Before the pandemic, visits with my grandson, Jackson, would always include our sitting together to watch animated films which garnered his attention while sharing important lessons about life.

And while it’s been two long years since I’ve seen him, I still look for movies that he and I can discuss during our video conversations. 

Recently, Amazon Studios released the fourth and final installment in the “Hotel Transylvania” franchise, subtitled “Transformania,” and I found it to be an absolute delight. 

If you’re looking for something that’s funny, beautifully animated and certain to keep your little ones glued to the screen, this movie is the answer. And adults will like it too. I’ve already watched it twice. 

In the film, Dracula and his son-in-law, Johnny, who have an awkward relationship because of their very distinct ways of seeing and embracing the world, find themselves transformed into a human and monster, respectively.

After recognizing what’s happened, the two must embark on a dangerous journey to South America in order to find a rare crystal that will allow them to revert to their original forms before their transformations become permanent. Adding to the challenge before them, time remains critical, particularly for Johnny whose transformation will eventually render him a raging, mindless monster. 

As the story unfolds, which opens during the 125th anniversary and celebration of Hotel Transylvania, viewers will learn how the transformation occurred and why Dracula so adamantly opposed his daughter’s husband. Johnny’s unique, if not unorthodox way of living and embracing the world leaves Dracula fearful of the future both for his family and his beloved hotel. 

Many of the voices in the film, released exclusively on Amazon Prime Video, and which include Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn, Steve Buscemi and Fran Drescher, will be familiar to viewers of all ages. These, and other actors, provide the voices for Dracula and his family and close friends who team up to save the day. 

Ultimately, Dracula learns a critical lesson about Johnny, who despite his stark differences, helps his father-in-law realize both how he has misjudged the young man and why we all benefit when we see the best in people and in life instead of assuming the worst. 

Critics have given mixed reviews on this film but I thought it was wonderful. 

Where else can you see monsters hitting the dance floor to do the cha-cha slide?

Dominic Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist with more than 25 years of service for the Black Press (NNPA). Prior to moving East to assist his aging parents in their struggles with Alzheimer’s,...

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