FRIDAY, JULY 12, 2018 -- If there is one thing that can be said about Adam Sandler, it's that he understands his market. The other is that he takes are of his friends (Kevin James, David Spade, Steve Buscemi and others) by including them in his projects.


His comedy has always been a pain for me to watch; you have to be a fan I guess. In fact, the only films of his I thought anything of were "Punch Drunk Love", "Anger Management", and "Rein Over Me". The rest...meh! However, for some reason kids love his "Hotel Transylvania" franchise - to the tune of $800 million globally for the first two. WOW!


As we know, profits beget sequels and the hospitable Dracula cartoon gets out of Transylvania - and away from Drac's hotel - to go on a cruise. Writer/director Genndy Tartakovsky keeps things fresh by changing the scenery while dipping a bit into the Dracula lore.

As the film opens, we get a quick flashback of all the times Count Dracula collided with vampire killer Van Helsing... and the consistent outcome of Dracula winning. The scene points out that trying to kill Dracula became a tradition of generations of Van Helsings. Seemingly, all the Van Helsings were gone, but as it turns out one has kept himself alive as part machine; Moreover he still holds a grudge against Dracula.


Dracula (Sandler) meanwhile is busy with his hotel and family when it is decided by his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) and her human husband Johnny (Andy Samberg) that Drac needs to get away with a family vacation. Of course that means taking all the other monster with them. Fortunately the cruise ship Legendary is having its first all monster cruise.


Upon boarding the ship, Drac immediately gets the "zing" for the Captain... Erica (voiced by Kathryn Hahn) who gives him the wink-wink. Little does Drac know, she is Van Helsing's grand daughter and they are planning to get rid of all monster for good by sailing to t he lost Continent of Atlantis and retrieving a relic that should do the trick. Of course, everything goes crazy with everyone.


There is very little that you can't guess about the story, but there are a couple of humorous things adults will the ship crew of tuxedoed fish. But most of the story is standard fare such as fart jokes, the obligatory dance scenes, etc.


The animation is run of-the-mill but bright and constantly moving to keep children engaged. Yes, the kids will love it even when the adults might be groaning. Tartakovsky certainly has figured out how to keep young children amused and laughing, probably from his days working on Dexter's Laboratory.


Considering the dearth of decent animated films scheduled to come out (I'm looking at "Teen Titans" and Smallfoot" in particular), this is probably as good as it will get until "Ralph Breaks the Internet" in November.


"Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" won't win any animation awards, but it will entertain young children for the full 90-minute run time which is all that a parent can ask from a kids flick.   -- GRADE B --   GEOFF BURTON