Posted October 12, 2015 by admin in Resource

Catatan Produksi Film Hotel Transylvania 2 (2015)

About the Film

“Dracula may be a world-famous monster, but he’s really just a family guy,” says director Genndy Tartakovsky, who helped to reinvent classic monsters, like Dracula, Frankenstein, the werewolf, and more in the hit animated comedy Hotel Transylvania. The 2012 original film grossed more than $350 million worldwide and still holds the all-time record for highest opening movie during the month of September in the U.S.

Now Drac’s pack is back, with Tartakovsky returning to the helm, for an all-new adventure in Hotel Transylvania 2. The film kicks off with humans and monsters finally learning to co-exist. “All is good in Drac’s world,” says Tartakovsky. “Jonathan and Mavis have gotten married, and then they have a baby boy ‘ Dennis. And that leads to the big question in this film: is Dennis a vampire or is he a human? Mavis and Johnny are ready to accept their son for whoever he is, but of course, Dracula secretly hopes that Dennis is a vampire. He’s afraid that if Dennis is a human, Mavis will want to raise him in the non-monster world instead of the hotel. So Drac is going to do anything to try to bring the fangs out of Dennis.”

Like any loving mother, Mavis wants what’s best for her child. As much as she loves the hotel ‘ the only home she’s ever known ‘ she feels that if Dennis is a human, the best place for him is to be raised with other humans. So, to check out what that might be like, Mavis entrusts her dad to watch Dennis while she and Johnny visit her human-in-laws in his hometown of Santa Cruz. While she is discovering the exciting ways of human life-from their 48 flavors of slushies to the 24/7 mini-markets-Drac is going a little batty back at the hotel imagining a life without his daughter, which makes him more determined than ever to bring out little Dennis’ fangs and give Mavis a reason to never leave Hotel Transylvania.

Drac’s solution: an epic road trip, in which Drac and his pals pull out all the stops, putting the little “monster-in-training” through monster boot camp. Plans go awry though when Drac’s own dad, Vlad, pays them an unexpected visit.

“Vlad is an old-school vampire,” says Tartakovsky. “Drac and his father have this very tumultuous, confrontational relationship ‘ they’re at each other all the time. Vlad is judging him, Drac is defensive.”

“Vlad is hilariously hardcore, he’s tough, he’s relentless,” says producer Michelle Murdocca. “He doesn’t give Drac a break. You really see why Drac is the way he is.”

Vlad is played by comedy legend Mel Brooks, one of the world’s few EGOTs (meaning he’s won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony). “He’s one of the foundations of comedy, he’s been around forever, he shaped my comic sensibility, and he’s still sharp and witty, so I was very nervous to direct him. He’s amazing ‘ it’s not like he needs directing,” says Tartakovsky. “But I remember at one point, he wanted to hear how I thought he should do one particular line. What was I gonna tell Mel Brooks? But he wanted me to do it, so I did it, and he liked it, and he did it the way I did it. That was an amazing moment for me ‘ I’ll never forget that.”

To open and close the movie, the filmmakers called on one of the hottest up-and-coming acts in music, Fifth Harmony, whose hit single “Worth It” has spent all summer on the charts. The group kicks off the movie with the song “I’m in Love with a Monster.”

Through it all, Tartakovsky says that the filmmakers haven’t lost sight of what makes Hotel Transylvania so special. “We got to redefine monsters ‘ Dracula, Frankenstein, the Invisible Man, the Mummy. What a great sandbox to do something really cartoony, really fun, not take itself too seriously, and make a really funny movie. For this film, I felt like there was still a connection to the characters, and it would be fun to revisit this world and see what the next adventure would be like. So that’s our goal: to make it silly, irreverent, fresh and fun, while still holding on to that emotional core.”

Ultimately, Tartakovsky says, the film is the perfect family entertainment. “We have a ton of fun in this movie, with four generations of Draculas under one roof and humans now being accepted into the monster world, but there’s also a great message about accepting each other as we are. That’s a lesson we all, parent or child, need every day.”


Once upon a time, Dracula was a controlling, dominating guy who used his strength and charisma not only to create the world’s only hotel for monsters, but to become the world’s worst helicopter dad right up until his daughter’s 118th birthday. He’s better now ‘ or is he? Now that he’s a grampa ‘ make that “vampa” ‘ no one could be happier… but when his grandson, Dennis, looks like he might be human instead of a vampire, Drac cracks ‘ determining to bring out the “late fanger’s” fangs no matter what. Adam Sandler voices this batty daddy.

Sandler says that this film picks up where the first one left off ‘ but Dracula still has some growing to do. “He’s accepted humans, and his daughter is in love with a human, but he’s not quite pleased that his grandson might be humany,” he says. “He wants him to be a little more of a vampire ‘ and he’s trying to bring that out of him the whole movie. Drac has to open up his eyes a little bit more.”


Johnny can’t believe his luck ‘ since he stumbled into the Hotel Transylvania, the only human ever to set foot there in 200 years, he’s now 28, he got the girl, got married, had a kid, and even got the dream job of making the hotel more human-friendly. All he wants is to stay at the hotel, but when his wife makes the case for returning their son to the human world, he and Mavis make that California trip to explore the place where he grew up. Andy Samberg returns to the cast to play the part.

“Johnny remains a wild outdoorsman optimist,” says Samberg. “He’s getting a little bit domesticated, dealing with married life and fatherhood, but in general, he’s the same goofy dude.”

It’s hard to imagine the easygoing Johnny getting caught up in the worries Mavis and Drac share about whether or not Dennis is a vampire ‘ and in fact, Samberg says, he doesn’t. “In his laid-back nature, he’s cool with it either way, if he’s human or vampire or a mix of both,” says Samberg.


Dracula’s 125’year’old daughter, Mavis, has always been fascinated by the human world ‘ and that’s even more true now that she has married Johnny and become the parent of a four-and-a-half-year-old boy. Like every mom, she only wants what’s best for her child. While she’ll love Dennis the same no matter if he’s vampire or human, she knows that if he’s human, his life will be so much easier if he leaves the hotel for the human world. Selena Gomez returns to the role.

“In the first film, Selena gave such a warm and open performance as Mavis, when the character was a girl finding her first love,” says Murdocca. “Now, the character is a married woman and a mom, and Selena’s warmth and emotion comes through again. She truly expresses the love of a mom for her child; it’s a vocal performance beyond her years.”

Gomez says that even though Mavis is a little older and now a mom, Mavis is the same sweet girl she was in the first film. “She’s adventurous and she has a lot of spark in her,” she says. “In the first film, she finally got a grip on what she wanted, and her dad was supportive. Now, in this movie, she’s 125 years old, married, with a child, so it’s a different phase of life for her, but she still has that same Mavis feel. She’s still Daddy’s girl. The added responsibilities are bringing out the best in her.”

“The thing I love about Hotel Transylvania is Dracula brings everyone together under one roof,” adds Gomez. “The characters are an extended family, whether they’re Frankenstein, or the Wolfgang, and I think that’s sweet and endearing.”

Bringing people together is what the character of Dennis is all about, Gomez says. . “He’s an adorable baby, and they’re trying to figure out if he is or isn’t a monster. The movie is about being okay with that, no matter which way it turns out. Drac has a full-on need to be in control of everything ‘ that’s a protective quality that we love about him, but it can also be overbearing. Drac is trying to figure it out ‘ he wants Dennis to feel like he’s part of the family, but maybe not doing it in the best way. The movie is about Drac learning to embrace those differences, to support and love him without trying to force things that he shouldn’t.”


A best friend is the guy you can count on no matter what ‘ and that’s Frank and Drac. Everyone needs a guy to ride shotgun… when you’re on a secret road trip… to try to figure out if your grandson really is a vampire. Well, maybe not ‘ and the job may get sticky now that Frank’s face is recognizable everywhere in the human world ‘ but Frank will still stick close to Drac and as far away from fire as he can get. Kevin James returns to voice Frank.

“Genndy is so awesome, because he helps me with my levels of becoming a monster, and also being human with my delivery, which is funny,” says James. “I think that’s so great about these guys ‘ they’re monsters, obviously, but when they hang out it feels very comfortable.”


Griffin, the invisible man, couldn’t be happier ‘ he’s found love. Well, he’s sort of found it ‘ his beloved is invisible, too. In fact, the other guys aren’t quite sure she exists. David Spade reprises his role.


Wayne the werewolf has a gazillion wolf pups with his wife Wanda and too little “me time,” which may be why he jumps at the chance to help Drac with his grandson problem. The thing he doesn’t see coming is that his youngest daughter, Winnie, has developed a crush on little Dennis ‘ call it “puppy love.” Steve Buscemi returns for the role.

“Wayne is a sort of a reformed werewolf,” says Buscemi. “He’s lost his edge, but he’s still got the werewolf in him. He’s got a good heart ‘ he lets the pups roll all over him, and he doesn’t really know what he’s doing as far as being Papa Werewolf goes. His wife runs the show while he rolls with the punches.”


Murray the mummy is the undead life of the party. This rotund, wrapped reveler is always ready for a good time, so he jumps at the opportunity to help bring out the fangs in the little monster-in-training, Dennis. Keegan Michael Key plays the part.

“Murray is a fun-loving character and I get to run the gamut with him,” says Key. “He has a lot of fun but he also gets scared at certain things. I love that he doesn’t look anything like me ‘ he’s got a lot of girth, but his voice is in a higher register, so it’s fun to be able to belie his size.”


While Wayne is on the road trip with the fellas, it’s up to Wanda to take care of their dozens of offspring. But that’s all right ‘ there’s nowhere that this sweet mom would rather be. Molly Shannon returns to play this nurturing mom.


Frank’s wife is Eunice ‘ still critical, still with that attitude, and still very loving of her husband. The part is voiced once again by Fran Drescher.


Nobody can decide if Drac’s dad, Vlad, is old-school or just plain old ‘ but no matter. He’s a legendary monster, one so distrustful of humans that he never even leaves his cave anymore. Dracula has a complicated relationship with his dad and hasn’t seen him in years ‘ that is, until Mavis secretly invites him to her son’s birthday party. But when Vlad finds out that humans and vampires are living together at the hotel, the fate of Hotel Transylvania is up for grabs. Comedy legend Mel Brooks plays the role.

For Brooks, taking on the role was something of a family affair. “I see a lot of Dracula’s father in me. My kids will tell you that. I just had to remember the way my grandfather, Schmuel, used to hail a taxi in New York.” Brooks’ interpretation of his grandfather ‘ that’s Vlad, he says. “I got a lot from him and I knew I could do this role.”


All vampires have until their fifth birthday to sprout their fangs. And wouldn’t you know it… Dennis ‘ Mavis and Johnny’s four-and-a-half-year-old son ‘ hasn’t grown any fangs yet. Desperate to prove the kid is a vampire, Drac and his friends put the little guy through a “monster-in-training” boot camp to help bring out his vampire side.


Animating in Genndy Tartakovsky’s “Pushed” Style

Just as with the first film, the look of Hotel Transylvania 2 is a product of the vision and style of its director, Genndy Tartakovsky. A veteran of television animation (Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars) before making his feature film directing debut with Hotel Transylvania, Tartakovsky’s predilection for broad, cartoony poses and action made the leap to the big screen in a hugely successful way, unique to computer-animated films. “Normally in a CG feature, the idea is to keep the character looking like their base model or design, but with lots of characters in Hotel, Genndy likes to stray from that for sight gags and funny expressions,” says Senior Animation Supervisor Alan Hawkins, describing the film’s “pushed” animated style. “That’s one of the things that we learned on the first film ‘ we don’t just want to work with what the computer gives us and what we’ve already built. We needed to broaden the range of possibility.”

It was always a challenge, but one that the animators were ready to face. “The animators are all just visiting Genndy’s world when we work on his movies,” says Hawkins. “We’re trying hard to see things in the way that he does, because what the computer wants to do is so different from what he sees in his mind and what we end up getting to. That’s the biggest challenge ‘ getting in sync with that. And even when we think we are, he surprises us every day. We learn so much from him; working with him is like animation school every day.”

Having been through “animation school” on the first film, the process went much faster on the sequel. “We built a library of expressions, which got us a certain distance,” Hawkins continues. “Beyond that, we knew that Genndy often doesn’t like to see the same thing twice, so we’d end up pushing shapes or doing an expression we’ve never seen before, or playing with the proportions in a way that the character didn’t have in the first movie. There’s a whole new range ‘ Dracula being the most extreme case, working down to some of the subtler characters.”

Now that they were familiar with Tartakovsky’s style, Sony Pictures Imageworks’ team was able to institute changes to realize the director’s vision to the fullest. One example was a major streamlining of the way the simulation team handled hair and clothing. “All of our simulation software ‘ our ‘rigs’ that handle cloth and hair and other effects ‘ depends on the proportions of the characters, and we build garments for a character to those proportions. But Genndy’s style depends on changing those proportions not only from shot to shot, but often frame to frame with extreme speed. If those proportions don’t remain somewhat constant or change more gradually, the garments would either be too tight or too big, could feel like neoprene or would want to fly off the character. On top of that the character rigs can only go so far in terms of getting the performances Genndy is looking for,” explains Visual Effects Supervisor Karl Edward Herbst. “So the animators had to sculpt ‘ in many cases, frame-by-frame ‘ on top of the basic motion that they built out of the rigs. So going into this film, we sat with our cloth team and the development group to come up with a solution that tries to adapt the garments to those changes off of the base model and blend between the animation and the simulation. The animators love Genndy’s style, and want to take it that direction as far as it will go ‘ and now we could deal with it, especially with cloth simulation, no matter how pushed, the animators wanted to go with it.”

The filmmakers also made improvements to the directorial approval process, allowing the animators to always get their notes first-hand from the horse’s mouth. “Genndy now has the ability to do draw-overs right on our scenes, and we can import that into our work sessions,” says Hawkins. “Essentially, we can trace Genndy’s direction by taking his notes directly into the scene instead of eyeballing it or trying to remember what the drawing was like.”

Also, before starting a scene, the animators would use two cameras to film Tartakovsky to create a side-by-side video as Tartakovsky created a line drawing, talking about what should happen on the screen. “Genndy would say, ‘This line goes here’ ‘ whoosh ‘you see him do the line and you also see the drawing appear on the screen at the same time. That’s really an informative starting place for the animators,” says Hawkins. “We really need that with him, because he basically speaks with the drawing. He gives us verbal notes sometimes, but as an artist, he communicates more with shape and line.”

A Brighter, More Colorful Monster World

When beginning the production of Hotel Transylvania 2, the filmmakers were fortunate that so much of the world was already built in the computers. According to the film’s production designer, Michael Kurinsky, the hotel and the characters were already designed, and though they all needed tweaks and remodels, they could be used again. “It was so beautifully designed, there was no way that I wanted to step on any of it,” says Kurinsky. “I just wanted to make it as beautiful as I could for the moments in this new movie, using all of the beauty that already existed ‘ just repackage it in a new way.”

So, to approach the sequel, the filmmakers sought to make a film that fit squarely into the world portrayed in the first film, while also making the film feel fresh and stand on its own. With that in mind, Kurinsky went through the initial draft of the screenplay and divided each location into one of two categories: What’s New and What’s Old is New.

“There were several scenes that took place in locations that we already had, like the hotel and the lobby,” says Kurinsky. Fortunately, the story’s opening ‘ Johnny and Mavis’s wedding ‘ offered a ripe opportunity to help the designers make the monster world in Hotel Transylvania 2 even more bright, colorful and fun than it was in the first film. “It’s a wedding in a hotel. Well, every day in the real world, they transform drab hotel ballrooms into magic rooms for one night. We could do that ‘ we could take the lobby and redecorate it and relight it in a way that it’s never been seen before. I love working with color and light ‘ that’s kind of my specialty here ‘ so it was a great way to use the bones of what was already designed, and to put a new polish on it for this movie.”

The lighting technical directors got into the act as well. As part of Tartakovsky’s direction to deliver a brighter, more colorful monster world, Herbst found that the elements were ready to deliver ‘ the sets just needed to be showcased in a new way. “It really came down to lighting,” says Herbst. “We looked at how to re-light this movie with a bit more contrast and a broader range of color, which really worked into the story the way Genndy and Mike wanted. Ultimately, the question was, how would we light this set if it really existed, if we were shooting live-action?” After all, in an animated film, “lights” can be placed anywhere to give “perfect” lighting; by going more realistic when needed they were able to showcase the beautiful, colorful sets that already existed. “We could take advantage of using atmospherics to simplify the backgrounds and the focus on the performances, we started to call it pseudo realism.”

Another “What’s Old Is New” feature is the baby-proofed hotel. Mavis has grown into a protective (Drac would say overprotective) mom, and has made the hotel as safe as possible for her boy ‘ just in case he’s human. “It’s what we all go through when we become parents,” says Kurinsky. “I’m a parent and I baby-proofed everything when my daughter was crawling around. Mavis’ change to the hotel is to make it safe for Dennis, which is kind of funny, given that he might be a monster, and if he is, none of it would have hurt him anyway.”

Vlad and Dennis

The two main new characters ‘ Drac’s dad, Vlad, and his grandson, Dennis, were largely the work of two character designers, Craig Kellman and Andre Medina. “Vlad started out a very cold, old-school monster,” says Kurinsky. “When Mel Brooks came on board, that really shaped the design of the character and his personality. We had all of the Mel Brooks movies to reference his facial features and expressions, as we did drawings and poses that looked like a Mel Brooks reaction ‘ here’s Mel Brooks being excited, angry, sad.”

Once the character was designed, Kurinsky put on a few finishing touches. “Because he was living in a cave, he’s a dusty old vampire,” Kurinsky explains. “We know that Drac is very clean, precise and meticulous about his appearance. Vlad is the opposite. He’s let himself go a little bit and he’s a little dirtier and rougher around the edges. He has spider webs hanging off of his back, and we dusted up his cape.”

The animation, too, was influenced by Brooks’ persona and performance. “There’s a cadence to Mel’s delivery that Genndy took as a launching point as to how he directed us to do the motion,” he says. Noting that many of the characters in the film move very quickly, zipping in and out of the frame, Vlad’s movements are quite different. “We take the time and have him move a little slower. The character’s more controlled, so we treated the motion differently with him. Instead of poppy anticipations, overshoots, and squash and stretch, he’s a little more flowing in his motion, a little more regal.”

In other ways, though, Vlad is just as animated as any other character, which posed a challenge for the lighting technical directors. “In the past, we tended to stay away from heavy texturing ‘ very few wrinkles on the face, or liver spots, or anything like that. In this case, Genndy really wanted to push all of those. He wanted Vlad to have a lot of wrinkles on his face, a lot of age,” says Herbst. Wrinkles are difficult, he says, because of how the skin moves when Vlad smiles. “His smiles are incredibly broad ‘ it takes a huge volume of his cheeks and compresses it into a very small space, and it takes his lips and stretches them out. The wrinkles had to behave appropriately for those sorts of moves. In creating him, it was a question: could we go as broad with the animation and have all the texture mapping hold up? Luckily, in finding the design of Vlad, we were able to find wrinkles that worked well with all the stretching. I would love to say that it was totally planned out, but it actually happened partly by accident.”

Vlad lives in a cave, which is also a new location for this film. “Originally, it was written into the script as ‘Vlad’s Castle.’ So, we started thinking he lives in a castle, just like we associate with old-school vampires. Then, Genndy suggested, ‘Let’s do something different for this guy, because he’s a bit of a recluse,'” Kurinsky recalls. “You got the sense that Vlad distanced himself from everybody ‘ the human world and the monster world. So, we thought, why not make him like a hermit in a cave? That’s how the castle became the cave. When I looked up reference for slate caves, that was reinforced ‘ they look really cool.”

Another key new character in the film is Dennis, Mavis and Johnny’s son. That design went through a few growing pains: the initial design, which everyone loved, showed Dennis with a wild mane of his father’s red hair.

“This is where that translation from 2D to 3D comes with experience,” says Kurinsky. “Craig drew squiggles in for Dennis’s hair, and we loved it, but I was saying, ‘Somebody has got to figure that out.’ That somebody became me ‘ to figure out the mechanics of how those giant curls worked. So I did the first pass at it ‘ I drew Dennis as realistic as my brain, which is not a computer, could do. Then we built it in the computer to that specification, and it turned out the masses of hair were so big, it didn’t look like his head would hold it. There was so much hair, nobody could pick him up ‘ their arms would have had to be twice as long. And his shelf of curls in front of his face kept blocking the light ‘ he had to be lit from below. It was clear that we had to scale it down, and give him a big haircut, while still capturing the spirit of the original designs that we loved so much.”

Ultimately, the Dennis issue was the same as the other characters’, and the solution was the same as well. “The proportions of Dennis’ head are constantly changing, and the hair simulation software doesn’t know what to do in those cases,” says Herbst. “So, at the beginning of each shot, the hair technical directors would look at how much is the head changing and then would adjust the size of the curls so that they stay the same size relative to his face.”

Designing “Camp Vamp”

One of the major set pieces takes place at Camp Winnipacaca ‘ a/k/a “Camp Vamp,” where young fangers can get that rustic/gothic summer camp experience. “That was my favorite thing to design ‘ I got to design from the ground up in the monster world,” says Kurinsky. The script gave no direction other than “monster camp out in the woods,” so Kurinsky’s playing field was wide open.

“When I start designing things, if I don’t know what the answer is immediately, I start to create a backstory,” Kurinsky explains. “I asked myself, ‘What do I know about the camp?’ Well, I know that Drac said he went there when he was a kid, and that means it’s at least 900 or 1,000 years old. So how can a camp stay hidden for 1,000 years without any human on earth finding out about it?”

At the same time, Kurinsky started thinking about Yosemite National Park. “When you’re on the valley floor of Yosemite, you’re surrounded by El Capitan and other rock formations ‘ and you can see the top of them, about 3,000 feet. Well, what if those formations were 30,000 feet high ‘ or 100,000 feet? It would seem like you were surrounded by giant walls and you would be protected and hidden.”

That seemed promising. Then, Kurinsky found out about a mountain town that sealed the deal. “There’s a town in Norway that was built so deep in a gorge that during the winter months, it never receives direct sunlight,” he says. “So, they built a mirror up high on one of the walls, so that it would reflect sunlight into the town square.”

Kurinsky put it all together. “A town that’s in shadow all the time, because there’s 50,000 foot cliff walls all around it ‘ vampires could be out all day long, never in the sun, and they’re protected and hidden from humans. Perfect!”

Once he had the location, Kurinsky was ready to design the camp itself. “Genndy said it should be a cross between classic woodsy log cabins and gothic monstery cabins, so we had to find that right balance. It had to be the monster equivalent of log cabins.”

So, that’s what Kurinsky and his team designed, starting with the main house at the camp. “It’s a gothic log cabin, two stories, for the main house, and once we got that look right, all of the smaller cabins followed off that aesthetic. And then, you can go beyond design ‘ all the cabins are painted black, so they’re really goth.”

A Trip to the Human World

In addition to the new monster world elements, the monsters make their first extended trip into the human world in Hotel Transylvania 2. “We saw a little bit of the human world in the first movie ‘ the town of Transylvania, the monster festival, an airplane,” Kurinsky recalls. “But there wasn’t a whole lot of human world. This one we opened up wide ‘ we’re going to Santa Cruz, California, and we’re meeting Johnny’s parents. This was an opportunity to do something that we didn’t see in the first movie.”

So, Kurinsky sought to contrast the human world with the bright and colorful monster world ‘ everything that the monster world was, the human world would be the opposite. “If you look at the hotel, it’s made of verticals ‘ everything is really tall and lean. The hotel lighting was coming up from underneath, and it was very colorful. Unusual angles, tall, bright saturated colors. So what’s the contrast for that? Let’s make the human world horizontal, evenly lit, with very white light and very drab colors.”

Kurinsky says that plain design is a perfect fit with the themes of the film. “The story is about Johnny going home with Mavis and finding out that he’s the odd bird of his family,” he explains. “I wanted to create an environment where they both stuck out in an odd way in the human world. The homes and the interior of Johnny’s parents’ house are all colored in neutrals ‘ when Johnny and Mavis walk in, his shirt and her black dress and the starkness of her hair stand out. I put Johnny’s parents in very neutral colors. None of the humans were as colorful as monsters could be.”

One challenge to this was the convenience store. “Those things by nature are very colorful,” he notes. “The solution was to use the even light of those stores, but give it a slightly greenish cast that fluorescent lights sometimes can have. That knocked down some of the saturation in some of the colors. At the same time, we could control everything ‘ for example, when Mavis is excited about a rack of chips, we could make sure that the green doesn’t knock the color out too much of it, so it would be bright for that shot. We did the same thing for the slushie machine that she gets excited about. We kept that really colorful, just for a moment.”

The human world is where the audience can meet Mike and Linda, Johnny’s parents, played by real-life husband and wife Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally.

One way the filmmakers were able to hint at Johnny not fitting in with his family was in the design. “We based Linda, Johnny’s mother, off of Johnny,” Kurinsky explains. “We made his dad a big, stocky, blocky type ‘ just the opposite of what Johnny is ‘ and Johnny’s two brothers are a chip off of that block. So we designed dad, and then skinnied up that design to make two brothers off of that model. Meanwhile, Linda and Johnny’s sister are based off of Johnny’s model. We really made Johnny march to a different drummer, as far as the males of that family are concerned.”

The Final Battle

The film’s final battle comes as Vlad, his cronies, and the extended family of monsters come together for a hilarious, epic fracas. Hawkins says that it’s a different kind of action than has been seen in either move to this point: “The first movie had a lot of pushed, broad action sequences, in terms of wild activity, like Johnny scrambling around in the hotel when he first realizes what it is.” In the new film, the final battle is definitely a fight sequence, but Hawkins says it still fits squarely into the Hotel Transylvania world. “It’s very designed, choreographed fighting and a lot of fun to watch. Every character in the battle has some really fun and creative things that play into their character ‘ it’s not just a bunch of people battling it out. There’s creative use of space and each character has unique characteristics for their special moves. It’s a little silly, it’s not all serious, sort of goofy. Genndy loves all of those things.”

“The Battle sequence is very graphic and more than any other sequence in the movie is closer to some of the kind of animation Genndy has done in the past,” says Herbst. “The forests at the end were incredibly complicated. Again, we asked ourselves, what would we do if this was live-action? We would smoke it out and light it from behind, so that’s what we did. We took a lot of cues from directors of photography that Genndy liked and Mike would flip through photos of movies he liked, and we’d blend it with our color palette and light it that way.”