Who gets to pick the “filler” music that plays over the loudspeakers in between the Comic Con panels? I’m guessing not a lot of thought goes into it, otherwise, we wouldn’t be grooving to sexy, romantic slo-jamz in between the “20th Anniversary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” panel, and the “Sneak peek at Hotel Transylvania” panel.
Hotel Transylvaniais, for those who haven’t yet caught wind, the upcoming CGI animated feature from Genndy Tartakovsky, the artistic mastermind behind such striking early ‘00s Cartoon Network shows as Dexter’s Laboratory and the rather good Samurai Jack. He is also behind the much-lauded Star Wars animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This will be Tartakovsky’s fist CGI feature, which will be a departure for him, as his visual style tends to skew more toward the ultra-stylized, boldly 2D designs reminiscent of Hanna/Barberra shows of the 1960s.
As described in the raucous trailer, Hotel Transylvania is a film about Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) as a Basil Fawlty-type who runs a remote hotel for monsters (from wolf men to yetis to malevolent disembodies brains) where they can hide from humans. He is also the doting and overprotective father of a hot Goth vampire teen girl (Selena Gomez). The idyll is interrupted by the appearance of a very human Aron Ralston-type (Andy Samberg) who seems unimpressed by monsters, and soon starts falling for Dracula’s daughter. Also in the cast are Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, and, oddly, Cee-Lo Green as the mummy.
Tartakovsky, genial and a bit shy, says he was inspired by the “funny” Mad Monster Party versions of the Universal monsters, rather than the original scary ones. You know, the type we all originally discovered as children. Tartakovsky, like many of his peers, is inspired largely by the likes of Bob Clampett, Tex Avery, and the rest of the classic ‘40s and ‘50s Warner Bros. cartoon shorts. He likes his films to be “cartoony,” a word that seems to be taboo in feature animation these days. He says that he was trying to break out of the usual static nature of a CGI character, and make characters that are off model.
But whither live-action Samurai Jack feature film? J.J. Abrams was once slated to make a 2D animated film once, but those plans just kind of fell apart. Tartakovksy is still enthused about making one, but it’s currently stuck in development hell. He also put the kibosh on the rumors that he is involved in a Dark Crystal feature film. Which would have been amazing. He did some work on one, but, again, those plans also just kinda fell apart.
Whither Popeye? You can read the entire exclusive here.