Dexter’s Lab was one of my absolute favorite cartoon as a child (and one I can still enjoy today), while Samurai Jack and the Star Wars: Clone Wars series both aired to acclaim and were accepted by enthusiastic fans. All three of these shows have one element in common: series creator Genndy Tartakovsky.
Now of course the news that he’s directing a feature-length animation for Sony gets more headlines for its voice cast headlined by Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, and David Spade, but the real news is Tartakovsky and the he will be behind the production. Clearly he’ll be working with a cast packed with pandering, boring comedians, but he’s done such great TV work that I can’t help but be excited for Hotel Transylvania, as the film is called.
Centering around Dracula (Sandler), we are introduced to a new side of the count through his protective relationship with his daughter Mavis, and his proprietorship of the titular hotel, which is a haven for all sorts of creatures of lore. Married werewolves (Steve Buscemi and Molly Shannon), Mummies (Cee-Lo Green), Quasidmodo (Spade), Frankenstein (James) and Bride (Drescher) will populate the hotel, while a sneaky human ends up falling in love with Drac’s daughter. Shenanigans and such.
The exploitation of all of these characters can lead to the best or the worst, and voice cast aside there’s the possibility of a really special animation coming out of this. It’s much too early to call it one way or another, and the studio system may dilute Tartakovsky’s influence too much for it to shine through, but here’s hoping some of the spirit and wit of his classic cartoons will end up on the big screen. Of course Tartakovsky isn’t entirely new to feature films –he did storyboard work on Iron Man 2– but this is definitely his first gig of this scale.
Our first indication of how excited it’s advisable to be will come with whatever character designs or concept sketches emerge first, as it will be some time before we see any footage. My eyes will be peeled.
Any of those old TV shows on your radar? And is there any chance the Happy Madison influence will let any of Tartakovsky’s talent get through? Give me your thoughts on twitter, dump something in the comments, or dive into the conversation on the message boards.