My disappointment with Sony Pictures Animation’s monster comedy Hotel Transylvania (Genndy Tartakovsky) brought bitter reminders of another CGI-animated “horror” from 2008, Igor. Despite an interesting cast of vocal talent and experienced directors, both films failed to capture the heart of its cast or tickle my funny bones. Had I read Titan Books’ The Art and Making of Hotel Transylvania, however… I would have still been disappointed, but much more appreciated of the creative vision behind the film.
One glimpse inside the book and there’s no denying that a lot of time was spent developing a specific look and tone for each character with entire chapters devoted to Dracula, Mavis, Jonathan, Frankenstein, the Werewolves and so many more supporting cast members. The Mad Monster Party vibe the the initial premise of the film evoked are so much stronger in the book, especially in seeing some of the early sketches and concept art from artists like Fabian Mense, John Norton, Pete Oswald, Craig Kellman and countless others.
Unlike The Art and Making of ParaNorman, however, Titan’s Transylvania Hotel title spends very little time on the actual production of the film, instead focusing 90% of the book on character design and concept art. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the assortment of characters is amazing and any monster kid or artist could spend hours pouring over each sketch. It’s just that a bit more detail on “the making” or the story itself would have been nice since the movie itself is so sparse on plot.