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Western Animation / Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

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Even monsters need to take a summer vacation.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (known as Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation internationally) is the second sequel to Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania. It is the third directing credit of the franchise for Genndy Tartakovsky and the first with him as writer, having replaced Robert Smigel from the first two films. The film is preceded immediately by the short Puppy!, which played in theaters in front of The Emoji Movie note .

It's been more than a century since the death of Dracula's wife, Martha. Feeling very lonely, Drac decides to get back into the dating game, but has a hard time. Seeing him getting overworked and stressed, his daughter Mavis decides to give him a vacation by taking him and his family and friends on a cruise for monsters aboard the cruise ship Legacy. The trip goes poorly for Drac until he meets the ship's captain, an attractive woman named Ericka. Experiencing a "Zing", Drac falls instantly in love with her, and it seems that she feels the same way. Unbeknownst to him, Ericka is actually the great-granddaughter of Drac's greatest enemy, Abraham Van Helsing, and she is trying to kill him. With an insidious trap in store, it might be down to Mavis to save him before it's too late.


The film was released on Friday, July 13th, 2018. You can watch the teaser here and the official trailer here.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation contains examples of:

  • Abhorrent Admirer: Dracula starts this for Erica, once she figures out he's interested but before she understands what a Zing is.
    • Winnie for Dennis in a more subdued way. Dennis treats her like a best friend and partner in crime while she is, very vocally, head over heels for him. Whether or not he feels the same or if they already Zinged is not shown, but he is very uncomfortable with her more romantic attentions.
  • Action Girl: Ericka, who can be very agile and almost ninja-like at times, though we don't see her doing much actual combat.
  • Action Film, Quiet Drama Scene: While it doesn't lack the manic energy and Rapid-Fire Comedy of the first two films, this is the first Transylvania movie to have extended sequences without dialogue or loud music, namely the Dracula family scuba diving and Mavis following Ericka down the secret passage. It's probably safe to assume that these were Genndy Tartakovsky's ideas.
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  • Adaptational Badass: Dracula, even above the level the other two films had him at. The Hellsings hunted him for hundreds of years and nothing worked, to the point Abraham van Hellsing decided only an ultimate weapon that mind controls a kraken would be enough to actually do him in. His rapid-fire shapeshifting and ability to ignore gravity are major bonuses in battle.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Due to most of the series' monsters being more heroic than their original counterparts, Abraham Van Helsing, in the context of this series' universe, is an obsessive, monster-killing bigot. He grows out of this mindset by the end of the film, after Ericka changes sides.
  • Almost Kiss: Dracula and Ericka come close to sharing a kiss on their date at the cantina, but are interrupted by Mavis.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Ericka admits during the climax that she "zinged" with Drac. This is enough to snap Drac out of unconsciousness.
  • Arch-Enemy: Dracula is considered such for the entire Van Helsing bloodline, having encountered multiple generations of Van Helsings and evaded their attempts on his life in an almost Bugs Bunny-esque degree of competence, Abraham being one of his most persistent pursuers. This presumably ends with Ericka.
  • Art Evolution: The film has slightly more detail than both of the previous entries, but also has a far more "2D" flair, with the characters having a lot more stretchiness in their movements and expressions.
  • Artifact Title: Being set on a cruise ship leaves a very tenuous connection to either hotels or Transylvania, though Drac lampshades the setting is functionally quite similar.
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: Ericka assuming Drac is speaking Transylvanian during his Gibberish of Love. Transylvania is not a country but a region within Romania, where the official language is Romanian, although a large part of the population speaks Hungarian, Ukrainian or German. Granted, it's supposed to be a joke.
  • Badly Battered Babysitter: The fish-man who takes Wayne and Wanda's pups.
  • Be as Unhelpful as Possible: The Gremlins on the Air Gremlin plane, who do everything in their power to make their passengers' flights as unpleasant as possible. Justified, given their real mythological history of being plane-wreckers.
  • Beach Episode: Emphasized in the marketing, though the majority of the sequences take place on the boat.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ericka, who pretends to be a friendly captain charmed by Drac, only to reveal later that she's actually a monster hunter — and on top of all that, she's also a direct descendant of Abraham Van Helsing (specifically, she's his great-granddaughter). She grows out of this once she begins to legitimately fall for Drac.
  • Body Horror: Plenty throughout the film. Since monsters can take a lot of damage without dropping, the studio saw no reason not to play up the Amusing Injuries as much as possible. One prominent case is the fly-man whose eye gets popped out of his head on the plane.
  • Call-Back:
    • In the beginning, we see the zombie composers again, after their absence from the second film.
    • We also find out that "arm cousins", an excuse used to justify Johnny's apparent relation to Frank, are actually a real thing—an actual arm cousin of Frank is set up with Drac at the beginning.
  • The Captain: Ericka commands the cruise ship Legacy.
  • Clark Kenting: Tinkles' disguise fools everyone other than Dennis and Winnie, who were behind the deception, until his hat falls off.
  • Compressed Vice: Frank suddenly develops a serious gambling addiction for this film, to the point of losing his hands and replacing them with lobster claws.
  • Covers Always Lie: Neither Ericka nor Abraham appear on any of the posters or the DVD/Blu-Ray covers, with the posters making it look like the vacation itself is the sole source of conflict.
  • Cyborg: In order to keep himself alive, Abraham Van Helsing replaced his body piece by piece with clumsy Steampunk tech to the point were the only remaining parts of his are his head, arms and a few internal organs.
  • Dance of Romance: Drac protecting Ericka from the traps in the Atlantis ruins turns into this.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: At the end, the way Drac and Ericka giddily try sneaking away from the crowd makes it seem very much like they're planning to have sex. Turns out, Drac just wanted some privacy to propose to her.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Mavis gets the idea to book the cruise for the vacation after being unable to click away from a television commercial for it. Given that it's unlikely Ericka and Abraham would have wanted to leave their plot to chance, it seems very possible they deliberately engineered it this way.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending
  • Easily Forgiven: Abraham Van Helsing earns the monsters' forgiveness by giving them a full refund.
  • Everyone Can See It: Drac's friends can easily tell that Drac is in love with Ericka.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Tinkles growls at Abraham Van Helsing even when he's hidden behind a door. After the latter's Heel–Face Turn, Tinkles starts liking him.
  • Fantastic Racism: Runs in the family, apparently, from Abraham Van Helsing down to his great-granddaughter Ericka. Although both move past that and befriend the monsters in the end.
  • Foreshadowing: Ericka being a Van Helsing is hinted at during her introduction before it's confirmed, such as when she acts hesitant to touch or get close to some of the monsters, and when she compliments Drac by saying "I'd kill for that skin."
  • Fourth Date Marriage: Drac proposes to Ericka at the end of the movie, despite them having only known each other for a few days, at best. However, it's implied that there was a Time Skip between the end of the cruise and Drac's proposal.
  • Freaky Electronic Music: Inside the Instrument of Destruction is sheet music, that, when played, mind controls the Kraken into destroying everything. In attempt to have the Kraken kill all monsters, Abraham Van Helsing plays an EDM rendition of this song. He comes very close to succeeding.
  • The Gambling Addict: Eunice won't let Frank gamble because he (literally) lost an arm and a leg last time and it wasn't easy to find replacements. He goes behind her back and gambles anyway. As a result, he now uses crab claws as replacement hands.
  • Gas-Cylinder Rocket: Sends an unfortunate fish-man jetting into the sky when he attempts to place a scuba tank on one of the prickly newlyweds' backs.
  • Gasshole: Drac suffers a bout of flatulence after eating guacamole laced with garlic. It later happens to Mavis as well.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • Murray thinks that Frank's cousin has stitches in "all the right places".
    • The three witches oogling Vlad, which includes his butt.
    • When Drac hits Griffin in relation, Griffin complains, "You hit me right in the-" before being interrupted.
    • When trying to speak to Ericka, the nervous Drac comes out with "Your neck wrappings are in a nice coffin, would you like to see my parts?".
    • Drac shields his eyes with his hands when seeing Ericka take off her outer layers before she goes into the cavern to retrieve the artifact. However she's already wearing a wetsuit underneath.
  • Gibberish of Love: Drac often devolves into this around Ericka. She slips into it too when Drac proposes to her at the end of the movie.
  • Griping About Gremlins: The airliner that transports the hotel residents to the Legacy is entirely crewed by small green gremlins. By the time it begins its approach to the embarkation-point in the Bermuda Triangle, the plane has been almost completely disassembled by its own crew's incompetence and/or compulsion to break stuff.
  • Growling Gut: Happens to Drac and Mavis after eating laced guacamole with garlic.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Abraham believes that monsters are abominations that should be stamped out, yet by this point it would be a stretch for him to qualify as human given his mechanical upgrades.
  • Heart Beats out of Chest: Happens to Drac when he sees Ericka for the first time.
  • Held Gaze: Drac and Ericka share one on their date. This is when Ericka begins to legitimately fall for Drac and starts questioning her goal of killing him.
  • The Heavy: Ericka is this for the still alive Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ericka, over the course of the film. Abraham Van Helsing as well.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Ericka becomes reluctant to kill Dracula once she begins to fall in love with him for real.
  • Human Popsicle: It turns out that Abraham Van Helsing himself used this method to survive to the present day.
  • Instrument of Murder: The Doomsday Device Abraham uses to destroy all of the monsters just so happens to be a sheet of music that, when played, compiles the Kraken to destroy all monsters within sight. Extra points for when Abraham refers to it by name as the "instrument of destruction."
  • Irony: Abraham Van Helsing, the enemy to all monsters, is defeated by Johnny, a human, and his good vibes music. In addition, due to the steampunk automation parts keeping him alive, he's far closer to the monsters he despises than being still human.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: When Drac is having trouble and asks his Siri for a "date," she responds "The date is Friday July 13th," the release date of the movie.
  • Light Is Not Good: Ericka always wears white clothes, but is one of the main villains and is out to kill Drac. Subverted after her Heel–Face Turn.
  • Lightning Gun: Abraham Van Helsing is introduced carrying a plasma globe-topped Ray Gun capable of shooting lightning.
  • Love at First Sight: When Drac first sees Ericka, he falls fast and he falls hard. He's shocked, because he thought a Zing could only happen once in your life.
  • MacGuffin: The real reason behind the cruise is because Abraham believes it to be impossible to kill Drac without the artifact that sunk Atlantis.
  • Makes Just as Much Sense in Context: In order to defeat Van Helsing, Johnny plays "Macarena".
  • Meaningful Name: The Legacy, as Ericka sees herself as carrying on the legacy of her great-grandfather Abraham Van Helsing.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: When Abraham Van Helsing uses his music to control the Kraken, its eyes burn bright red.
  • Mind-Control Music: The weapon that sunk Atlantis is a piece of sheet music, which Abraham Van Helsing uses to control the Kraken into going on a murderous rampage.
  • Moonburn: On the beach, Eunice asks her husband if he could rub moon-screen on her back to keep her from getting burned.
  • Monster/Slayer Romance: Drac falls in love with Ericka who is a Van Helsing.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer shows Drac and his friends' reactions when Blobby is about to puke and when Blobby's puke becomes a mini-Blobby. In the movie, they're not present to witness mini-Blobby's birth.
  • No Guy Wants to Be Chased: There's a very slight example at the end of the movie: Winnie makes a very forward romantic advance, getting close to Dennis's face and asking him to look her in the eyes, hoping to start a "zing" between the two of them. Dennis gets nervous, and finally decides he's too young for a relationship right now, so he leaves without looking Winnie in the eyes, with Winnie chasing him.
  • Non-Malicious Monster: When the Kraken is first introduced, he places his tentacles on the deck of the ship as he ominously rises from the ocean... only to break into song, extolling the virtues of Atlantis. He's only malicious when controlled through Mind-Control Music, which is Abraham's plan.
  • Not This One, That One: This is done to the audience - after everyone leaves Hotel Transylvania for the vacation, we are shown a sleek aircraft labeled "Modern Airlines" in the sky, but then pan to a bright green aircraft labeled "Gremlin Airlines" which is literally falling apart around the passengers as they fly.
  • Odd Name Out: Wayne and Wanda’s second daughter is named Sunny, which breaks the pattern of the werewolf family all having ‘W’ names.
  • Out of Focus: Wayne and Wanda are completely out of the second half of the movie due to being tranquilized.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Dennis and Winnie disguise Tinkles as "Bob" using a massive trenchcoat and relatively tiny hat. Played 100% straight - nobody recognizes "Bob" until the end when he ditches both.
  • Parental Abandonment: Ericka apparently never knew her parents, as they died when she was very young.
  • Parental Bonus: Frank's arm cousin could count since she's a leggy redhead clad in a cocktail dress (possibly even a reference to Jessica Rabbit) with a gigantic butt. She just so happens to be a composite of body parts with one comically muscular arm.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Mavis and Johnny talk about it when they see Drac with Ericka. Johnny claims he still feels uneasy when his parents kiss.
  • Plane Awful Flight: The main cast board Gremlin Air, where the crew is made up of gremlins that are dismantling the very plane they are supposed to fly.
  • Raised by Grandparents: Great-grandfather in Ericka's case.
  • Recycled In Space: An In-Universe example; Drac (at least initially) hates the idea of going on a cruise, telling Murray (and the others) that it's "...a hotel on the water."
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Abraham Van Helsing uses his music to control the Kraken, its eyes burn bright red.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Ericka wants to kill Drac but Mavis' reasons to believe it are her reluctance to accept her father having a new love and a misunderstanding that makes Mavis believe Ericka had just hit him with an axe.
  • Retcon: In the first movie, Dracula specifies that garlic makes his throat swell up. Here, it gives him gas instead.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: It pretty much establishes Abraham and Dracula, Dracula evading and thwarting all of Abraham's attempts on his life to an almost absurd degree. Subverted with Drac vs. Ericka as he had absolutely no idea that they were trying to kill him and just happened to waltz around the traps incidentally.
  • Save the Villain: Drac saves Abraham Van Helsing's life. Drac had previously saved Ericka's but that doesn't count because he didn't realize that she was technically a villain at the time.
  • Sequel Goes Foreign: On a cruise to the tropics instead of taking place in or at the titular hotel. Lampshaded by Dracula.
  • Serial Escalation: The first two films are relatively self-contained to the Hotel. This film ups things to a cruise ship, with more exotic locations such as the Bermuda Triangle.
  • Silly Walk: The Dracula family in their scuba-gear.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Played for Laughs in the scene where Ericka is routinely trying to kill Drac in various ways, all while he's blissfully dancing around the ship to the tune of "24K Magic".
  • Shout Out: The cruise ship in the film, the Legacy, bears a very strong resemblance to the Titanic and her sister ships Olympic and Britannic — the Legacy just has five funnels instead of four, and is rather cartoonishly shorter and fatter than the real-life ocean liners. Fortunately, however, the film takes place in the tropics, so icebergs are not a hazard.
  • Shown Their Work: The train conductor at the beginning of the movie uses the correct Hungarian pronunciation for "Budapest".
  • Sure, Let's Go with That: Mavis somewhat overhears Drac using his smartphone to try to find a date, but doesn't really catch the gist of it. When she finds him, though, she does realize that he's hiding something from her and comes to the conclusion that he's stressed and needs a break. Drac happily seizes upon this excuse, saying that it's exactly the case.
  • Taking the Bullet: Drac takes several kinds of ammo for Ericka in the Atlantis ruins.
  • Terrorists Without a Cause: Abraham's Fantastic Racism does not seem to be based around a particular ideology or motivation other than exterminating monsters being the Van Helsing Family Business.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Mavis tries explaining to Dennis that dogs were not allowed to just run wild at the wedding, Winnie gives an offended gasp and shocked expression before Mavis quickly redacts her statement and says that pets were not allowed.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: Wayne and Wanda, the beleaguered parents of the Werewolf kids, upon finding themselves in a daycare on the Cruise, finds out that the crew will willingly take their kids for the day. They decide that's good enough, because they finally get a break from having to take care of his massive litter. He and Wanda also spend the rest of the film in a closet, which they don't seem to have minded very much, to the point of planning another vacation.
  • Tranquilizer Dart: After stumbling upon Erika and Abraham Van Helsing discussing their plan, Wayne and Wanda are immediately tranquilized and locked in a janitor's closet. They stay there for almost the rest of the movie
  • Unknown Rival: Abraham Van Helsing considers himself and Dracula mortal enemies and views him as a scourge that needs to be exterminated. Dracula barely recalls who he is and initially assumes he's just a rival hotelier. Granted, this is implied to be because he assumed Van Helsing is dead: once Van Helsing gives his name, Drac becomes appropriately serious.
  • Vacation Episode
  • Van Helsing Hate Crime: The Trope Namer's family.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Because the Kraken is controlled through music, Dracula and Jonny were able to usurp control with music that sends good vibes, the Macarena of all things being what thwarts Van Helsing.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Ericka thinks garlic kills vampires like in most tales. It doesn't. It just gives them gas.


Video Example(s):


Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Count Dracula vs. Abraham Van Helsing

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