Australian Council on Children and the Media

Hotel Transylvania 3: A monster vacation

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Not recommended under 8, parental guidance recommended 8-10 due to adult themes, violence and scary scenes.

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Hotel Transylvania 3: A monster vacation
  • a review of Hotel Transylvania 3: A monster vacation completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 2 July 2018.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended for this age group due to adult themes, violence and some scary scenes.
Children 8-10 Parental guidance recommended due to adult themes, violence and some scary scenes.
Children aged 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Hotel Transylvania 3: A monster vacation
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence and some scary scenes
Length 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

This is the third movie in this series of animated films about a vampire who runs a hotel with his daughter. In this latest instalment, Count Dracula (voice of Adam Sandler) is starting to feel a little lonely being on his own without a love in his life. To cheer him up, his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) books the whole family on a luxury cruise for monsters, thinking that all he needs is some quality time with his family and friends. On the ship, Dracula sees Captain Erika (Kathryn Hahn) and falls in love with her at first sight. Little does Dracula suspect that Erika is actually the great-granddaughter of his old archenemy, Abraham Van Helsing (Jim Gaffigan) and that the two have ulterior motives and evil plans for the monster cruise. While Erika plots against the monsters, Mavis senses that something is not right and must move quickly to save them all from harm.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

The supernatural; monsters and vampires; family, love and companionship, discrimination and prejudice

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is a lot of violence in this movie including:

  • Van Helsing pursues Dracula with guns, trying to shoot him and kill him.
  • Erika attempts to kill Dracula using various weapons and strategies.
  • Many scenes that include slapstick violence for comedic effect. For example - characters flying through the air and crashing into trees, falling off things, exploding etc.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • All the ‘monster’ characters in this movie are quirky, funny, and surreal creatures. For example: a giant pug dog that slobbers on everything, Frankenstein and his bride, a mummy, some witches, etc. Most are not very scary, but some younger children may find them disturbing and unusual.
  • Erika swims through an underwater tomb to find some treasure, but the tomb is full of booby traps, such as flying axes and snakes.
  • When Erika takes the treasure, the tomb begins to collapse inwards and they struggle to escape in time.
  • The monsters travel on ‘Gremlin Air’ in an aeroplane which is falling to pieces, flies dangerously around and ends up crash-landing in the ocean.
  • The monsters on the cruise are attacked by a giant octopus with glowing red, demonic eyes. In response to music it transforms from being an ‘evil’ octopus, into a relaxed, benevolent octopus but when it becomes evil it violently destroys everything around it.
  • Van Helsing is a gruesome creature who is half human and half steam-punk machine.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also feel disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also find some of the above-mentioned scenes disturbing

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Sony mobile phones

Sexual references

There are some romantic and sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Dracula uses an app on his smart phone to find a date. He is seen swiping through available female monsters.
  • Dracula falls in love at first sight and becomes completely speechless and silly with love.
  • There is a romantic plot line with Dracula and Erika acting flirtatiously, going on a date and becoming romantically attached.
  • Some sexual innuendo that will generally not be understood by young children, such as Dracula getting confused and saying to Erika “would you like to see my parts?”.

Nudity and sexual activity

Nothing of concern

Use of substances

Although there is no substance use of concern in this movie, there is a scene where the monsters visit a casino and engage in gambling and using pokie machines.

Coarse language

There is some mild toilet humour - for example, farting after eating garlic.

In a nutshell

Hotel Transylvania 3: A monster vacation is a light and entertaining film which older children will love. There is plenty of humour and many creative quirky creatures that are likely to keep most of the family entertained and laughing. However, under 8s are likely to find some scenes and characters too scary, and parental guidance is recommended for under 10s.

The main message from this movie is that you shouldn’t discriminate against those who are different.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • the importance and value of diversity
  • that love can overcome cultural boundaries
  • that family comes first

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • gambling addiction
  • prejudice

 

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