From its bright colours, to its catchy, child-friendly tunes, to its slapstick sight gags that will have your little ones bursting with laughter and pointing at the screen, this movie is aimed squarely at a target market of those aged 10 and under.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Except. Who has to take those under-10s to the movie theatre to watch this 90-minute-long cavalcade of cartoon corniness?
That’s right – their mums and dads do. And these days, even when it comes to kids’ cartoons, we’ve come to expect a little something in it for us too.
Maybe we’ve been spoilt by the likes of The Lego Movie, Wreck-It Ralph, and practically every Pixar movie ever made.
Maybe it was the fact that I’d just watched the – well, the incredible Incredibles 2 the night before.
Maybe it was simply the well-established movie sequel law of diminishing returns – ie, the third instalment in any trilogy is almost always the worst.
But I’ve gotta say, I was a little disappointed by Hotel Transylvania 3 – and I thought the first two were pretty good.
Not that my opinion counts for a whole lot in this instance – what really matters is that the kids had a ball, particularly my three and five-year-old daughters.
My 10-year-old son was a little more reserved in letting his appreciation show. “This is probably a good seven-year-old’s movie,” he told me. But I saw him cracking up a fair amount of the time too.
As for the girls, they were bopping along to those aforementioned catchy tunes and giggling away consistently throughout. “I loved it the most, most, most,” said Miss Three, while Miss Five liked the “super-cool music”.
Plotwise, instead of Count Dracula’s titular hotel for monsters – and as of the second movie, humans as well – the action is set mostly on a cruise ship this time around, after Drac’s daughter Mavis whisks him away for a much-needed family holiday.
The rest of the ‘Drac Pack’ tags along as well of course: Frankenstein, Murray the Mummy, Wayne the Werewolf, the Invisible Man and their assorted other halves too, not to mention Mavis’ human husband Johnny.
Before the cruise however, a short opening scene set in 1897 and featuring a dogged ‘Professor Abraham Van Helsing’ pursuing Drac and his friends to the ends of the earth and beyond foreshadows deeper things to come.
As for the cruise itself, departing quite naturally from the Bermuda Triangle, this is where we are introduced to the movie’s main human protagonist, Captain Ericka, who Drac instantly falls in love or “zings” with, much to the consternation of daughter Mavis.
It’s all quite predictable at first, but is there more to Captain Ericka than meets the eye?
Rounding out the main monster cast is the usual assortment of witches, zombies, skeletons, gremlins, floating brains and other fantastical creatures – as well as the staff of the cruise ship itself, who for some inexplicable reason are basically just talking fish with legs.
All in all, Hotel Transylvania 3 is an entertaining romp for the kids and just about bearable for adults.
There’s also the added bonus of the movie’s heartening main message, which is that all of us – human, monster or something else in between – are pretty much the same, whether you have green skin, purple skin or no skin at all.
And you can’t really argue with that.