In "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," Mavis (Gomez) surprises Dracula (Sandler) with a family voyage on a luxury, haunted monster cruise ship. Of course, the rest of the Drac Pack has to tag along, and that's when things get a little...batty. The monsters are having a great time, indulging in all of the shipboard fun the cruise has to offer, from monster volleyball to colossus-sized buffets and exotic excursions, but then the unexpected happens when Drac falls for the ship's mysterious (and dangerous) human captain Ericka (Hahn). (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Director Genndy Tartakovsky and animators; three Scary-Oke Sing Alongs (HD 07:29); four Monster Lullaby Scary-Oke Sing Alongs with Denisovich! (HD 04:47); eight featurettes: "Behind The Scenes––The Voices Of Hotel Transylvania" (HD 07:29), "Meet The New Characters" (HD 05:40); "Johnny's Home Movies (HD 05:19), "'I See Love Monster Dance Party Dance Along" (HD 02:46), "Drac's Zingotastic Read Along" (HD 02:31), "Monster Activities" (HD 27:33), "Lyric Videos" (HS 07:28), and "More Hotel T!" (HD 02:37); the mini movies "Puppy (HD 04:55) and "Goodnight Mr. Foot" (HD 04:07); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was computer animated and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The movie also was released theatrically in 3D, but Sony did not provide a 3D Blu-ray Disc™ for review. Picture quality is amazing! Sony Pictures Imageworks' animation is supreme for enabling HDR to shine. Color dynamics are exceptional from the deep blacks to the most brilliant white levels. Hues are spectacularly saturated, yet never overboard. The color palette is rich and warm with wildly diverse shadings and impressively rendered hues. Resolution is incredible, with flawless fine detail exhibited in every monster character, costume fabrics, and environmental texture, so much so that the eye-candy experience never stops to impress. WOW! segments are in every frame, but some of the most visibly arresting are from 00:33 to 03:20, 14:00 to 15:05, 21:23 to 22:52, 28:16 to 29:15, 48:28 to 49:57, 55:35 to 56:47, 01:07:00 to 01:09:12, 01:09:10 to 01:11:40, 01:14:00 to 01:16:04, and 01:20:25 to 01:22:58.
This is one of those rare movie creations that is beautifully perfect, not only in terms of imagination but also in animated execution, from the creation of living characters to the exceptional object textures and their vibrant color renderings. This is a truly reference 4K Ultra HD release that is must own. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is just as spectacular, with an incredible dynamic presence, yet remarkably capable of nuanced sonics. Sound Designer John Pospisil has done a terrific job of creating the imaginative sonics and their directionalization and spatial dimensionality. Foley sound effects are amazingly realistic and nuanced. Sound effects are galore and create a wild and exciting holosonic® spherical surround experience with aggressively directionalization throughout the soundfield. Surround activity is aggressive, with excellent fidelity and dynamic range. Bass extension is deep, diving to sub-25 Hz frequencies in the .1 LFE, and of course, accentuating every exaggerated sound effect. Dialogue is perfectly integrated spatially.
The Immersive Sound element starts with brief screams on the train, laser blasts, yells, a crashing gate, thunder, water bubbles, wind, chairs stepped on, voices spoken in a reverberant space, Gremlins rousting, an airplane rattle, an airplane call bell, a swoop sound, an underwater sound, a ship horn blast, fireworks, monster growls, pops, romantic music, elevator music, ship engine room sounds, dance music, a splash into the ocean, undersea volcano rumblings, a sperm whale sound, simulated underwater sounds, rocket blasts undersea, diving fins walking, dripping water, dog chewing sounds and barks, a "But what?" voice yell, fog ship horns, a deep voice "Welcome to Atlantis," bat sounds in an underground chamber, walking through shallow water sounds, metal weapon clashing sounds, an explosion, other weapon commotion, a twirling sound, crumbling debris sounds, voices and footsteps in a reverberant underground space, voices in a sound effect tunnel, disco dance music, voices in reverberant setting with distant crowd sounds, keyboard synthesizer music, a sea monster growl and yell, a yelling voice, "Good Vibrations" and "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and "Hey Margarita" music, flapping wings, and other brief sound effects. This is certainly a good show of object-based effects whose sonics provide brief accents to the main ear-level foundation, but so much potential is never realized for the height layer.
All in all, this is a magnificently wonderful and fun sonic adventure that will enthrall and thrill all ages. Reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)