One hot topic of conversation among animation aficionados in recent days is what, exactly, happened to Hotel Transylvania 4. After being given no less than four separate release dates over the past year, the movie skipped its last one with no indication of when it would actually show up.
Hotel Transylvania 4, subtitled Transformania, was originally planned for a December 22, 2020 release before being moved to August 6, 2021 and then bumped up to July 23, 2021. But that would have put it against WB’s Space Jam: A New Legacy, so Sony moved it again, this time to October 1, 2021. This date just passed us by. Where is it?
Contrary to paranoid speculation, it has not been shelved. In case you forgot, the movie was handed over to Amazon Prime Video in a $100 million exclusivity deal. It’s up to Amazon to schedule the thing, and a lot of people assumed it would show up on APV’s front page last Friday, and got irate when it didn’t. Today Amazon cleared things up: Hotel Transylvania 4 will be released worldwide (excluding China) on January 14, 2022.
Here’s our description of the movie’s plot, again: Hotel Transylvania: Transformania takes place during the hotel’s 125th anniversary celebration when Johnny, Dracula’s son-in-law, is still feeling insecure about being the only non-monster tenant there. Van Helsing shows up and reveals he just so happens to have a transformation ray that can turn people into monsters. What he doesn’t tell Johnny is that the technology is still highly experimental — and unpredictable.
The ray boings throughout the hotel’s halls, turning monsters into people, turning people into monsters, and causing total chaos. It’s Transformania! The important thing is that this premise allows them to create a ton of rubbery sight gags, as is tradition. Genndy Tartakovsky is still executive producer, but Jennifer Kluska and Derek Drymon are directing the picture instead.
It’s been a wild ride for this series. After three films and a TV show, no one could have predicted it would end in such a fashion, but the entertainment business rarely makes sense. Hotel Transylvania 4 will be out on Amazon Prime January 14.