A monstrous effort

July 20, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 05:06 am IST

Director Genndy Tartakovsky on how he brings alive characters using technology, even if they are monsters

Monster’s ball: A still from ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’

Monster’s ball: A still from ‘Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation’

The creator of legendary cartoon series such as Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack , director Genndy Tartakovsky is an animation veteran. Speaking to us from Los Angeles, the creator of the Hotel Transylvania series talks about his upcoming film. Excerpts:

Hotel Transylvaniais into the third part for a franchise that began six years ago. How do you look at the evolution of characters, especially that of Count Dracula and Mavis?

In the first film, Dracula and his daughter Mavis shared a more traditional relationship. Mavis wanted to leave the Hotel but her dad, Dracula, was protective and afraid to let go. But as we get into the third movie, you will notice that their roles have reversed. Mavis is the one who has become protective.

Can you describe the process of making a story about monsters relatable to an audience?

These films are about monsters but their stories are human. It’s about a monster family and they face similar like us. That’s the thing with TV shows and movies. You can make them about anything, as long as the stories are relatable.

How tough is it to write something appealing to to kids as well as the parents ?

Oh, it’s hard. All we can do is to make what we like and write jokes we find funny. It won’t feel truthful otherwise. But given that a lot of our audience are children, we just take care of the basics like not writing anything that could be offensive.

Can you take us through the technological advancements that have changed animated films?

The funny thing is, no matter what technological advancements we make, writing the story has never become any easier. From regular pencils we now might now have 3D, but the drawing is still equally difficult. That’s the tough part.

How important is casting in animated films?

It is interesting, because we go ahead and hire these big stars. But when they come on board, our task is to remove their identifiable voices from the characters they play. When someone’s watching Hotel Transylvania , they’re not thinking about Adam Sandler. We want them to love Dracula, who he’s playing.

What are some of the animated films you grew up watching?

It was a lot different then because I grew up in Russia. We first saw a lot of them with the Warner Brothers shows after we got our first TV. I remember watching Jungle Book in the theatre with a sea of kids. I was lost in its craftsmanship.

Attention to detail

In some of the shots inHotel Transylvania, there are as many as 2,50,00,000 blades of grass that have been created.

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