Hotel Transylvania: Sony Animation, Voiced by Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, Molly Shannon and Steve Buscemi

The voices in the Sony Pictures Animation film, “Hotel Transylvania,” are vivid and colorful, as they come from such skillful actors as Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and CeeLo Green.

But, as written by Peter Baynham and Robert Smige (based on a story by Todd Durham, and Dan Hageman, and Kevin Hageman) and directed by Genndy Tartakovsky, the movie is so conventional and old-fashioned that it really doesn’t begin to compare with Pizar-Disney’s animations.

Even so, there is no new animation in the marketplace right now,, so ony stands a good chance to score big at the box office with a disappointing picture, likely to be dismissed by most critics.

This mishmash of a movie—truly a hodgepodge–is set in Dracula’s lavish and spectacular resort, where various monsters and their families congregate, given the freedom and liberty to be the monsters they are without humans to bother them.

The tale draws on one extraordinary weekend, to which Dracula has invited some of the world’s most famous monsters: Frankenstein and his wife, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, to celebrate the 118th birthday of his beloved daughter, Mavis.

For Dracula (nicknamed Drac, no pun intended), catering to the needs and wishes of his infamous friends seems to be easy and joyful, that is, potentially.  Unexpectedly, an undesired human (to say the least) not only invades the space and causes havoc, but he also befriends Mavis, who strangely enough appears to be receptive to the idea.

In its few good moments we get a rather sensitive portrayal of a father-daughter relationship, where Big Daddy shares the same concerns of every and any single parent—he just happens to be slightly different as Dracula. Like all fathers, Drac is by turns overprotective, psychotic, and endearing, a man who would do anything for his daughter, but unlike other fathers, he’s the Prince of Darkness.

The film’s one workable joke is that Mavis, though 118, is still a teenager, who needs to go through various rites of passage to become a real woman.  A responsible father, Drac’s greatest fears is losing his daughter, and he want to make sure it’s to the right man. He knows that he can’t protect his child forever; that he needs to trust that she is going to be able to take care of herself in the real world, one that’s a scary place to live even for a character like Drac.