooky forest", and following a trail of zombies on fire to an "awesome castle". He is also seemingly completely unafraid of Dracula though this is because he thinks the hotel is having a costume party when he first shows up. And Jonathan is freaked out at first when he learns that all the monsters are real, plus Dracula is the real deal and not just a man in a costume and that Mavis is his daughter.
  • Fiery Redhead: Averted with Jonathan. Griffin says he has red hair. But how could anyone know that?
  • Flashback Cut: This happens when Jonathan tells Dracula how he found the hotel.
  • Fly-at-the-Camera Ending: The second-to-last scene has Mavis and Jonathan fly at the camera on their ghost tables.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: At one point, Dracula and friends go out in public during the local Monster Festival. Eventually the humans realize they're the real deal, but everyone's starstruck instead of scared.
  • Frankenstein's Monster: Frank and his wife, Eunice. Jonathan is disguised as Frank's cousin Johnnystein.
  • French Cuisine Is Haughty: Quasimodo, the chef at the hotel, is French.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Dracula and Mavis.
  • Friendly Zombie: Played with. Drac has zombie staff running the hotel and performing tasks such as moving luggage or serving food. While they are relatively harmless, they are still pretty slow and dimwitted like standard zombies. Though human guests can rest assured that they will never be attacked by them during their stay.
  • Freudian Slip: Mavis has one when her father asks if she has fallen for Johnny, stating he was "adorable". It is at this moment that Dracula realizes she is in love with Johnny.
  • Full Moon Silhouette: When Dracula is following Mavis during the scene where she leaves the hotel for the first time, she flies up towards the moon in her bat form and transforms into her vampire form near it, leaving her silhouette visible against the moon for a few seconds.
  • Funny Background Event: Jonathan and the suit of armor fighting in Mavis's bedroom.
  • Game Face: Dracula busts out the fangs and wide mouth, complete with ominous red background, whenever he gets comically upset.
  • Games of the Elderly: One of the events Dracula organizes for his daughter Mavis's birthday party is a bingo game. Both Mavis and her human boyfriend Jonathan are quite clearly bored. Zigzagged as Dracula and Mavis are both 100+-year-old vampires.
  • Gender Bender: Mr. Hydraberg, Dracula's six-headed client, has five male heads and one female head (who loudly objects being singularly called "mister.")
  • Gentle Giant: Frank.
  • Gilded Cage: This is how Mavis grew up. She had the run of the whole estate but she wasn't allowed to travel outside the hotel or have any kind of contact with humans as Dracula feared she could end up like her mother.
  • God Test: This scene
    Frank: There's the real Dracula!
    Resident: Prove it!
    [cue Dracula quickly hypnotizing him to smash his mug into his head]
    Resident: Alright, continue.
  • Gonna Need More Trope: When the toilet is clogged by Bigfoot, you can see the Zombie look at his plunger and makes a face that pretty much states "I'm going to need a bigger plunger".
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Wayne eats an entire flock of sheep by himself in mere seconds. We only see the shocked looks on his friends' faces.
    Murray: That was pretty sick, man.
    Wayne: You eat lamb chops, it's the same thing!
  • GPS Evidence: Wolfman's daughter can tell a lot about something by sniffing their sweaty shirt. Like when they got into a car, where that car was going, which plane they're planning to board, and which airline meal they're ordering fifteen minutes before they're even going to order it.
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Jonathan does this at Mavis's birthday party by somehow getting fireflies to form the shapes of exotic places she wants to visit.
  • Groin Attack: Quasimodo does it to a suit of armor, who wonders aloud why it hurt him.
  • Hammerspace: Where Drac pulls out Jonathan from after crashing into Mavis's room through the window.
  • Half-Dressed Cartoon Animal: Wayne and Wanda's werewolf pups.
  • Happily Married: Wayne and Wanda, despite their evergrowing offspring and very different personalities.
  • Hartman Hips: Mavis's sweater dress shows off hers quite well. The female mummy at the hotel and the human woman dressed up at the Monster Festival sport these, as well.
  • Hate Sink: Quasimodo's role in a nutshell.
  • Haunted Castle: The hotel itself.
  • Headless Horseman / Stingy Jack: The cabby for the hotel turns out to be a monster that uses a greenish, detachable jack o'lantern instead of an actual head, driving a motorized carriage instead of a horse.
  • Hell Hotel: Subverted in the case of the titular hotel. While it is a hotel built with monsters in mind, it's a very cheerful place.
  • Henpecked Husband: Frank.
    Eunice: Frank! Did you book us a tandem massage? Did you get us a table at Hunchback's? Did you do anything?
  • Hidden Elf Village: Or Hidden Monster Hotel at any rate. The hotel was designed to be as difficult to find by humans as possible, being surrounded by a haunted forest and a graveyard. The building manager also tells Dracula to never start fires to avoid attracting attention. Jonathan ends up finding said hotel through local rumors and following Drac's flaming zombies.
  • High-Dive Hijinks: Frank uses the tentacle of a sea monster instead of a diving board, raising him several stories above the pool. When he hits the water, his detachable body parts come loose. Johnny tries the same thing later, but Dracula drains the water from the pool and puts a blob monster in Johnny's landing spot.
  • Hold Your Hippogriffs: Mavis says "Holy rabies!" when she's excited. Dracula calls Mavis many unusual nicknames like "dead-ums," "sweet fangs" and "love droppings" just to name a few.
    Dracula: You're old enough to drive a hearse now, you're old enough to make your own choices.
  • Housewife: Wayne's wife Wanda is perfectly happy to be a stay-at-home mom and just can't and won't stop having babies.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Dracula has developed this belief, even moreso than the other monsters, due to the traumatic experience of his wife being killed by a group of rioters setting his home on fire.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Said word for word by Dracula. He hates them, and built the hotel not only to protect his daughter from them, but also as a place for other monsters to get away from humans. It ends up being subverted by the humans of the 21st century, but was played very straight by those of the 19th century who murdered Dracula's wife.
  • Human Jungle Gym: Wayne, the father of the large werewolf family, often has several of his ferocious cubs attached to him by their teeth.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Dracula can hypnotize anyone simply by staring into their eyes, allowing him to either control their actions or erase their memories. It works through windows, but apparently not contact lenses.
  • Hypocritical Humor:
  • I Did What I Had to Do: The exact line Drac uses to justify deceiving Mavis at the fake village. No-one, especially Mavis, is impressed by that excuse.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Averted with most of the monsters. Except Quasimodo, who wants to make Jonathan into "human pot pie."
  • Immortal Immaturity: 118-year old vampire Mavis acts like a 18-year old human. Apparently, her emotional maturity is as stunted as her physical development.
  • Immune to Mind Control: When Dracula tries to hypnotize Jonathan into leaving the hotel and never coming back, he is unaffected because he wears contacts.
  • Ink-Suit Actor:
    • Say, doesn't Dracula look real similar to Adam Sandler?
    • Compare voice actress Jackie Sandler to character Martha. Yes, Dracula's wife is played by Sandler's real wife.
    • Mavis has more than a passing resemblance to Selena Gomez.
  • In-Series Nickname:
    • Dracula's friends call him "Drac".
    • Dracula calls Mavis "Mavy-Wavy".
  • Interspecies Romance: Mavis, a vampire, falls in love with Jonathan, a human.
  • Invisible Jerkass: The Invisible Man seems to be fond of Comedic Sociopathy; at least in the beginning.
  • Invisible Streaker: The Invisible Man, particularly evident when he powders his ass.
  • It Only Works Once: Monsters only zing once in their whole life. Or so Dracula had always thought.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Eunice does care about her friends and family, but she shows it in a very rude and abrasive way, doubling as Tsundere Type A with her husband Frank.
  • Jump Scare: The first scene with Dracula's angry face kind of sneaks up on you.
  • Just Plane Wrong: The plane is flying with its landing gear down for far too long after takeoff.
  • Kill It with Fire: How Martha died.
  • Knight Templar Parent: Dracula takes the whole overprotective dad thing so far that he not only teaches Mavis that humans are dangerous with scary bedtime stories and not letting her play outside, but he essentially imprisons her in an isolated castle for most of her life and the one time he lets her out he sets up a bad encounter with fake humans so she'll never want to leave again. Though this is not entirely without good reason, since Dracula knows from experience what humans can do to vampires.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Both Dracula and Mavis are very vulnerable to sunlight, to the point that the touch of the smallest sliver of dawnlight on the tip of her shoes made Mavis yelp and pull back into the shade. More significant exposure causes Dracula to smoke and embers to appear on his bat-fur. Still, while painful, Dracula was able to spend a significant amount of time in the sun and healed within minutes of returning to the shade. Furthermore, even the slightest amount of shade seems sufficient to protect them, as Mavis was able to watch the sunrise from the shadow of the hotel's chimney without being burned.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: One of Dracula's powers. Jonathan's contacts block it, and he refuses to use it on Mavis, who wants to forget her heartbreak.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • When Dracula's suits of armor attempt to subdue Quasimodo, he kicks one in the crotch, and it responds by doubling over in pain and then saying, "Why did that hurt me?"
    • Trying to back himself up on why "Jonnystein" isn't suitable for Mavis, Dracula says he has red, curly hair... to which Griffin asks defensively, "What's wrong with red, curly hair?" Well... the guy's invisible, so of course Draculanote  is gonna point that out.
  • Landing in Someone's Bathtub: Jonathan falls through a ceiling and lands in a steam room with Dracula and his friends.
  • Large Ham: Most actors are enjoying themselves, but Adam Sandler's Dracula takes the cake.
  • Likes Older Women: Jonathan falls for Mavis, who looks young but is actually a century older than him.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Mavis has a closet full of black dresses that are all exactly the same. For her big birthday celebration, she actually sews something new for herself out of her old clothes.
  • The Lost Lenore: Dracula's wife Martha.
  • Love at First Sight: Or rather "zing" at first sight.
  • Magic Pants: Lampshaded by Jonathan, who asks Mavis if she's wearing tiny clothes while in her bat form. Earlier in the film, she transforms with a Hawaiian shirt which shrinks to fit her bat form.
  • Magic Skirt: Mavis's dress (and her hair) remains static when she does her Wall Crawl trick.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • In Japan, the movie is called Monster Hotel.
    • In Russia, the film is marketed as Monsters on Vacation.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Eunice does this to Mavis while she's arguing with Dracula about letting her visit a human village.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings:
    • The werewolves. Holy shit. Oh, and Wanda's pregnant again.
    • Jonathan says he had six brothers growing up, making him a seventh son.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Mavis is just coming of age by vampire standards, but she's older than any living human and will long outlive Jonathan unless he becomes a vampire himself, which is never touched upon as a possibility.
  • Mickey Mousing: Not surprising, considering Genndy Tartakovsky's love of Tex Avery's work.
  • A Minor Kidroduction: The prologue starts with Mavis as a baby in 1894.
  • Missing Mom: Mavis's mom was killed by humans. No wonder Dracula thinks Humans Are the Real Monsters and is such a Knight Templar Parent.
  • Missing Reflection: One gag has Mavis practicing a speech to her dad in front of a mirror. She's a vampire, so there's no reflection.
  • Mistaken for Racist: While enjoying the sauna, Dracula tells his friends that Johnny is gone (having tried sending him away earlier) and that it never would have worked out between Mavis and "one of his kind." Thinking Johnny is his cousin, Frank thinks that Dracula has a problem with his daughter dating Flesh Golems like him, only for Dracula to try and deflect.
  • Monster Mash: Dracula's Hotel Transylvania is a 5-star resort for the world's monsters, including Murray the Mummy, Wayne the Wolf and his family, Frank and his wife Eunice, Griffin the Invisible Man, skeletons, a giant bigfoot as well as a yeti and Quasimodo.
  • Mood Killer: Averted. When Jonathan and Mavis are about to kiss near the end of the film, Dracula makes comically roars with red lighting. Shortly after he apologizes and leaves, letting them get to it.
  • Mundane Object Amazement: Inverted with Dracula, who thinks techno music and contact lenses are torture to have to listen to and see.
  • Mundane Utility: Dracula and Mavis use their vampire powers for practical purposes, such as when Dracula uses telekinesis to change baby Mavis's diapers and Mavis uses her smaller bat form to thread a needle more easily.
  • Multiple Head Case: Hydraberg.
    Head 1: Hey, mister Dracula! We asked for a room with a view of the pool!
    Head 2: The room's fine! We just wanna book a massage.
    Head 3: Yeah! Swedish!
    Heads 4, 5 & 6: Shiatsu! Aromatherapy! Lower back!
    Dracula: I'll get back to you, Mr. Hydraberg!
    Head 1: See that you do!
    Head 2: I doubt it.
    Head 5: That's ''Miss'' Hydraberg!
  • My God, What Have I Done?: What Dracula states when he realizes that he broke his daughter's heart and shattered her dreams.
  • Mythology Gag: Quasimodo's rat is named Esmeralda, the name belonging to his gypsy friend in the original story.
    • Notice Frank's light-blue skin? While some interpretations recolor Frankenstein's Monster as green, the original black-and-white movie's makeup was indeed pale blue, to give the impression in monochrome of pale and injured tissue.
    • Dracula wears a big straw hat when going into the sun that comically clashes with his classic vampire outfit. In Bram Stoker's original novel, Dracula actually inexplicably wears such a hat when interacting with a ship's captain.
  • The Namesake: Hotel Transylvania.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Dracula tries to convince Mavis to stay away from the human world by setting up a fake human village for Mavis to visit where the townspeople (disguised zombies) will scare her out of wanting to go again. Though this works, the ruckus leads Jonathan to the hotel, and his upbeat outlook quickly changes her mind, forcing him to betray his ruse and further alienate her.
  • Nightmare Face:
    • Dracula does this a few times when he's angry.
    • Mavis has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it example in the scene where Dracula admits that the village was a fake. Runs in the family, I suppose.
  • No Eye in Magic: Jonathan's contact lenses make him immune to Drac's hypnotism.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Done my Winnie to several of her brothers during the first dance scene.
  • Noodle Incident: Jonathan's had a rather... interesting backpacking trip, to say the least, including almost getting eaten at a Slipknot concert.
  • The Nose Knows:
    • Esmeralda the rat can tell Johnnystein is a human by his scent, so Quasimodo uses her to track him down.
    • Exaggerated with Wayne's daughter Winnie, who with one sniff can not only determine Jonathan current location, but an impossibly precise sequence of events leading up to it (what time the plane Jonathan is on is leaving, the fact that he ordered the vegetarian meal, etc.).
  • Odd Couple: Dracula and Jonathan.
  • Older Than She Looks: Even though Mavis looks, thinks, and acts like an 18-year-old girl, she is actually 118 years old.
  • Only Sane Girl: Mavis.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Despite initial hesitation at the VA list, one of the only complaints about the VA work was Adam Sandler's inconsistent accent.
  • Our Monsters Are Different: And there's a lot of them.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: Who knew Dracula could be such a Doting Parent? Vampires here are also shown to have telekinesis, hypnotic powers, and the ability to defy gravity, walking on walls and ceilings. Dracula and Mavis seem to prefer eating mice and scorpions to human blood.
    Dracula: Human blood is so fatty, and you never know where it's been.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Wayne and Wanda, a married werewolf couple with a titanic family of werewolf pups, and Wanda is pregnant forever with more and more. Also, and even odder, all appear to have no human form.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Jonathan's "Johnnystein" disguise is little more than blue body paint with fake stitches, an old coat, and a different hair style. But given that no one here has really seen a human, they wouldn't know the difference.
  • Parental Bonus: The Egyptian Queen character in several hotel scenes (and appears in other films in the series), and the human dressed as a mummy.
  • Perky Goth: Mavis comes off this way.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The Gillwoman is pink, the Gillman is blue.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Quasimodo when he's running off with a Bound and Gagged Jonathan. Just look at him go!
  • Puppy-Dog Eyes: Mavis tries this on Drac while in bat form. It doesn't work.
    Dracula: Don't give me the pouty bat face.
  • The Quincy Punk: The werewolf pups have this look and similar bad behavior.
  • Race for Your Love: At the climax of the film, after Jonathan's identity is revealed, he rejects Mavis and leaves the hotel never to return, out of respect for Dracula's anti-human beliefs. Mavis is heartbroken and thinks her love is unrequited. However, Dracula changes his views about humans to the point that he chases after Jonathan himself, risking exposure to sunlight and even flying after Jonathan's airplane, all so he can bring them back together.
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin: Mavis.
  • Reflective Eyes: The sunrise is reflected into Mavis' eyes as she witnesses it.
  • Relatively Flimsy Excuse: Dracula claims that "Johnnystein" is Frank's 6th cousin thrice removed of his right arm. Frank believes him.
  • Ridiculously Alive Undead: During the opening, Dracula (who is a vampire) changes his daughter Mavis's diaper, and Mavis later grows up into an adult vampire (albeit over the course of 118 years). It's also invoked at one point; Frank moves his detached lower body over to Murray the mummy and farts loudly to make it look like he did it.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • All those werewolf pups, especially Winnie.
    • Mavis and Drac's bat forms.
  • Running Gag:
    • Drac roaring in a jarringly unearthly manner and turning red whenever he's upset.
    • The mispronunciation of Hawaii.
    • Anybody doing an impression of Dracula always says "blah bluh blah", though Dracula himself claims he never says that.
      Dracula: I do not say "blah bluh blah!"
    • The old gremlin lady who eats other people's belongings and denies it by saying "I didn't do that."
    • Apparently, Jonathan smells.
  • Sassy Black Woman: The shrunken head hanging on the hotel rooms, but particularly the one on Mavis's door.
  • Second-Act Breakup: Double Subverted. It at first seems like the revelation that Jonathan is human will break up him and Mavis, but she still loves him and wants to be with him. Then he tells her he hates monsters and leaves for Dracula's sake.
  • Seductive Mummy: Downplayed; the female mummy character does not look like an attractive woman by human standards, but she acts in a seductive way, and Murray has a crush on her.
  • Seven Minute Lull: Just as big D confesses to Mavis that he made up the town with the angry mob to scare her for her own safety.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Played with. Mavis wears her normal clothes to her birthday party, the only difference being a home-made Dracula cape. Jonathan is impressed and says she looks beautiful.
  • She Is All Grown Up: In the sense that Mavis at 118 is a young woman who wants her own life and to see the world.
  • Short Teens, Tall Adults: The adolescent Mavis is considerably shorter than her father Dracula and his friends.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Shrunken Head: On the room doors that seem to act as the "Do Not Disturb" cards in normal hotels. They also yell at the maids when the room needs to be cleaned.
  • Single-Target Sexuality: This is what a "zing" is, meaning you'll only fall in love once.
  • Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: The only characters who appears in the first trailer are Dracula and Jonathan, though there's a quick shot of Murray leaving his pyramid, but that's it. As of the second trailer, the only character who still hasn't gotten a proper introduction is Quasimodo. He makes a brief appearance screaming "A human!" but his face can't be seen and his name isn't mentioned.
  • Sleep Cute: At the beginning of the scooter scene, as the characters are doing charades, front row center, a pink gill monster is resting against the bluish colored gillman who seemed to be drifting off to sleep.
  • Soft Water: Averted when Frank tries belly-flopping into a pool from several stories high.
  • Squick: In-universe, Jonathan trying to take out his contact lens really grosses Drac out.
  • Stealth Pun:
    • At one point early in the movie, Dracula stands on a stool made of toads.
    • Mavis has been cooped up so long, she is climbing the walls.
    • That bright red lollipop Mavis has in the opening scene? It's a blood-sucker.
  • Sudden Musical Ending: Overlaps with Dance Party Ending. (Somewhat Justified when the cast includes Selena Gomez and CeeLo Green as well as Andy Samberg of Lonely Island.)
  • Super Smoke: A standard vampire power.
  • Surfer Dude: Jonathan has the attitude and lingo down, plus he's shown riding scooters and surfing on flying tables.
  • Take That!: Dracula thinks that LMFAO (specifically "Sexy And I Know It") is bad enough to suck out your soul.
    • There's also a shot at Twilight, specifically the film adaptations.
    Edward Cullen: Tell me, do you dream of being a vampare?
    Dracula: (to the audience) This is how we're represented? ''Unbelievable!
  • That Russian Squat Dance: Dracula and a pair of animated armor guards flanking him do it. It's probably easier if gravity is not an issue.
  • The Thing That Would Not Leave: Jonathan.
  • Toilet Humor: It's an Adam Sandler movie. This sort of comedy is inevitable.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: Humans are usually shown using these when attacking monsters.
  • Trailers Always Spoil:
    • Or the Cover Version does in this case. The newly released "Call Me Maybe" reveals Dracula eventually accepts Mavis and Jonathan's relationship although he still can't deal with watching them kiss.
    • And then there's "Problem (The Monster Remix)," which spoils the moment when Dracula sees Mavis kissing Jonathan for the first time on the dance floor.
    • One of the trailers also shows a brief clip of Dracula with an infant Mavis looking at a burning building in a serious manner. It doesn't take much imagination to figure out what happened with Mavis's mother from that.
  • Tunnel Network: The castle has more than one secret underground passage.
  • Überwald: Transylvania, of course.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: None of the townsfolk at the end seem bothered in the slightest that the monsters of legend are real, even as Frank goes on a rampage right in their midst. Especially strange given that Johnny flipped his lid when he first found out.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Frank's are just stitches.
  • The Unmasqued World: At the end of the film, the monsters that have been in hiding from humans for centuries finally reveal themselves at what just so happens to be a festival populated by monster-loving nerds, who all immediately cheer in celebration at finding out monsters actually exist. By the second film, the entire world has come to acknowledge and accept monsters, even thinking of them as celebrities.
  • Vampires Hate Garlic: Dracula confirms that vampires indeed are harmed by garlic. However, the way he explains it to Jonathan, it sounds more like an allergy than the standard supernatural reason.
    Jonathan: So, can I ask you a question? Is it true? About the garlic thing?
    Dracula: Yes. I cannot have it. My throat swells.
  • Vampire Vords: Dracula talks like this.
  • Vegetarian Vampire: Neither Dracula or his daughter drink human blood because, as stated by Dracula, it's too fatty and you don't know where the human's been. Instead their meals apparently consist of small critters like mice, scorpions, worms, etc., as well as a blood substitute such as Near-Blood and Blood Beaters. This is actually more accurate to the behavior of real vampire bats, who generally avoid human blood. Dracula does, however, try to scare Jonathan away from the hotel by threatening to drink him dry. At the end of the movie though, he does admit to Mavis that he would have if Johnny didn't pretend to hate monsters.
  • Visible Invisibility: Type 5 with Griffin, he's the only one who can see himself and uses glasses so others can "see" him.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Dracula and Mavis's power to turn into bats. They can also change back fully clothed.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: A Fly Man does this twice; once during a game of charades and again during a water aerobics class. Both times he has to tell people not to interpret it or copy it.
  • Walking the Earth: Jonathan was backpacking across Europe before he came to the hotel. Judging from the patches on his backpack, he's been to France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Romania and Mexico. He also says that everything he owns is in that backpack.
  • Wall Crawl: Mavis simply walks up the wall and onto the ceiling while pacing around her room. She does it literally as a baby, though.
  • Weakened by the Light: Drac and Mavis only go out at night because the sun causes them to turn to dust and disintegrate.
  • Weirdness Censor: Subverted. All the people in the Halloween festival during the third act are aware that Frankenstein is real and think he is just awesome. Dracula too, although one asks for some proof.
  • Wham Shot: When Dracula says "the legend is wrong" and pulls the curtain away, revealing him in the picture with his wife, the Lady Lubov, it's a big reveal that explains a lot.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Quasimodo can be considered a "monster" because of his mannerisms and being perceived as a monster by regular humans. After all, if a no-humans rule was fully in effect, Griffin technically wouldn't be allowed on the premise either.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: In order to keep Mavis from leaving the hotel, Dracula builds a fake human village for her to visit and has zombies in human costumes attack her with pitchforks and torches. Despite some stylistic suck from the zombies' incompetence, the plan works, but Dracula eventually confesses everything to Mavis during her birthday party. She is understandably pissed. Everybody helps her to confront him about it, even before Johnny is revealed to be a human and their sentiments really sour.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Frank is afraid of fire.
    Frank: Seriously, watch out for fire. Fire bad.
  • Wicked Witch: Dracula employs them as maids. One particular witch seems to have a crush on him.
  • Wimp Fight: In a Funny Background Event, Johnathan gets into one with one of the Animated Armors while Dracula is trying to convince his daughter to leave the room.
  • Won't Take "Yes" for an Answer: Mavis has a whole speech prepared why Dracula should give her permission to go outside. When he says yes, she goes off into the speech before realizing he already gave her permission.
  • Wooden Stake: Discussed. Jonathan asks whether it's true Dracula can be killed by a wooden stake impaled in his heart. He confirms it's true, but it's more because anyone who is stabbed in the heart would die from it.
  • World of Ham
  • You Dirty Rat!: Quasimodo's pet rat Esmeralda.
  • Your Costume Needs Work:
    • Jonathan thinks the hotel is having a costume party when he first gets there, and initially mistakes Dracula for a guy in a costume.
    • This happens again when Dracula and friends go to the Monster Festival. Pretty much all the humans are in monster costumes and initially don't recognize the real monsters.
  • Your Vampires Suck: Dracula doesn't like how a certain in-flight movie represents vampires.
    Dracula: This is how we are represented? Unbelievable.
  • Youthful Freckles: Jonathan has these.


Hotel Transylvania

The humans of the past killed Dracula's wife simply for being a vampire, even after Dracula tried to reason with them. It's why Dracula is so fearful of humanity.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / HumansAreTheRealMonsters

Media sources: