chat Director Genndy Tartakovsky says why he chose to be more real than real in his debut feature, Hotel Transylvania, which hits the screens this week
At a time when animation is getting closer to live action, director Genndy Tartakovsky has been quoted as saying his debut feature, Hotel Transylvania, is “more real than real.” “In cinema, you are trying to capture reality,” Genndy says over the phone from L.A.
“For example, a drawing of somebody is an attempt to capture the essence of the person.”
Elaborating about the unique look of the film, the 13-time Emmy Award nominee and creative force behind Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory says, “The computer is a tool. I am from a 2D background and I am not into how realistically we can depict a rock. With Hotel Transylvania I have not tried to reinvent the computer. In my mind the computer is just a big beautiful pencil.” The director who conceptualised the extraordinarily-stylised prologue in Priest (it was one of the saving graces of the film apart from a shirtless Paul Bettany) says he chose the bright animated look for the film to see how far he could push the boundaries.
“The animation is one of the highlights of the movie.” Hotel Transylvania tells the story of Dracula who runs a hotel where the monsters of the world can hang out without being troubled by humans — wait a minute I thought monsters preyed on us, never mind. Dracula decides to throw this big party for his daughter, Mavis’s 118th birthday. He calls the who’s who of monsterville, including the Mummy, the Blob, Werewolves, Frankenstein’s monster and the Invisible Man.
All goes well till a human accidentally comes to the hotel. When Mavis shows signs of liking the human, things rapidly go out of control.
‘ Hotel Transylvania is a funny movie about monsters,” Genndy comments. “When we were discussing whether it should be a scary movie for kids or a funny movie about monsters, we quickly decided on the latter option. We chose to make a movie about monsters because they are larger than life, iconic characters.”
The core of Hotel Transylvania is “basically a father and daughter and about letting go — it is just that the father happens to be Dracula,” says Genndy.
Adam Sandler giving voice to Dracula gave an extra dimension to the prince of darkness.
“The film had been in development for quite a while and Dracula’s character has been through many changes. Adam came into it after we had fixed on the father-daughter relationship and the broad cartoony style.”
Talking about memorable moments, Genndy says, “There were many, but the moment that will be with me always is when we were looking at the rushes. I was very nervous at how it was going to turn out. When it came alive, and people laughed, I felt it was going to work.”
Genndy, who was hand-picked by George Lucas to create Star Wars: Clone Wars, lists “two films for Sony — an animated version of Popeye and a project I wrote,” as his future projects. About shifting to live action, Genndy says, “I love animation and see myself working in animation; however if the story is suited for it, I wouldn’t mind working in live features as well.”
When we were discussing whether it should be a scary movie for kids or a funny movie about monsters, we quickly decided on the latter option