Back in 2012, I interviewed animator/filmmaker Genndy Tartakovsky at the Toronto Film Festival shortly before the premiere of his new animated film, Hotel Transylvania. At the time, it seemed like a different route for the animation giant, who gained mass acclaim for Samurai Jack and won an Emmy for a Star Wars: Clone Wars series that was, sadly, pretty much wiped from existence once Lucasfilm invested in the second Clone Wars series that’s still canon today. (More on that in a bit.)
Here we are six years later and Tartakovsky’s two Hotel Transylvania films have grossed around $700 million. A third, set on a cruise ship, will arrive in July. Tartakovsky wrote the film (it’s his first script for the series) drawing on a real-life cruise he had to take with his own in-laws. After this sequel, the series will officially be a billion-dollar franchise, but quite a few projects that Tartakovsky had been attached to, including an original film and a Popeye movie, are all now dead. Tartakovsky takes us through the ups and downs of this decade and why his Popeye will now never happen. But he also explains why coming back to Samurai Jack was one of the most fulfilling experiences of his career.
And then there’s his poor Clone Wars series, which is seemingly consigned to oblivion not unlike the Star Wars Holiday Special, the only difference being people love his Clone Wars series. I did wonder, with the sale to Disney, if anything had changed since we last spoke about it. The answer is “not really,” but Tartakovsky did notice a scene in The Force Awakens that makes him feel his contribution to Star Wars isn’t forgotten.
After the second Hotel Transylvania you said you wouldn’t do another. You’re just like Sean Connery now…
So this is my Never Say Never Again?