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CGIFeature Film

First Look at Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Hotel Transylvania”

Hotel Transylvania

“It’s refreshing to go back to the beginning of Dracula – and then have Adam Sandler put his spin on it.” So says Dexter’s Lab and Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky of his first theatrical feature Hotel Transylvania. The troubled Sony Pictures Animation film, which has had at least four directors prior to Genndy, is set to open on September 28. USA Today published these images today along with more details about the film’s story.

Hotel Transylvania

(Thanks to all who sent in a link to the images.)

  • To quote every Star Wars movie, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

  • I also have a bad feeling – named Adam Sandler.

  • Mike


    • Jody Morgan

      Since Mako has died, is that even possible?

      • They found a perfect sound-alike who trained with him for the final season of Avatar who they could use.

  • Scarabim

    I hope this film is good. David Spade is a great voice actor. If any actor can give an invisible character presence, he can. ;)

    • J.M.

      True that Kuzco is one of the best voice acting jobs
      I´ve seen.

      • TheBandSnapsBack

        How does one *see* a voice acting performance? You hear it . . . or do you have synaesthesia?

  • Personally I love the character design, they look like characters from the Archie comics or something like that. Very appealing for 3D. And Genndy Tartakovsky is always great, no matter what. Also this will be the first comedy he’ll do in years. I thought his last works got a little too serious. I loved Dexter’s Lab.

    But yeah, Adam Sandler tends to contaminate everything he does with his tasteless humor. I hope it doesn’t happen this time, cause this movie could really rock.

  • DonaldC

    Not too keen on the art direction.

    But Tartakovsky has a way of infusing pure mood into his works, so I trust him.

  • J.M.

    8 crazy nights in Transylvania

  • what_in_the_cel

    Doesn’t look like he designed these characters at all. I don’t find any of them interesting or appealing style-wise. For Genndy’s sake I hope this works out, but yeah… Adam Sandler.

    • The great Annette Marnat designed some of the humans.

      • AdrianC.

        What delighful work! Thank you for sharing Ms. Marnat’s blog with your readers.

        As for the film, I’m always wary of anything in which Adam Sandler is involved, but Genndy Tartakovsky usually produces great stuff. Also, from a visual standpoint, the film looks nice so I will give this one a shot once it’s released.

      • what_in_the_cel

        Oh wow. I really like her stuff too… I see it now, but knowing that it especially looks like the 3D washed the life from her great style.

  • Finally a 3D CG animated film that dares to look slightly different from every other such feature. However, The Sandler connection does not bode well. He makes a lot of bad poop.

    • Gobo

      I worry about two Halloween-themed animated movies released within a few weeks of each other which both star a kid with hair sticking straight up. There’ll be a lot of comparisons between this and PARANORMAN.

    • DJM

      Uh…what about Rango?

  • Matt Sullivan

    These designs aren’t bad! I kinda like em! But why does every Dreamworks movie/publicity still have to feature characters smirking/mugging to the camera?

  • Pedro Nakama

    Sony has been working on this since 2004.

  • Karl Hungus

    The preeminent Mr. Craig Kelman is also doing a lot of character design work on this.

  • Taco Wiz

    Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.
    But Genndy Tartakovsky.
    But Adam Sandler.

    There. I said it, and now no one else has to.

  • Bud

    Looks mediocre. No surprise seeing as who’s involved. This film is on director number 7 or 8 now. I wonder who will finish it.

  • Deaniac

    Man, I’m REALLY digging that mummy design. The other designs don’t look too bad either. Adam Sandler or not, I’m hoping for the best.

  • Mo-Cap?

    Is this still another Mo-cap film, or did they come to their senses and decide to just Animate it?

  • Sneak Peek

    Found some unreleased footage from the movie…. Its looking pretty good!!

    • Old Man Father Time

      Oh that’s rich. You’re funny.

      Lots of history I never knew from that video though.

  • Weird: at a first sight of the movie shots I can’t recognise the typical drawing style of Genndy, it looks like an anonymous 3D movie, dreamwork’s style.

    Oh, and looking closer to the vampire, he actually resembles Sandlers!

    • Joseph

      Did you miss the part where he’s the 5th director to be signed onto the project?

  • Tony McCarson

    in my opinion, after this movie is released, Genndy Tartakovsky should’ve move to Blue Sky Studios (Ice Age, Horton Hears A Who, & Rio), he could make better animated films here!

    • Hank

      Please–no. Blue Sky needs people who can tell a story. His stuff is mildly sufficient for kids TV cartoons–but he hasn’t shown the ability to create strong characters and story that would sustain a feature. I mean–have you read any of his feature scripts?

      • Paul M

        To say Genndy Tartakovsky can’t create strong characters or tell a decent story is analogous to saying Fred Astaire’s acting and singing was mildly sufficient but he couldn’t dance worth a damn.

  • Joe

    Cee Lo Green as Murray the Mummy? I’m there. Tuning out Adam Sandler, Kevin James and David Spade has become second nature.

  • Jody Morgan

    The character designs look reasonably appealing, but nothing special or memorable; I’ll keep an eye on it, but I’m not sold yet. Sym-Bionic Titan, while not bad, was disappointing enough that I’m not at the point of blindly trusting everything Genndy Tartakovsky does.

    And what happened to Orphanage Animation Studio?

  • Blasko

    Are the coachmen in the background a nod to the creatures in Mad Monster Party?(?) As for the look of the stills, I’ll reserve judgement until a trailer surfaces. I’ve got my doubts, but I’ve had my doubts about other CG films, How to Train Your Dragon, for example, and was pleasantly surprised.

  • christian

    I suddenly got reminded of the Groovie Ghoulies

  • I would have preferred a Jack Davis/ Mad magazine design style that is more ’60s-comic book illustrational so that the characters would have the Gothic design sense of the old Universal horror movies I am nostalgic for. The curvy Hirshfeld look is too friendly and bouncy for this subject matter, unless it is just a vehicle for star mugging, sight gags and puns, which I fear it will be (ever seen the so-bad-it’s-watchable “Igor” from a few years ago?). Someone should do a horror movie in the Expressionist vein of the early Universals that deals with ancient mystery, supernatural ritual and bizarre nightmare with just the right touch of corny fun.

  • Julian

    Why does this strike me as nothing new, original, or overall interesting?

  • Keegan

    “a camel is a horse designed by committee”

    “hotel transylvania is a genndy cartoon designed by committee”

  • Crystal

    The thing is . . . I LOVE Genndy Tartakovsky’s work. The man is a genius and Sym-Bionic Titan was probably his best project. It was probably one of the few non-DC or Marvel superhero cartoons that wasn’t a comedy nor followed a status quo and done in a mature way. I mean, it was really detailed, never unnecessarily talky, action scenes were well done and I thought the characters were very well-rounded and sympathetic (especially Octus). Its music didn’t ruin any scenes for me and it highly respected its audience’s intelligence. It’s exactly what I want more of from American television animation.

    The thing is . . . I feel like Hotel Transylvania isn’t letting Genndy use his talents. I thought SBT could have brought something new to television animation and this movie is pretty much what every animated movie is, if it’s a CGI comedy with celebrity voices. I’m much sure Genndy would rather use actual voice actors, considering that he normally voice directs his cartoons–I’m sure he acknowledges how great people like Jeff Bennett, Tara Strong, Frank Welker, Tom Kenny and a whole bunch of others are. I really wanted Genndy to do a movie, but I feel like they’re not letting him do what he does best. I hope after this, he’ll get to do the Samurai Jack finale movie like he wanted to . . .

  • Why are they all doing half smile?

  • The character designs look decent but Adam Sandler’s involment prevents me from becoming to excited about it. Still, I might check it out when it’s done.

  • AJ

    I’am sick of vampires! Can’t we have some other mythical story book monster.

  • I am personally looking forward to this.

    Mr Tartakovsky is one talented guy with a great track record, and I’m sure he has an amazing crew around him on this, too.

    Am also very curious about what happened with ‘Orphanage.’
    I remember when news of that first dropped, I was so excited to learn more… still waiting? ;)

    Oh, USA Today ran a piece about the film earlier in the week as well. The article concentrated heavily on the voice talent (of course), but there were some quotes from Genndy peppered in there, too. :)

  • Cynical prick

    There’s an invisible man there. The best design of the bunch.

  • Animators, cartoonists and carton fans need to know that Adam Sandler is a true mensch. Not only is he a nice guy, he’s on OUR side. During the production of 8 CRAZY NIGHTS, a certain executive producer — one whose name seemed to be attached to every prime-time animated series in the 1990s — was giving Sandler a tour of Sony’s animation studio. At one point, they stopped to meet an artist sitting at his desk, working. Sandler was genuinely interested in the process and its creators, but the executroid was more interested in demonstrating his corporate power, trying to make the artist as nervous as possible. Sandler didn’t say anything at the time, but as soon as he had the opportunity, he ordered that the exec be taken off the project immediately. Sandler is well-known for maintaining a “happy set” on all of his films, including the animated ones. Like I said, Adam’s a mensch…and OUR FRIEND.

    • Roberto

      He may be a good guy, I just don’t like his comedy style. 8 Crazy Nights was full of it. I don’t know who was responsible of the comedy style of the movie, but it seemed in the style of other Adam Sandler’s movies.

      But yeah, it’s better to know that he’s colaborative I guess. I just hope this one is more of a movie that happens to have Adam Sandler as a voice actor instead of an animated comedy in the style of Adam Sandler like 8 Crazy Nights was.

  • Ugh…I was SO into it until the names Adam Sandler and Kevin James popped up. Those guys are just comedy vampires (I am so sorry for that pun…actually, no I’m not) who just suck the funny out of everything they’re in. But at least Genndy’s directing it, so it’ll at least be visually interesting.

    Cautious, but it’s Genndy Tartakovsky. I have to see it.

  • Stick the landing, Genndy! We’re rooting for you.

  • E. Nygma

    If this is good, I will be shocked!

    I love Genndy, but I have to ask: “If you were going to take a risk on a project why this?”
    I can practically see the 16% rating on rotten tomatoes already. At least people know Samurai Jack!

  • E. Nygma

    Also, The Vampire looks like Count Chocula, and the Blue guy with Orange Hair just looks like bad character design. Not into it!

  • d.harry

    I wish I could have seen the original Uli Meyer version that Sony is basing this on.

  • Steven M

    I really don’t understand why characters in CG films have to look like the celebrity they are being voiced by. It doesn’t make sense to me.