The Ultimate Guide to Christmas Specials

Christmas TV specials, limited series and movies are bigger than ever these days from now until the New Year, you’ll be able to find some festive yule-tide programming every night of the week. From the traditional viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, the different versions of How the Grinch Stole Christmas, to baking shows and live music specials, we’ve got them all listed on the new Christmas TV Specials page. (Since not all of the networks list their specials early, this list will be updated throughout the coming weeks, so check back often for new additions!)

You will want to check into ‘Hotel Transylvania’

Mavis (Selean Gomez) and Dracula (Adam Sandler) struggle
 with seeing 'eye to eye.'

One really rolls the dice when viewing an Adam Sandler flick. Sometimes you roll a “50 First Dates” or “The Wedding Singer” but most likely you’ll end up with a “Jack and Jill” or “That’s My Boy.” So, this time landing on “Hotel Transylvania” is a great surprise. True, this movie is animated and doesn’t resemble any of his other movies, but his character, (Dracula), is in almost every scene, many of his personal friends contributed their voices to the film and Sandler is an executive producer, so it definitely fits in the category of a Sandler movie.

Unlike many of his other films, this one is very funny from beginning to end and actually very sweet. The story goes like this: Dracula finds himself a single parent when his only daughter, Mavis (Selena Gomez) is an infant. To keep her safe, he builds a hotel hidden from the rest of the world where only monsters are welcome. Each year, friends and family come out for Mavis’ birthday, but this year is a very special year. She is turning 118.

Attending guests include Frankenstein and his wife Eunice (Kevin James and Fran Drescher), Wayne the Werewolf (Steve Buscemi), his wife Wanda (Molly Shannon) and their children, Griffin the invisible man (David Spade) and Murray the mummy (CeeLo Green). Mavis loves them all, but after living over a hundred years in the hotel, she is itching to leave and see the world. This of course is forbidden. Dracula’s plan to keep his daughter away from humans continues to work until a backpacking Jonathan (Andy Samberg) wanders into the castle by accident. He and Mavis “zing” and there’s no going back. But Dracula is now stuck with another problem – keeping the human away from his guests or they will freak out, as monsters tend to do.

“Hotel Transylvania” is bound to be the next hit for Sony Pictures Animation and should end up as popular as “Despicable Me” and “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.” Though needlessly filmed in 3D, “Hotel” is beautifully and brightly animated. It is appropriate for the whole family as nothing is remotely scary. This isn’t a horror film, but a film about characters usually found in horror films. This is a story about a father that loves his daughter so much, that he’ll do anything to protect her. However, just like in real life, there comes a time when dads need to let their children go.

Some brief scenes may frighten the very young; it didn’t seem to bother anyone in the screening that I attended. There is some unnecessary crude humor that is harmless and will no doubt cause many to giggle and there are many references to the “undead.” If you didn’t find the TV show “The Munsters” offensive, you won’t be offended by this either.

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