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Western Animation / Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

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Visit the Hotel, one last time.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is the fourth and final film in Sony Pictures Animation's Hotel Transylvania franchise. The film was released by Amazon Studios through the Prime Video platform on January 14, 2022, with the exception of China, where Sony gave it a theatrical release.

When Van Helsing's mysterious invention, the "Monsterfication Ray", goes haywire, Drac and his monster pals are all transformed into humans, and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac, stripped of his powers, and an exuberant Johnny, loving life as a monster, must team up and race across the globe to find a cure before it's too late, and before they drive each other crazy. With help from Mavis and the hilariously human Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania provides examples of:

  • Acquired Situational Narcissism: Frank keeps basking on his newfound humanity; something that his wife hates.
  • Advertised Extra: Tyler "Ninja" Blevins was promoted and billed as main cast for his preformance as Party Monster, despite him not even appearing for a full minute.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: In the film's opening, we see that when she was little, Mavis would routinely help her father and the staff run the hotel, including having her own make-shift desk in the lobby made of wooden planks and tin cans that she would hand out keys from.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Drac accepted roughly halfway through the first movie that Johnny was a nice guy and a very competent entertainer, and while he occasionally found him grating, never seriously doubted his character, his ability to pull through, or that he was good for Mavis. Here, he thinks Johnny's an incompetent dope and pretty much tells Mavis to her face that he wishes Johnny were radically different.
  • All for Nothing: Johnny basically threw his humanity away in order to get Drac to leave him the hotel and finally accept him as family. So, he's thoroughly and rightfully pissed when he learns Drac lied about the monsters-only clause, meaning he didn't have to transform himself into a scaly, green monster at all.
  • Art Shift: At the end when Johnny and Mavis show Drac the "minor adjustments" they made when they rebuilt the hotel, the animation goes from computer-generated to Genndy Tartakovsky's typical 2-D cartoon style, as interpreted by David Feiss.
  • Beautiful All Along:
    • Played With. From the Drac Pack's perspective, Johnny's monster form is much more visually appealing than his human form. Griffin even alludes to this trope by stating there was a "good-looking guy" in Johnny.
    • Played straight with Frank when he is transformed into a conventionally handsome man by human standards. The rest of the Drac Pack think his human form is the worst of the bunch and Eunice is absolutely horrified, but Frank himself loves it, especially the hair.
  • The Berserker: As the Monsterfication Ray progresses, Johnny begins having fits of feral behavior — shooting a huge torrent of flames, and ripping a tree to shreds with his claws. When he learns Dracula lied about the monster inheritance law on the hotel, he snaps and transforms into a colossal dragon. Mavis tries getting through to him at one point. He is initially delighted to see her, but one mention of her father causes him to attack her in a blind rage.
  • Blinded by the Sun: After becoming human, Dracula finds out that he can safely step into the sunlight and not get burned. However, he doesn't realize the same doesn't apply to his eyes as he stares at the sun before complaining about them burning.
  • Bookends: The film begins and ends with the hotel being built.
  • Breaking Old Trends: Transformania is the first feature film in the franchise to have No Antagonist.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Dracula spends most of the film as a fragile, non-powered human and a lot of slapstick in the film revolves around this. Johnny treats their trek through the Amazon as a fun getaway while Drac suffers through dehydration, mosquitos, plummeting from great heights multiple times and various panic attacks brought on by his sudden fragility.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Yet again, Johnny and Drac try to keep Mavis out of their shenanigans and fail spectacularly. This is lampshaded by the Drac Pack, who voice reluctance in covering for them, even flirting with the idea of just telling Mavis and saving themselves the headache, though they wuss out of it at the last second.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Early in the film, Mavis is proven to have impressive Super-Hearing even for a vampire. When she, Ericka and their friends try looking for Johnny and Dracula in the Amazon, she manages to locate them by listening in to Johnny's singing.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome:
    • Dracula's father, Vlad, does not appear, nor is he mentioned at any point.
    • Griffin's girlfriend Crystal is unaccounted for.
  • Close on Title: Unlike the first three films, this one's title is shown at the very end.
  • Continuity Nod: Griffin mentions in the first film that he has curly red hair, after Dracula insults Johnny for his. When Griffin finally becomes visible, it turns out he wasn't kidding about his hairstyle and color.
  • Cool Car: Ericka has one of these in her arsenal — A jeep able to carry the whole monster crew and comes complete with amphibious features to enable it to traverse water.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Van Helsing built a crystal-tracking device into his Monsterfication Ray, since it took him years to find the first one and he anticipated that he might have to fetch another.
  • Cue the Rain: During their journey, Drac asks Johnny how they can get a shower in the jungle and it rains soon afterwards.
  • Demoted to Extra: Dennis and Winnie only appear in small scenes at the beginning and end. Oddly enough, Winnie doesn't even go to the Amazon with her parents and the rest of her siblings. Furthermore, there's no indication whatsoever of who looked after them while their parents were away.
  • Did Not Think This Through: As Drac is about to announce his retirement, Johnny approaches him and mentions plans for the hotel that make Drac sure it's a bad idea to let Johnny take over so he makes up a story about it being unlawful to let non-monsters take over. As Johnny asks what Drac's announcement is all about if he won't retire, Drac realizes he'll have to come up with a cover-up in the next few seconds.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!:
    • While discussing about how Dracula and his buddies turned into humans and Johnny turned into a monster, Ericka says that it's not like there is a mad scientist in the hotel basement. The moment she says that, she remembers her great-grandfather.
    • In the following scene, as Mavis and Ericka are helping Van Helsing fight the monsterfied Gigi, he explains to them that the Monsterification Ray is highly unstable, and the transformation will continually mutate until the subject loses all semblance of humanity. Mavis has this reaction when she realizes that Johnny’s in danger of completely losing himself.
      Mavis: "Keeps mutating"? Oh no, JOHNNY! We gotta find my Dad and Johnny, before it’s too late!
  • Faux Horrific: The monsters' reaction to Frank's transformation into a hunky human man is horror, believing him to have gotten the worst of it.
  • Foreshadowing: In the bus scene, Drac says "I swear, you have gotten bigger." to Johnny, hinting us about the Monsterfication Ray's instability we learn later on in the movie.
  • Grand Finale: Transformania is the final film in the Hotel Transylvania series.
  • Hall of Mirrors: The crystal cave to which the Drac Pack tracks the specific crystal they need is filled with giant, reflective crystals. Combined with the echoing acoustics, the group easily gets separated and highly disoriented, seeming like they got sucked into the distorted reflections themselves.
  • Heroic BSoD: Drac, when he returns to find his beloved hotel, aka his life's work, reduced to rubble, although he quickly uses it as a chance to bequeath the hotel to Mavis and Johnny along with his blessing to build it the way they want to.
  • Hulk Speak: Monster-Johnny starts talking like this as a result of him Hulking Out when he learns that Drac lied to him about the "monster real estate law".
  • Humanity Ensues: Van Helsing's Monsterfication Ray is able to transform monsters into humans, with Dracula and his friends subjected to this. Except for Blobby, who gets turned into a small plate of green gelatin instead.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Johnny fears that Dracula still doesn't completely accept him for being human, especially after Drac lies about a monster real estate clause that is keeping him from passing down the hotel to a non-monster relative. Luckily for him, Van Helsing has a solution. When Drac finally admits to manipulating him, Johnny, realizing he transformed himself into a monster for nothing, is rightfully pissed and storms off convinced that Drac will never accept him as family, kicking off the third act.
  • Idiot Ball: As Drac chases the newly-monsterized Johnny through the hotel to turn him back to normal, he's so panicked at the thought of Mavis seeing Johnny that it never occurs to him to freeze Johnny using his powers, a feat he demonstrates during the party and that explicitly works on monsters and humans alike with the sole exception of other vampires. However, it is plausible that Dracula was in such a state of panic here that he wasn't thinking straight.
  • Impact Silhouette: Inverted; A gag running through the scene of Van Helsing walking Johnny through his living space has his cyborg anatomy allowing him to effortlessly slip through empty spaces between that perfectly fit around him. When Johnny growing a tail accidently sends him flying, he slides seamlessly through a hole shaped like his body.
  • Instant Costume Change: While everyone is frozen, Drac quickly dresses Johnny up in a suit and tie to demonstrate how he could be to Mavis. Mavis gives Johnny a quick spin and he's instantly back in his normal outfit.
  • Kaiju: The end result of the Monsterfication Ray's effects on non-monsters, with the subjects eventually mutating into gigantic, rampaging beasts.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Dracula is very reluctant to hand off his beloved hotel to Mavis and Johnny, and lies about the "monster real estate law" to keep Johnny from ruining it. Considering that the 125th anniversary that Johnny organised nearly ended with a fire breaking out (thanks to Frank's pyrophobia, something that's been established for years) and guests almost getting crushed by a falling chandelier, it's actually a valid concern.
  • Joke of the Butt: When Griffin becomes visible and is therefore a naked human, he gets a couple shots focused on his bare behind that are played for laughs, plus the very end of the film has a closeup of his ass appear after "The End" card.
  • Kryptonite-Proof Suit: Mavis dons a heavy cloak and gloves for her brief journey through the forest in the middle of the day, until the dense foliage is sufficient to protect her.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Van Helsing is shown as a resident at Hotel Transylvania, spoiling both his appearance and Heel–Face Turn in Summer Vacation.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Drac Pack are annoyed that they, once again, have to keep Drac and Johnny's antics from Mavis, and seriously consider telling him that they're not covering for him any longer.
  • Liar Revealed: After being confronted by the rest of the characters, Drac admits to Johnny that he made up the real estate clause to prevent him from owning the hotel.
  • Literal Metaphor: When Van Helsing breaks out his Monsterfication Ray, he says they'll need a guinea pig. He then fetches his pet guinea pig Gigi as a test subject, before turning the ray on Johnny once he's confirmed it works as intended.
  • Logo Joke: After having been absent from the third film, the Columbia Pictures logo reappears once again, but instead of the Torch Lady transforming into a bat like the first two films, the lights briefly turn off as she is replaced with Blobby carrying the torch and robe. This is followed by Tinkles dragging the Sony Pictures Animation logo that was introduced with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse towards the screen. The O in the Sony Pictures logo also grows fangs.
  • Loophole Abuse: Believing Drac's lie about it being against the law for non-monsters to own the hotel, Johnny agrees to let Van Helsing turn him into a monster.
  • Magic Pants: Johnny's monster transformation tears through his shoes, but his shirt and pants survive (if slightly torn) all the way through him going full Kaiju and back again.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Murray's human form is a tiny, elderly Egyptian man.
  • Naked Apron: Griffin's naked human form does this at one point before collecting some ill-fitting clothing from the Lost & Found.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Griffin has one after turning visible, although he doesn't seem to notice his nudity until the horrified Murray and Wayne point it out. He squeals and tries to cover himself with his arms, then starts throwing his arms and hands all over his body while Murray and Wayne freak out alongside him.
  • Naked People Are Funny: While Griffin has always been implied to be an Invisible Streaker, this film has him lose his invisibility and reveal once and for all that yes, he is nude. Murray and Wayne are rightfully horrified, and Griffin is quite embarrassed. When they turn back into monsters, they refuse to let him strip again, saying being invisible isn't an excuse to not wear clothing.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands: This movie shows that vampires have very good hearing akin to dogs. As in, Mavis' ear turns into that of a bat when she hears something of interest.
  • No Antagonist: The central conflict of the film is having to find the crystal to reverse the transformation before it becomes permanent for Johnny, losing all semblance of humanity in the process. The closest there is to a villain is Van Helsing's pet guinea pig Gigi, who destroys the hotel at the end of the film.
  • No Immortal Inertia: Zig-zagged. The humanized monsters end up with wildly varying ages. Drac, Wayne and Griffin are roughly middle-aged, Frank is far younger (around his 20's-30's) and Murray becomes a Miniature Senior Citizen.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Downplayed. It's not explicitly stated if Johnny's monster form is a bone-fide dragon, lizardman or some other reptilian creature. However, his horns, green scales, serpentine body and tall stature, as well as the fire breath and wings he develops later on, are all traits commonly associated with dragons.
  • One-Winged Angel: When used on a human or regular animal, the Monsterfication Ray turns them into a monster... and then continues mutating them until they're kaiju-sized and reduced to a feral beast. Gigi turns into a colossal purple beast with giant fangs and spikes running down its back, while Johnny turns into a bipedal dragon.
  • Parental Sexuality Squick: Mavis listens in on Drac and Ericka talking about the former's retirement, then quickly regrets it when the pair start getting affectionate.
  • Passing the Torch: Part of what kickstarts the plot of the film, Drac intends to spend time and start a new chapter in his life with Ericka, giving Mavis (and Johnny) the hotel to run.
  • Perspective Reversal: In the third film, the monsters flying Gremlin Air were perfectly content with the plane ride while Johnny — who was the only human there — was on edge due to how big of a deathtrap it was. Here, Johnny (who has been turned into a monster) is at ease while Dracula (now a human) is in full panic mode, marveling at how unsafe it all is.
    Dracula: How is this plane even in the sky? What is that sound? Do you smell burning? Is that duct tape holding the wing together?! [wing falls off]
  • Pinball Projectile: Drac misses a shot with the Monsterfication Ray as he's trying to de-monsterize Johnny. It bounces around the party room and hits Drac's ice statue, diffusing into the melting ice and tainting the water below, leading to the Drac Pack being de-monsterized.
  • Piranha Problem: Johnny (an experienced traveler) warns the now-human Dracula about being careful with strange bodies of water. Dracula has to deal with piranhas when he doesn't pay attention.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown: A mishap where Drac drops the ray breaks the crystal it runs on beyond repair, necessitating a trip to the source for a replacement.
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: After Drac admits he lied to Johnny about the real estate law, Johnny becomes enraged and storms off while becoming bigger and angrier both from the Monsterfication ray as well as his reaction to Drac manipulating him.
  • Power Crystal: The key element of Van Helsing's Monsterfication Ray is a rare, glowing crystal.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • When Ericka discusses Dracula's plan to retire, he immediately tries ending the conversation out of fear that Mavis' Super-Hearing will pick up on it. Erica thinks he's being Improperly Paranoid, unaware that Mavis actually is listening to them.
    • As Johnny goes on about potential changes to the hotel, Drac has an Imagine Spot about it being a confusing, colorful mess as a result of Johnny going nuts. The credits show that his perception of how it would look was largely accurate, but it's obviously more orderly than he thought because Mavis was there to keep Johnny grounded.
  • Race Against the Clock: After some time has passed between Drac and Johnny searching for a cure and Mavis and Ericka discovering the situation, Van Helsing learns that the monster transformations are unstable. Subjects will keep mutating, eventually becoming a mindless, rampaging kaiju.
  • Rage Breaking Point: For the first time we see Johnny getting angry when he learns that Drac lied to him about the "monster real estate law" and believes that it's because his father-in-law doesn't see him as part of the family. This is what finally causes him to full-on mutate into a Kaiju-like beast.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Monster-Johnny's eyes turn bright red as the transformation from human to beast becomes more and more permanent. Once Drac finally gets through to him via a much-belated heartfelt apology, they go back to normal.
  • Reveling in the New Form: Johnny loves his new monstrous form; he's big, tough, can breathe fire, and he's more like his in-laws! Until it turns out that his mind will degrade until he's just a savage beast, if he doesn't transform back.
  • Scaled Up: The Monsterfication Ray transforms Johnny into a tall reptilian creature.
  • Senior Sleep-Cycle: Murray's human transformation has him become an old man who sometimes randomly falls asleep.
  • Series Continuity Error: Drac freezes everyone but Mavis when Johnny's anniversary plan goes awry, with Mavis noting that it doesn't work on other vampires. However, in the previous movies, Drac could freeze her just as easily as everyone else. That said, it is possible that Mavis has come of age in the intervening years, granting her an immunity she previously lacked.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Drac and Ericka. They call each other petnames, such as ‘Honeyfangs’ and ‘Sweetheart’. Drac jokingly calls himself ‘Count Wonderful’, ‘Dark Prince of Loveliness’, and ‘Lord of Smoochy Time’, much to Ericka’s enjoyment (and Mavis’ disgust).
  • Something We Forgot: The Monsterfication Ray is fixed, and everyone is either de- or re-monsterized as is appropriate. Then they return to the hotel and find it in ruins, Gigi the Kaiju guinea pig having torn it apart while they were away. Fortunately, this just proves a good excuse for Drac to let Mavis and Johnny put their own spin on it.
  • Snub by Omission: Dracula talks about leaving the hotel to Mavis, and Ericka cheerfully adds Johnny's name. Dracula grudgingly repeats it, indicating that he's not keen on his son-in-law getting his hotel.
  • Spit Take: Mavis spits out her drink when she hears that Drac is retiring.
  • Stopped Numbering Sequels: Unlike the last two sequels, Transformania is not explicitly numbered as Hotel Transylvania 4, though some promotions still labelled it with such, and some markets have the number.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Griffin’s human look makes a lot more sense when you realize that he could never properly look at himself, so he had no idea that he looked terrible and was balding. Hence why he was shocked and dismayed when he stopped being invisible and properly saw himself for the first time in years. Despite this, his design here is largely inconsistent with the various hints that were dropped about his physical appearance in the previous three films, where he had a slimmer figure as well as a jaw and neck, and not all of it can be explained by Griffin letting himself go badly.
  • Swapped Roles: Johnny lampshades how he's become a monster and Dracula has turned into a human, "like Freaky Friday, but on a Tuesday, though."
  • Transformation Ray: The Monsterfication Ray is able to transform humans into monsters or vice-versa with a flip of a dial, though in the former case the mutation is unstable, and the subject gradually loses their humanity as they become more monstrous.
  • Trash the Set: Downplayed. Hotel Transylvania is decimated at the end of the movie, but Mavis and Johnny rebuild it within a year, albeit as a combination hotel/day spa with a substantially different interior.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Mavis telling Johnny about Drac's plan to retire snowballs into the events of the film, as Johnny's inability to contain his excitement leads to him gushing about the possibilities in front of Drac prior to Drac's official announcement, which in turn gives Drac a chance to try to wiggle out of it.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: The Monsterfication Ray hits a zombie bellhop and turns him human again. His joy doesn't last long, however, as he immediately gets bitten by a fellow bellhop and is returned back to zombie status.


Mavis Dracula

Being a vampire, Mavis has super senses.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (12 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuperHearing

Media sources: