The Little Vampire 3D Review

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A great film for kids but not much for older audiences to sink their teeth into.

by Sharuna Warner May 21, 2018 at 8:37 AM

  • Movies review

    The Little Vampire 3D Review

    Rife with preachy lessons on accepting people’s differences, The Little Vampire might be a good yarn for younger audiences — but that’s about it’s only selling point.

    Based on Angela Sommer-Bodenburg’s childrens fantasy book The Little Vampire (Der kleine Vampir) originally published in 1979 comes another film based on the teenage adventures of the blood-sucking Rudolph and mortal Tony. It has already been a TV series, twice over, and a live action feature film released back in 2000 and now it has the fortune of being transformed into an animation which feels designed to whet the appetites of those looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

    Rudolph Sackville-Bagg (voiced by Rasmus Hardiker) is about to celebrate yet another birthday, his 300th year of being thirteen. But instead of participating in yet another party in honour of his recurring birthday Rudolph decides to go and have his own adventure, outside of the cemetery crypt in which he, his family and their clan reside.

    It feels designed to whet the appetites of those looking forward to Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.

    Not destined to relive his thirteenth birthday for the rest of his life is American Tony Thompson (Amy Saville) an only child who loves nothing more than to escape into the make-believe world of comic books and the fantasy world of grave yards and vampires. Tony and his parents, Dottie (Julia Rhodes) and Bob (Kevin Otto) are on a european road trip holiday touring castles, the perfect choice for family bonding of course. It’s while the family are staying at a German castle-come-bed and breakfast that Tony encounters Rudolph for the first time.

    The Little Vampire 3D
    It’s not just garlic, crosses and daylight that can kill vampires - there’s also Rookery (Jim Carter) the vampire hunter, along with his slightly inept sidekick Maney (Joseph Kloska). Rookery is dead set on exterminating every last vampire, and once he has Rudolph’s whole family and clan trapped in their crypt there’s nothing to stop him completing his life long goal of eradicating those blood suckers for good. That is, unless Rudolph, and his family, can get over his prejudices against humans and learn to work with them for the greater good.

    Directed by Richard Claus and Karsten Kiilerich, The Little Vampire is so simple and basic it’s almost patronising. Playing up stereotypes, like the German couple who run the bed and breakfast, Claus and Kiilerich go overboard in spelling out their intents with this adaptation. There is no chance of misconstruing the message being delivered here, and it is a good one: accept everyone and don’t judge a book by it’s cover; but there is something to be said for films that leave you pondering the intended meaning, giving the audience the chance to realise it for themselves.

    It's so simple and basic it's almost patronising.

    I completely understand that this is a film aimed at a young audience, and I am sure that the ones at the younger end of the age scale will have a great time with it. But unlike some of the Disney Pixar films or DreamWorks films that have those jokes intended for older audiences that go over the heads of the younger ones, this film has nothing for the parents in attendance. Combine that with the somewhat clunky animation and slightly out of time lip syncing, and The Little Vampire doesn’t have much in its corner. Yes, there are some slightly crass jokes, border-lining on toilet humour, which are bound to get some laughs but the overall story is lacking and very predictable - but again, this might only be an issue for the grown-ups.

    This film will probably be great for small children who can delight in its simplicity and bright, visual aesthetics but my recommendation would be to get it on video, or a pay on demand service, save the cost of a cinema ticket and wait to see something truly exciting and memorable.

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