Dear Dracula is the story of a young boy named Sam who lives with his grandma. Sam is the outsider in his town, his love of classic horror films mixed with his lack of social confidence leads to him being tarred with the stigma of being the neighbourhoods creepy kid. It doesn’t help much that Sam spends a lot of time talking to his pet spider either.
Whilst watch yet another horror film with his grandmother Sam sees an advert for a Dracula action figure, when his grandmother suggest he write to Santa to request the toy, he decides Christmas is too far away. Sam decides to write to Dracula instead. Upon receiving his first fan mail in years Dracula, along with henchman Mirroe, decides that he’s going to pay Sam a visit in person, this visit will change both Sam & Dracula forever.
Animation in film has changed so much over the past two decades since I could consider myself young enough for the target audience of this film. The big digital animation studios have relegated hand drawn animation to the dusty depths of nostalgia fodder, but what companies like Pixar, Sony Pictures Animation and Dreamworks Animation have also done is raised the bar for digital animation so high that films like Dear Dracula could more than likely be unfairly judged by their standards.
Dear Dracula is not trying to play in the same playpen as the bigger boys, what it is doing is giving 45 minutes of perfectly entertaining fun. This is the type of kids film that you used to find on tv on a Sunday morning. It’s got throwaway digs at the current Twilight vampire trends, as well as a pretty standard kids film message of always be yourself, but it’s slapstick nature and abundance of charm make it watchable throughout.
I enjoyed my time with Dear Dracula, it’s probably aimed at the 4-7 year old market, as the jokes would probably fall a little flat on kids over that age, but if you’re looking for a Halloween gift for the little ones then this is a damn fine choice. It’s also fun to have the voice talents of people like Ray Liotta and Emilio Estevez in films like this.
Dear Dracula is available on DVD from Kaleidoscope Home Entertainment from the 7th of October 2013.