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The 'Hotel Transylvania' Franchise May Be Our Greatest Epic Poem of Contemporary American Jewish Life

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One of contemporary film’s most beloved animated families just doesn’t seem to fit in. They come from small towns in Europe. They have distinct traditions. They wear black, and certain foods make their stomachs upset. They speak in heavy accents. They’re mistrustful of the world outside, and for good reasons: The world outside has often tried to hunt them down. They still mourn for the loved ones they’ve lost. The trauma plays out epigenetically, imprinting itself on the younger generation. Some of them believe in strong-armed vengeance. Others are hopeful that people can change, and that their kind may yet live in peace with the neighbors. For the time being, however, they’re cooped up inside a fortified autonomous enclosure, zealously guarding their borders.

They are vampires, but, voiced by Mel Brooks and Adam Sandler, it’s not too absurd to wonder whether Hotel Transylvania is a grand metaphor for contemporary Jewish life.

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