Hotel Transylvania – Prejudice – Review
As I have thought about places where Hotel Transylvania would connect with the Bible in some way, I came away with two very different approaches. One approach was to use the movie as an opportunity to compare Dracula’s parenting with God’s. (Read article here.)
The other is to use the movie as an opportunity to examine our own prejudices and fears towards various people groups and then think about/study/examine how God thinks about it (about prejudice and about the people themselves we feel certain ways about).
Movie background: Hotel Transylvania takes a comical look at our stereo types, fears and misguided attempts to protect our children. All the funnier because it tells its story from an unexpected point of view: the monsters’. The poor monsters that mankind, in his fear, persecuted in times past (such as Dracula, Frankenstein, Big Foot, Werewolves, etc.), have all now bonded together, isolating themselves from the cruel human world.
Dracula lost his wife to a human mob and is now determined to protect his daughter, Mavis, through any means necessary, from any interaction with humans. Then a clueless but likeable human boy, Johnny, stumbled into the monsters’ hotel retreat. Of course, he and Mavis fell in love and Dracula and his monster friends overcame their prejudices.
Rather than write an article about prejudice in the Bible, let me instead give you some questions and a few suggestions that might be helpful as you delve into this topic with your friends or family.
- What are the people groups that you are afraid of and/or prejudiced against, and why? (Can’t think of anyone? Think of people who appear to identify themselves in one way or another with an idea, religion, mentality or group which scares or threatens you for some reason.)
- Are you fears because of something negative you, personally, have experienced, or because of something you have heard or picked up from others?
- Note that some fears are grounded and some are not. It’s important to distinguish the difference. Let your emotions be based in fact, not fiction.
- How do you think God feels about those same people? How does He want YOU to feel about those people?
- You are bound to come to the realization that God loves them (even the people you fear or hate the most) and wants you to love them too. The tricky question is HOW does He want you to love them? I may love tigers, but that doesn’t mean I have to get in the cage with a hungry tiger and let it eat me (or my child…if I had one). Then again, it might mean that—at least, if we are talking about people and not tigers. Greater love hath no man than that he lay his life down for another, right? But if you feel a need to do so, do it prayerfully and under God’s direction, not out of stupidity and recklessness.
- What does God say in the Bible about fear?
- What examples can you think of in the Bible of prejudice—towards people of differing races, occupations, financial status, reputation, and/or physical appearance? (The Bible is full of real people…so this shouldn’t be hard to find!)
- How did Jesus respond to those people that generally bore the brunt of society’s prejudices…the outcasts, the hated, the feared, the judged, the despised? (A few places to start: the widow’s mite in Mark 12:41-44; The Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37; Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19:1-10; the woman caught in adultery in John 8:1-11; the Leper in Matthew 8:1-3.)
- What can we learn from Jesus in our response to those same people in our world?
Click here to read quotes from Hotel Transylvania.
By Stacey Tuttle