Approved for 12+

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania

When Van Helsing’s mysterious invention goes haywire, Drac and his pals are transformed into humans and Johnny becomes a monster! In their new mismatched bodies, Drac and Johnny must team up to find a cure. With help from Mavis and the Drac Pack, the heat is on to find a way to switch themselves back before their transformations become permanent.

Negative Rating
Positive Rating

Dove Review

The Drac Pack is back with the fourth and final installment in the Hotel Transylvania franchise. This time we find a smitten Drac ready to leave his precious hotel and begin a new life with love interest Erika Van Helsing (Kathryn Hahn); the only thing standing in the way is turning over the key to beloved daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her husband Jonathan (Andy Samberg). When confronted with the prospect of free-wheeling Jonathan running the family business, Dracula commits a big no-no: lying and deceiving the ones he loves most. A dismayed Jonathan thinks the only way to remedy the situation is by changing himself … into a monster!
With the help of the elder Van Helsing (voiced by the hilarious Jim Gaffigan), Jonny is turned into a monster version of himself. But, of course, as is expected, shenanigans inevitably lead to everything going haywire. The Drac pack is turned human — yup, all your favorites, including Frank, Murray, and even invisible Griffin — including Count Dracula himself. Jonny and Drac set out on a father-son bonding trip to set things right, but they are unaware the consequences of their actions come at an even higher price. With the highest stakes of any Hotel Transylvania installment yet, the crew must join together and race to save Jonny before it’s too late.
As huge fans of the Hotel Transylvania franchise, my family and I were eager to watch the latest (and reportedly last) installment. Wary of cast changes, such as Drac and Frank being replaced, and direction changes (this being the first in the franchise not directed by animation vet Genndy Tartakovsky) we went into the film with trepidation. I will let you know, it does feel a bit different, however, the new cast members did a great job of emulating the spirit of the characters, and the animation is charming and true to the franchise. So, while there’s a bit of new mixed in, the film still very much retains the feel of a Hotel Transylvania movie. The theme of transformation allows for a lot of leeway creatively, and the filmmakers used that to their advantage to create a truly fun-to-watch family film.
I only have two bones to pick, and the first is continuity-related. In HT4, Drac is portrayed as really disliking Jonny and Jonny is portrayed as feeling wholly unaccepted in the family. This flies in the face of the character arcs built in the previous films. However, it is easy to dispel history and focus solely on this film. The second bone I must pick is a content biggie: Griffin’s overt and frequent bare bottom played for laughs. I just don’t feel it was a necessary measure to drive home the point he was naked.
There’s been a lot of attention on the changes behind the scenes of HT4, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, I’d like to focus on the changes happening onscreen.
Hotel Transylvania: Transformania opens with a frustrated father-in-law, Drac, displeased with Jonny’s ‘hippie’ antics. The two couldn’t be more different, but through the discombobulated events of a frazzled ‘monster ray’, the two get to experience life from each other’s perspectives. The old saying goes, “never judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes,” and Drac gets to do just that. In fact, he gets to walk a lot of miles in Jonny’s literal shoes! As a human, Drac develops a new appreciation for Jonny, and as a monster, Jonny finally gets to experience so many things he’s missed out on sitting on the sidelines while all his monster loved ones have fun. In addition, Dracula comes to understand so many things he took for granted and was able to enjoy that others cannot. Through the course of the film, he realizes how his deception deeply hurt those he loves, and that he was holding on to things more than people. The value of these lessons is incalculable for a family audience and should be the primary thing we’re talking about when we discuss the film.
Beyond being silly and ridiculous and over the top as one would expect from the franchise, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania also offers the heart that the films are known for: themes of family, fatherhood, growth, and change. Remove the monster element and what you have is a normal family trying to navigate their differences, choices, and future. Drac as the patriarch, trying to decide what is best for the family and himself; Jonny as the doting son-in-law who just wants to fit in and make his dad proud; Mavis as the woman caught in the middle of two men she loves most in the world; and Erika, a woman who fell in love and now must find her place in a new “blended” family. At the same time Drac and Jonny are bonding, we see Mavis and Erika getting to know each other for the first time (which wasn’t able to occur in the third film).
Who among us hasn’t had a disagreement with a parent or in-law? Or became nervous meeting a significant other’s family? Which of us hasn’t, at times, felt like the odd one out or the “black sheep” of the family? Many of us have been in these characters’ positions. Sometimes we find it difficult to step outside of ourselves and see life from another’s perspective; through Hotel Transylvania: Transformania, Drac and Jonny are able to do just that, and emerge with a newfound love and appreciation for each other. Family can be tough. It’s our longest and most difficult mission field. At some points, you could even say navigating family ties is downright scary, and HT4 uses the artful storytelling of fantasy to illustrate a very real topic.
Seeing each other from new perspectives, appreciating each other, communicating honestly, loving who you are, and being open to positive change are some underlying themes in “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania”. It’s a fun watch, of course, but while you’re laughing, there’s much to be said about HT4’s purposeful messaging. Due to the instances of nudity, Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is awarded the Dove Seal of Approval for Ages 12+, but as always, use your own best judgment when deciding what is appropriate for your family’s viewing.
I hope this film will open opportunities for families to have meaningful discussions, communicate freely, and … bleh bleh bleh.

The Dove Take

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania is a fun watch that uses fantasy to illustrate a very real and sticky topic — family dynamics — in a purposeful way.

Dove Rating Details




Good messages of acceptance, consequences of lying, change, etc.


Kissing between a heterosexual couple, embracing.




“Monster” characters become enraged and destroy property.




A character is nude for several scenes, showing their bare bottom.


Magic, lying.

More Information