Ever wonder what Dracula, Frankenstein and the Wolf Man do when they’re not scaring people?
It’s all brought to life by veteran animator Genndy Tartakovsky, who is making his transition to the big screen after creating such TV hits as Dexter’s Laboratory, Samurai Jack and the first incarnation of Star Wars: Clone Wars. It was a big step up profile-wise, but Tartakovsky says the trick to working with A-list talent was just to stay out of the way.
“It was fascinating to see them really try to work through the material and find the funniest parts,” he says. “There were a lot of times in the beginning when I was tempted to jump in, but I found if I just let them work through it, they’d come up with the best stuff.”
While there was a whole lot that was different about working on a movie, some of it reminded Tartakovsky of his days on TV.
âThe whole thing about TV is itâs a tremendous grind, because itâs so fast and anything you put on paper is on the air six months later,â he says. âWith a feature I thought, âOh, I can take my time.â And then once I got on it, it was like, âNo, we need to release this next yearâ and âYou donât have any timeâ and âGo, go, go.â That part of it ended up being kind of similar.
âBut then the one thing that I realized was that the pressure is so much different. In television, if we do an episode of something and it doesnât hit as strong, usually people will forgive you and the next episode hopefully will be better. But with movies, you work so many years and everything builds to this one moment, really one opening weekend. If âŠ it doesnât land, then all that work is for nothing.â
He needn’t have worried. Hotel Transylvania broke the record for a September opening weekend with $43 million, on its way to a total $146 million domestic haul. A sequel is underway and slated to hit theaters in 2015.
Tartakovsky also has a big-screen version of Popeye in the works, but fans of his TV work have reason to be excited, too. Tartakovsky says that long hoped-for Samurai Jack movie may finally be getting close to fruition.
Hotel Transylvania is available starting Jan. 29 on Video On Demand. Check your cable system for availability.Â