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Hotel Transylvania 3 Blu-ray Review: Fun Shipboard Romance

Drac takes a vacation at sea and falls in love.

Reviewed by on Oct 04, 2018
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Check out Kidzworld’s review of the packed-with-extras Blu-ray set for Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation. Should you take it home for Halloween fun?

By: Lynn Barker

In Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, Mavis (Selena Gomez) thinks dad Drac (Adam Sandler) is overworked and plans a family cruise vacay at sea. Lonely Drac falls for ship’s captain Erika (Kathryn Hahn) and she cares for him too but she has promised her great grandpa, vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffagin), that she will destroy Drac and all his vacationing monster shipmates.

The gang enjoys the Atlantis CasinoThe gang enjoys the Atlantis CasinoCourtesy of Sony Pictures

The Backstory

We see an 1800’s train full of disguised monsters, Frank (Frankenstein’s Monster) voiced by Kevin James, Murray the Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key) and more, attacked by weird-looking vampire and monster hunter Abraham Van-Helsing. Dracula beats him but really just wants to be friends.

Vampire hunter Van Helsing is out to kill DracVampire hunter Van Helsing is out to kill DracCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Lonely Drac

In present times, to help bring her father out of his gloom, Drac’s daughter Mavis organizes an all-monster Atlantic cruise for the entire family as a surprise. The trip starts with a doomed flight on rickety Gremlin Air which crashes into the ocean and floats long enough to get the family onboard a Bermuda Triangle ship that looks like the Titanic. Mavis and Johnny’s (Andy Samberg) son Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) sneaks his giant pet dog Tinkles aboard disguising him as a guy named “Bob”. Drac is bored until he spots cute ship’s captain Erika and “zing”, he’s in love.

Drac gets a zing when he sees ErikaDrac gets a zing when he sees ErikaCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Crazy Cruise

Blobby throws up a “son” and the wolf family couple is thrilled that they can park their hundreds of offspring at a Kid Club and party like adults for a change. A mechanical version of elderly Van Helsing is aboard and Erika is his great grand-daughter determined to destroy Drac and all monsters. Van Helsing has tasked her with finding an object hidden in sunken Atlantis that will destroy all the monsters. Erika jumps the gun and tries to kill Drac several ways but fails. He’s in love and clueless.

Erika plots to kill DracErika plots to kill DracCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Onboard Games

Newly energized Drac and family play volleyball and enjoy an underwater tour of a submerged volcano where Erika again fails to kill Drac. She tells Van Helsing that she “has to get Dracula”. Frank and others overhear and tell Drac to ask her out! She is crazy about him. The two plan a date and, on an island, she tries to poison Drac with garlic but it just makes him gassy and embarrassed. She starts falling for him.

Erika starts to fall for DracErika starts to fall for DracCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Atlantis on Steroids

The ship reaches Atlantis which looks like Vegas on steroids. The gang has a blast and Drac follows Erika to the magical object and saves her life several times on the way when she sets off various Indiana Jones-style traps. Mavis doesn’t trust Erika who tells Drac that she could never love a monster like him. He is devastated. Erika gives the strange object to Van Helsing but feels bad about it. He will destroy all monsters at a big dance that evening.

Drac goes tropical on the cruiseDrac goes tropical on the cruiseCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Party Down

Strange object turns out to house a scroll of music which, when Van Helsing plays it, summons a giant octopus-like Kraken to destroy all of the monster passengers. Drac fights back but is grabbed by the Kraken. Erika has to decide if she cares enough to come to his aid. Jonathan decides to D.J. his own happy music to battle Van Helsing’s Kraken-controlling evil death music. Who will win? Will Drac and Erika actually become a couple?

The Kraken is both a hit and threatThe Kraken is both a hit and threatCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Special Extra Features

We got the Blu-ray/DVD/Digital “Monster Party” edition. The set looks colorful and sounds great. Extras are aimed mostly at younger kids but families might enjoy as well. Many of the extras involve music.

  • Two Mini Movies (Original Shorts) gives us “Puppy” in which Dennis begs his parents for a puppy, Drac gets him the giant he names Tinkles and chaos reigns. Very cute. We also get “Goodnight Mr. Foot” featuring a Bigfoot trying to vacation quietly at the hotel but with little luck.
  • 3 Scary-Oke Sing Alongs – These give you words on screen. They are “ “Dennis Had a Giant Dog” and “Monsters Like to Party Down” both to the tune of “London Bridge is Falling Down” and “Oh These Wolf Pups” sung to the tune of folk classic “Oh Susana”. These are probably fun for younger kids but will drive teens and their parents crazy if they are played more than once!
  • Monster Lullaby Scary-Oke Sing Along with Dennisovitch involves Drac singing scary worded versions of classic songs to Dennis. The last one is to a holiday song. Fun once but again….. yikes!
  • Behind the Scenes: The Voices of Hotel Transylvania 3 is a more standard extra. Many of the voice actors are seen in split screen with their characters as they record dialogue and talk about the characters. A lot of fun.
  • In Meet the New Characters, filmmakers talk about creating the gremlins, the Fishmen crew, Captain Erika, Van Helsing and the Kraken. Interesting.
  • Johnny’s Home Movies is just Johnny and son Dennis watching a re-hash of what happened in the first two films… if you are a fan, you already know.. this must be here just to sell copies of the earlier films.
  • Drac’s Zing-Tastic Read-Along is all about Drac’s search for a zing and a new girlfriend. The words are on the screen. This could be good reading practice for younger kids.

Puppy Tinkles is disguised as BobPuppy Tinkles is disguised as BobCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Under Monster Activities we have:

  1. Plan Your Own Spooktacular Sleepover – this is actually useful telling you how to make some fun decorations, create a game and made a Jello Blobby.
  2. Vampire Make-Overs: Mavis and Drac Tutorial – shows you step-by-step how to turn yourself into a Mavis or Drac vampire. This is simplistic stuff but okay for the younger set. Not too scary.
  3. How to Draw Dracula is a basic look at the creation of the character in both hand-drawn and animation forms.
  4. Make Your Own Watermelon Jack-O-Lantern shows how to carve one. Looks easier than carving a pumpkin one.
  • I See Love Dance Party –live, non-animated dancers show you a few steps to monster boogie by. This song features Joe Jonas.
  • More Lyric Videos are songs from the film with words on screen for a sing along.
  • There is also an Audio Commentary by filmmakers that is off and on interesting.

Gremlin Air stewardessGremlin Air stewardessCourtesy of Sony Pictures

Wrapping Up

This third installment of the Hotel Transylvania series of films is full of cute gags, well-animated locations and new creatures. The take home “Monster Party” version is packed with extras that would mostly appeal to younger kids. Only the extras on the voice actors, the audio commentary and Meet the New Characters would be of much interest to older teens and family. However, there is enough overall fun provided here for us to rate as we did the film in theaters, four stars.

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Blu-ray Rating: 4

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation Blu-ray and DVD Cover ArtCourtesy of Sony Pictures

You can now add the Hotel Transylvania 3 Blu-ray & DVD set to your collection.

Share Your Thoughts!

Are you collecting these Hotel Transylvania films on home video? Thinking of screening them all for Halloween or prefer something more scary? Share your feelings with other visitors with a comment below or a note on your Kidzworld Profile page.

Drac-shaped coffin boxDrac-shaped coffin boxCourtesy of Kidzworld

At the Kidzworld office we received an incredibly cool Hotel Transylvania 3 Movie Night Kit in an amazing oversized Drac-shaped coffin box! 

We are howling with excitement over these fun activities included in this monster-sized kit:

  • Plan Your Own Spook-tacular Sleepover
    • A DIY Murray Lantern Kit
    • DIY DracuStraws
    • Pumpkin Stencils and carving tools 
    • Branded popcorn for viewing party
  • Scary-Oke Sing Alongs
    •  Lyrics sheet
  • “I See Love” Monster Dance Party Dance Along:
    • Macarena dance instructions sheet 
  • Vampire Makeover: Mavis and Drac Activity:
    • Mavis make-up kit with Vampire teeth
    • Mavis Halloween costume

Hotel Transylvania 3 Movie Night KitHotel Transylvania 3 Movie Night KitCourtesy of Kidzworld