Sony Pictures Animation (SPA) revealed a first-look teaser today for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, the latest theatrical feature in the studio’s most successful franchise to date.
In this film, Drac and family take a vacation on a luxury monster cruise ship, but their dream vacation turns into a nightmare when Drac falls for the mysterious captain of the ship, Ericka, who harbors a secret that could destroy all of monsterkind.
The trailer is gorgeous to watch, especially if you’re a fan of exaggerated and cartoony 3d. The comic animation is sharply timed and the poses read beautifully because they aren’t being motion blurred to death. Further, the lighting and texturing work together to create the effect that one is watching exquisitely-rendered cartoon paintings. We’re starting to see some really great work in the realm of cartoony 3d (Dreamworks’ Captain Underpants was a highlight this year), but there is arguably no one today that is executing the super-cartoony style with more polish and refinement than Tartakovsky, SPA, and the animation production team at Sony Pictures Imageworks.
The film is written by Genndy Tartakovsky and Michael McCullers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Boss Baby). This is the first time that Genndy has a key writing credit on the series (and Adam Sandler doesn’t), and it’s a pretty good explanation for why Tartakovsky would’ve chosen to come back for the third film, even though he had good reason to leave the franchise.
In an interview with Cartoon Brew around the release of Hotel Transylvania 2, Tartakovsky hinted at frustrations over how Adam Sandler and Robert Smigel “really wanted to take control of the second film, because that’s kind of what they do.” Sony appears to have done the smart thing and granted Tartakovsky greater creative control over this film than the previous entries in the series.
Considering that, up until now, the writing had been the weakest part of the franchise, Sandler taking a backseat could be the best thing that happens to the series.
Hotel Transylvania 3, produced by Michelle Murdocca and executive produced by Adam Sandler, is due in U.S. theaters July 13, 2018.