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Hotel Transylvania 2

If the Twilight film series taught us anything, apart from how long werewolves spend in the gym to maintain their hirsute washboard stomachs, it's that forbidden desire across the vampire-human divide always ends in copious blood-letting and tears. And if a love child of this unholy union comes mewling into the world, a sequel surely beckons. Once bitten, twice the box office takings. Genndy Tartakovsky's computer-animated family comedy obliges by considering the thorny parenting issues for a slacker dude and his fanged bride, who can't decide if they should raise their first child among monsters or mortals. You could argue that war-mongering, power-hungry mankind is far more deadly than the ghosts and ghouls that haunt the frames of this lively and colourful romp. However, harsh reality has no place in Tartakovsky's fantastical adventure, with a screenplay penned by Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler that sidesteps the carnivorous natures of some of the cutesy characters. As one vampire rejoices, "We don't need to kill any more. We have pop tarts," which begs questions about the ingredients of the jam that oozes from the toasted breakfast treats. The great and the good of the monster world gather at Hotel Transylvania for the wedding of vampire Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) and her mortal beau Jonathan (Andy Samberg). Mavis' proud father Dracula (Adam Sandler) welcomes Jonathan's nervous parents, Mike (Nick Offerman) and Linda (Megan Mullally), to his humble home for the nuptials, which pass without a hitch. Mavis falls pregnant and gives birth to an adorable son called Dennis (Asher Blinkoff) and the couple consider moving to California to raise their child among other humans. Dracula is devastated - he believes that any heir to the bloodline should be raised in Transylvania, surrounded by other monsters. So he takes little Dennis on a journey to all of his favourite ghoulish haunts, aided by good friends Frankenstein's monster (Kevin James), Griffin The Invisible Man (David Spade), Murray The Mummy (Keegan-Michael Key), Wayne Werewolf (Steve Buscemi) and Blobby the Blob (Jonny Solomon). As Dennis' fifth birthday approaches, Dracula waits nervously for the boy's first milk fang to sprout, which will be proof that he has vampire blood coursing through his veins. "He a late fanger," insists Dracula. "All he needs is time with his vamp-pa!" Hotel Transylvania 2 strikes the same jaunty tone as its predecessor, treading a linear narrative path so young audiences remain engaged by little Dennis' rites of passage. Visuals burst with primary colours, even in 3D, and the script exhumes mouldering, corny gags with relish. Vocal performances are solid if unremarkable, including a fleeting vocal turn from Mel Brooks as Vlad, Dracula's estranged father, who hasn't always been the best role model for his boy. The family that hunts together - safely off screen - stays together.