Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Middling family viewing | Sunday Observer

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania Middling family viewing

27 November, 2022

‘Hotel Transylvania: Transformania’ is a 2022 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation and released by Amazon Studios.

The fourth and final installment in the ’Hotel Transylvania’ franchise and the sequel to ’Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ (2018), the film is directed by Derek Drymon and Jennifer Kluska (in their respective feature-length directorial debuts) from a screenplay by Amos Vernon, Nunzio Randazzo and Genndy Tartakovsky (who directed the prior three films). It stars the voices of Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez (who also served as an executive producer alongside Tartakovsky and Michelle Murdocca), Kathryn Hahn, Jim Gaffigan, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Brian Hull, Fran Drescher, Brad Abrell, Asher Blinkoff, Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Zoe Berri. In the film, Dracula and Johnny, who transformed into a human and monster, must find the way to South America to revert, before their transformations become permanent.

Originally planned to be released theatrically in the United States on October 1, 2021, Sony Pictures Releasing cancelled the film’s release plans and sold the film’s distribution rights to Amazon Studios for $100 million, due to rising cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the United States. The film was released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video on January 14, 2022 and theatrically in China on April 3. The film received mixed reviews from critics.


During the celebration of the 125th anniversary of Hotel Transylvania, Mavis overhears Dracula’s plans to retire and leave the hotel to her and Johnny. She tells Johnny who excitedly tells Dracula of his plans to renovate the hotel. Worried about Johnny ruining the hotel, Dracula lies to him saying that there is a “monster real-estate law” which only lets monsters own the hotel, disappointing Johnny.

Van Helsing decides to help Johnny using a ray that turns humans into monsters and vice versa; after testing it on his guinea pig Gigi, he uses it on Johnny who turns into a dragon-like monster. Learning about monster Johnny, Dracula tries to turn him back to normal, but accidentally turns himself into a human and breaks the ray’s crystal. Van Helsing tells Dracula and Johnny that they can still turn themselves back to normal by getting a new crystal which lies in the Cave of Reflexion in South America, so Dracula and Johnny set off to do so.

Dracula’s friends Frank, Wayne, Griffin and Murray end up becoming humans as well, as a result of drinking from a fountain that was contaminated by the ray. Mavis and Ericka confront Van Helsing after learning about Dracula and Johnny’s whereabouts in the news, but he warns them about the effects of the ray, as humans who become monsters continue to mutate and become more hostile as time goes on. With this in mind, the rest of the gang head to South America to find Dracula and Johnny.

While travelling through the South American jungle, Dracula and Johnny begin to bond, and Dracula eventually begins to confess that he lied about the monster real-estate law, but the rest of the group find them. Things turn sour when Dracula admits his deception regarding passing over the hotel to Mavis and Johnny. This prompts an upset Johnny to believe Dracula does not consider him family and to mutate further before running away.

Mavis goes to find Johnny while Dracula and the rest of the gang go to the Cave of Reflexion. Mavis finds Johnny, but the transformation has turned him very volatile. She leads him to the Cave of Reflexion where they finally find the crystal. When Mavis tries to turn Johnny back to normal, nothing happens due to him being too frenzied. In desperation, Dracula lets himself get captured by Johnny and goes on a remorseful tangent about how wrong he was about Johnny and how he now sees the best in him, finally acknowledging him as family. This brings Johnny back to his senses, and he is returned to human form.

With Dracula and his friends turned back to normal, they return home only to find the hotel has been destroyed by Gigi. After turning Gigi back to normal, Dracula bemoans his loss. He soon decides to let Mavis and Johnny rebuild the hotel to their liking.

One year later, Mavis and Johnny show Dracula the re-built Hotel Transylvania which he comes to enjoy.


‘Hotel Transylvania: Transformania’ was released by Amazon Studios on Prime Video, in January, 2022. In February 2019, Sony Pictures Releasing scheduled the film for release on December 22, 2021. In April 2020, the film was moved up to August 6, 2021. In April 2021, the film was moved up again to July 23, 2021. In June 2021, the film was rescheduled to October 1, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In August 2021, Sony Pictures cancelled the film’s theatrical plans and entered discussions to sell the distribution rights to a streaming service, in response to the rising cases of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant in the United States. On August 16, 2021, it was reported that Amazon Studios was in negotiations to acquire the distribution rights to the film for $100 million from Sony and would release it exclusively on Amazon Prime Video worldwide, excluding China, where Sony would release it theatrically on an undetermined date. Sony would also retain home entertainment and linear television rights to the film. On October 6, 2021, Amazon set a release date of January 14, 2022.

The film had a limited theatrical release on February 25, 2022. On March 7, 2022, it was announced that the film would have a theatrical release in China beginning April 3 of that year.

Critical response

On the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 49% of 77 critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 5.20/10. The website’s consensus reads, “Much like the trio of films it follows, ’Hotel Transylvania: Transformania’ is middling family viewing -- relatively painless, but overall rather uninspired.” Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned the film a score of 46 out of 100, based on 15 critics, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.