Friday, October 05, 2012
This was a drawing I did for Hotel Transylvania. Back in 2008, I was given the task of designing Mavis' bedroom.
This was an illustration for an earlier version of the story with the highly respected director Jill Culton.
In Jill's version of the story Dracula's daughter, Mavis, was half human -- only
she (Mavis) didn't know it! Mavis wondered why she couldn't turn herself into a
bat, or when her fangs would finally grow-in. Dracula just explained
to her that she was simply a late-bloomer -- concealing the fact that
Mavis' mother was human.
In Jill's version of the story Dracula was still the over-bearing and
controlling father as he is in the final version of the story that made
it into theaters. But, in this version, Dracula had intimidated all the
other monsters in the hotel to play along and convince Mavis she was
simply a late bloomer. His fear was that would discover she was human,
and leave the hotel.
When the Johnathan-character (love interest) arrives at the hotel, Mavis
soon discovers that she isn't a monster, and that she's been lied to
all this time. And, that is the moment I chose to illustrate in this
In this drawing, Mavis has discovered that by being human she no longer
has to avoid the sun, and for the first time opens up the windows to her
room and allows the sunlight to come in. Her father, in an attempt to
explain things, is caught in an awkward position of having to have
"the-talk" with her. Rather than about the birds-and-the-bees, it's
about the history of vampires and humans.
I divided the composition between light and dark, Mavis in the light,
and Dracula in the shadows. We see that Dracula is careful not to get
his toes in the light as he attempts to bridge the gap between the two
of them with his books and facts -- hence the reason the book is in both
light and shadow.
But, the chasm is seemingly insurmountable: divided by light and shadow,
youth and age, truth and lies, vampire and human, and ultimately
daughter and father.
The design for Mavis was originally created by Annette Marnat, and the design for Dracula (in this particular drawing) was of my own creation.