A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Kids interested in horror movies will be introduced to classic monsters in a harmless way. Kids will also learn the benefits of diversity.
Messages about the importance of tolerance, fighting prejudice, and celebrating diversity.
Positive Role Models
Drac is a caring, attentive grandfather, even though he puts Dennis in harm's way on his night out. Everyone loves Dennis despite the fact he's half monster, half human. Mavis is a wonderful mother who wants to do what's best for Dennis, even if that means moving away from Transylvania so he can be around more humans. Jonathan is brave, kind, and funny.
Violence & Scariness
A battle late in the movie between demon bats and the monsters is scary. The friends accidentally set a camp on fire with their antics. A car explodes. The monsters try to scare people but fail. It looks like a boy will fall to injury, but his grandfather saves him.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Mavis and Jonathan kiss at their wedding; later, Jonathan complains about not getting any "alone" time with his wife. A monster falls for a human and kisses him all over the face.
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Insults like "idiot," "shut up," "imbecile."
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Products & Purchases
Several placements of Sony electronics, including close-ups of the phones. Also many tie-in products and toys.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Hotel Transylvania 2 is the sequel to the popular (if not particularly critically successful) monster comedy Hotel Transylvania and once again features the voices of Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, and Selena Gomez. Except for a few blink-and-you'll-miss-them "angry faces" from Dracula and a couple of other vampires (and the monsters' somewhat creepy appearance in general), the one genuinely scary part is when a group of demon bats fights the human-friendly monsters near the end of the movie. Language includes mild insults like "stupid" and "imbecile," and the romance is limited to a couple of kisses. Positive messages focus on family unity and diversity, and the characters are all trying hard to do well. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Although it has some clearly positive messages about family unity and diversity, this isn't the sort of animated comedy you'll return to again and again. It will surely amuse kids -- especially those who enjoyed the original -- but it's not likely to make a lasting impression on parents. Still, everyone will laugh when Drac and his crew of monster pals try to school young Dennis in the ways of monsterdom. And there's a fun bit of stunt casting: Mel Brooks as Vlad, Drac's prejudiced vampire father, who isn't tolerant of humans but has been invited to Dennis' birthday party.
Sandler, who co-wrote the script, fills it with kid-targeted humor, and the cast is pleasant enough, but some of the jokes fall flat or linger a beat too long before the punchline. There's also the strange case of slacker Jonathan still seeming like a teen when, by all accounts, he's about 27 for the bulk of this installment. Parents will appreciate the way the story pokes fun at the hypervigilant ways of today's parenting styles. It's best depicted when Drac takes Dennis to his old vampire camp, which is now so tame that the counselors spot, coddle, and sing with the young vampires. While Hotel Transylvania 2 isn't a great movie, it's a fine family pick for the Halloween season.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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