Hotel Transylvania, a beloved animated film series, has been a hit with audiences around the globe. Starting with the adventures of Dracula running a hotel for his monster buddies and moving to the family antics of Drac, Mavis, and their ensemble, here’s how you can immerse yourself in their tales from start to finish.

The “Hotel Transylvania” franchise, blending humor with classic monster motifs, welcomes fans to a world where the infamous Count Dracula isn’t a fearsome bloodsucker but a doting father and a hotelier. It’s a place where the ghouls and monsters you were told about as bedtime stories vacation and revel. Over the course of four films, we’ve seen these iconic monsters navigate family, love, prejudice, and even summer vacations.

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Starting off with the first movie, we’re introduced to Hotel Transylvania – a lavish five-stake resort where monsters can let their hair down (or, in some cases, let their wraps loose). Each subsequent film builds on the previous narrative. From Dracula trying to protect his daughter Mavis from falling for a human named Johnny in the first film to the ensemble embarking on a monster cruise in “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”, every installment offers a fresh spin on the lives of these iconic characters.

While the original trio of films boasted the vocal talents of Adam Sandler as our beloved Count Dracula, the fourth, “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” saw Brian Hull stepping into those big vampire shoes. The series also showcases the voices of other Hollywood bigwigs: Kevin James, David Spade, and Steve Buscemi, to name a few.

Conceived by Todd Durham, this Sony animated treasure has not only given us four films but also spin-off shorts and even a TV series.

Hotel Transylvania Movies in Order of Release

  • Hotel Transylvania (2012)
  • Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)
  • Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)
  • Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania (2022)

1 ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (2012)

Hotel Transylvania (2012)

IMDb: 7.0/10 271K | Popularity: 1936 | Metascore: 47

Duration: 1h 31m | Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Cast: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Andy Samberg

In 2012, the world of animated cinema got a splash of monstrous fun with the introduction of “Hotel Transylvania.” This comedic tale, set against the backdrop of a luxurious hotel exclusively for monsters, delivers laughter and heart in equal measure.

Count Dracula is at the center of this story, voiced with zest by Adam Sandler. Contrary to the nocturnal and terrifying figure of lore, this Dracula is a loving and overprotective father. Determined to shield his teenage daughter, Mavis, voiced by the talented Selena Gomez, from the human world’s perceived perils, he fabricates tales of danger and builds a secluded hotel. Here, monsters like the Mummy, Frankenstein, and even a few playful werewolves can relax without fear of pitchfork-wielding villagers.

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However, as fate would have it, the hotel’s security is breached not by a torch-bearing mob but by Johnny, an exuberant human backpacker voiced by the lively Andy Samberg. The young man’s arrival throws the hotel into a tizzy, but the real drama unfolds as he captures Mavis’s heart.

“Hotel Transylvania” isn’t just a comedic romp through monster lore. It’s a touching narrative on the universal themes of parental protection and the age-old clash between older traditions and modern love. The vibrant animation and a stellar voice cast bring life to this tale, making it a memorable addition to animated film history. It reminds us, in its uniquely monstrous way, that love knows no bounds, and sometimes, it’s okay to let go and trust in the unexpected.

[ Watch on Hulu ]

2 ‘Hotel Transylvania 2’ (2015)

Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

IMDb: 6.6/10 137K | Popularity: 4789 | Metascore: 44

Duration: 1h 29m | Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez

The gothic corridors of Hotel Transylvania welcomed audiences once again in 2015 with a tale of family, identity, and acceptance. In “Hotel Transylvania 2”, the evolution of Dracula’s heart continues as he grapples with a new challenge: grandfatherhood.

It’s no ordinary situation either. Dennis, Mavis and Johnny’s son, is at the heart of this familial quandary. Born to a vampire mother and a human father, little Dennis becomes the embodiment of the blended world that Dracula once feared. Yet, as the days go by and Dennis’s fangs remain conspicuously absent, the Count can’t help but yearn for his grandson to inherit his vampiric legacy.

As Mavis navigates the quirky nuances of human life during her visit to Johnny’s family, Dracula, in his endearing overenthusiastic manner, rallies his monster brigade. The mission? A crash course in vampirism for Dennis, who’s hoping to bring out his latent monstrous side. But as they dive into their hilariously misguided “vampire boot camp,” an unexpected guest swoops in. Vlad, Dracula’s father, is old school in every sense of the word, and his views on monster-human relations are, let’s just say, a little outdated.

The collision of these three generations makes “Hotel Transylvania 2” a delightful cocktail of comedy and emotion. While the movie has its critics and proponents alike, one can’t deny the heartfelt message it conveys about acceptance and the changing definition of family in today’s diverse world. After all, amidst the laughter and monstrous shenanigans, the film asks a poignant question: Isn’t love the most potent magic of all?

[ Watch on Netflix ]

3 ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’ (2018)

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation (2018)

IMDb: 6.3/10 81K | Popularity: 4530 | Metascore: 54

Duration: 1h 37m | Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky

Cast: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez

After two cinematic escapades in the confines of Hotel Transylvania, the monstrous ensemble finds themselves embarking on a refreshing new adventure in “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”. This time, the fanged and furry residents exchange the cobwebbed corners of their spooky haven for the sunlit decks of a lavish cruise liner.

Dracula, ever the romantic, finds his undead heart aflutter as he becomes smitten with the captivating Captain Ericka. Voiced by the talented Kathryn Hahn, Ericka is more than just a ship captain with a twinkle in her eye. Little does the Count know, she holds ties to his past, bearing the Van Helsing name—a lineage that’s historically been at odds with Dracula’s kind.

For Mavis, the cruise was an opportunity for family bonding and relaxation. But discovering the ship captain’s lineage to Abraham Van Helsing, voiced by the comedic genius Jim Gaffigan, sends her on high alert. She’s left wrestling with a maternal instinct to protect her father from potential heartbreak and the lurking dangers of an old family feud.

“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” offers a delightful detour from its predecessors, introducing not just a change of scenery but also a deeper exploration into the theme of love’s complexities, be it between parents and children or ancient foes. It’s a splashy adventure that has been applauded for its freshness and inventive comedic elements, anchoring itself as a standout in the franchise. As the monsters navigate waters of romance, intrigue, and suspense, the audience is treated to a delightful blend of humor, heart, and high-seas hijinks.

[ Watch on FXNOW ]

4 ‘Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania’ (2022)

Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania (2022)

IMDb: 6.0/10 36K | Popularity: 2609 | Metascore: 46

Duration: 1h 27m | Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Director: Derek Drymon, Jennifer Kluska

Cast: Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kathryn Hahn

The spooky, hilarious journey through Hotel Transylvania takes a transformative twist in its fourth installment, “Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania.” As the curtains draw on this beloved franchise, the audience witnesses the age-old hotel’s residents grappling with their most peculiar challenge yet: trading places.

The movie sees our favorite vampire patriarch, Dracula, relinquishing his immortal fangs and adopting the fragility of human life. In contrast, the ever-enthusiastic human, Johnny, finally gets a taste of the monstrous life he’s so admired. However, their swapped roles aren’t just for laughs. Their new forms become a race against time as they venture to South America, seeking a way to undo the accidental transformations before they become irreversible.

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Family dynamics, a recurring theme throughout the series, takes center stage once more. Dracula’s intention to retire and pass the hotel’s legacy to Mavis and Johnny becomes marred in mistrust. His dubious claims about monster-only ownership, mixed with Johnny’s earnest desire to be part of the monster world, sets off a chain of events that leads to chaotic transformations and adventures in uncharted territories.

Amidst the laughs and the slapstick, there’s depth in Dracula’s realization and acceptance of Johnny as an integral part of his family. Their journey not only deals with the external challenges of being in unfamiliar forms but also the internal confrontations of trust, acceptance, and the real meaning of family.

In the end, as we bid farewell to Hotel Transylvania, we’re left with a destroyed hotel that’s eventually rebuilt. However, it’s not just bricks and mortar that’s reconstructed, but relationships, trust, and family bonds. With Dracula at peace in the renewed hotel, “Hotel Transylvania 4: Transformania” provides fans with a heartwarming and fitting conclusion to a series that’s been nothing short of a monstrous delight.

[ Watch on Prime Video ]

Jimmy P

Senior Editor, BuddyTV