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Today’s Prayer Focus

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

also known as “Miss Kraken. Ruby Gillman,” “Meet the Gillmans,” “Genç Deniz Canavarı Ruby,” “Jūrų pabaisa. Rubė Gilman,” “Krakens y Sirenas: Conoce a los Gillman,” “Krakenteena Ruby,” “Rosa - Det vilde søuhyre,” “Rubi Tinejdžerka: Morsko čudoviste,” “Rūbija - Jūras nezvērs,” “Ruby - Havsmonstret,” “Ruby - Kraken Adolescente,” See more »
MPA Rating: PG-Rating (MPA) for some action, rude humor and thematic elements.
Moral Rating:
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: • Teens • Young-Adults
Genre: Animation Coming-of-Age Fantasy Action Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release: 2023
USA Release: June 30, 2023 (wide release)
DVD: September 26, 2023
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Relevant Issues

Mythological creatures

Teenagers in high school

Feeling desperate to fit in

The difference between “fitting in” and “belonging”

Teenage rebellion / Going against your parent’s orders

What is LYING? What are the truly BIG lies of our world?

Girl asking another girl to the prom

Magical powers fantasy / magic trident

Teen Qs™—Christian Answers for teenagers
Teens! Have questions? Find answers in our popular TeenQs section. Get answers to your questions about life, dating and much more.

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Mermaids

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Shy teenage girl with hidden powers

Krakens

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Fantasy magic

Girl with a crush on a boy

Protecting those you love most

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Featuring Lana CondorRuby Gillman (voice)
Toni ColletteFlora Gillman (voice)
Jane FondaThe Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas (voice)
Sam RichardsonBrill (voice)
Will ForteGordon Lighthouse, a rusty old sailor in Oceanside who works as a tour guide (voice)
Annie MurphyChelsea (voice)
Liza KoshyMargot (voice)
Colman DomingoPeter Gillman (voice)
Ramona YoungBliss (voice)
Jaboukie Young-White … Connor (voice), Ruby’s skater-boy crush who only seems to admire her for her fractals
See all »
Director Kirk DeMicco
Faryn Pearl
Producer DreamWorks Animation
Universal Pictures
See all »
Distributor Distributor: Universal Pictures. Trademark logo.Universal Pictures

“Sometimes the hero you are meant to be lies just beneath the surface.”

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Here’s what the distributor says about their film: “DreamWorks Animation dives into the turbulent waters of high school with a hilarious, heartfelt action comedy about a shy teenager who discovers that she’s part of a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea krakens and that her destiny, in the depths of the oceans, is bigger than she ever dreamed. Sweet, awkward 16-year-old Ruby Gillman is desperate to fit in at Oceanside High, but she mostly just feels invisible.

She’s math-tutoring her skater-boy crush, who only seems to admire her for her fractals, and she’s prevented from hanging out with the cool kids at the beach because her over-protective supermom (Toni Collette), has forbade Ruby from ever getting in the water.

But when she breaks her mom’s #1 rule, Ruby will discover that she is a direct descendant of the warrior Kraken queens and is destined to inherit the throne from her commanding grandmother (Jane Fonda), the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas.

The Kraken are sworn to protect the oceans of the world against the vain, power-hungry mermaids who have been battling with the Kraken for eons. There’s one major, and immediate, problem with that: The school’s beautiful, popular new girl, Chelsea (Annie Murphy) just happens to be a mermaid-turned-human. Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and go big to protect those she loves most.”

Volunteer reviewer needed for this movie

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive
Positive—Took our two great-nieces, 12 and 14. Overall we enjoyed the movie. The graphics were excellent and the story hit home with both nieces. Both picked up on subtle hints of homosexuality in the film. Particularly the girl holding the sign that she loved Ruby and wanted to marry her. Ruby seemed to identify as female in the film, but was not openly identified as such. Regardless, we all found it an enjoyable film, and I will likely view it again with a more discerning eye.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Frank, age 66 (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…a likable if slight story of teen crises. …[3/5]
Wendy Ide, The Guardian (UK)
…An aquatic, animated, all-ages romp full of familiar lessons and a few too many peppy pop songs that plays things so down-the-middle as to become perfectly forgettable. … it seemed to keep the attention of kids at my screening without mustering much excitement… [2½/5]
Trace Sauveur, The Austin Chronicle
…Some jokes are a little on the cringeworthy side, but overall, they work. It’s a film that essentially hijacks the cuteness of The Little Mermaid and manages to successfully transfer it to a shy, math-loving awkward teenager who just happens to be able to transform herself into a 50-foot-tall sea-beast. …
John Kirk, Original-Cin
…easy, breezy, entertaining watch… As predictable as the movie often is, it’s elevated by Condor’s disarming and charming Ruby, and some vivid character designs. The luminous undersea kraken kingdom is also quite a sight. …
Tracy Brown, Los Angeles Times
…Sweet yet shallow… the real tension Ruby must navigate is that which she has with her mother. It is the actual emotional core of the film with each trying to understand where each of them are coming from. Where much of the rest of the film is too broadly sketched to draw us in, this manages to pull us far deeper when it needed to. …[B-]
Chase Hutchinson, Collider
… a story that’s torn between relatable character moments and bombastic sea battles… It’s a shame that the plot gets so carried away with the supernatural power struggle, since the mile-a-minute movie is far more engaging when focused on Ruby — who makes an appealing addition to the DreamWorks Animation family — and the sitcom-ready aspect of kraken-human relations. …
Peter Debruge, Variety
…mixes prom drama with sea battles to gently fun effect. …Beautifully designed and voiced, this has a solid message at its heart. But it’s a well-told tale that’s suffers from being too well-trodden already. …[3/5]
Helen O'Hara, Empire [UK]
…Whatever emotional heft the pic may aim to harness is lost amid glib jokes, overly complicated mythic lore, and ultimately, pat platitudes about embracing who you were always meant to be. …The emotional resonance of the piece depends on well-worn tropes about “mother knows best” and “blending in to fit in is okay (until it’s not)” that feel particularly facile. …
Manuel Betancourt, AV Club
…one of the most inconsequential big-screen cartoons to reach theaters this year… Although the movie has the capacity to engage and entertain young children, its bland storyline and cut-rate animation won’t impress many adults. …[2/4]
James Berardinelli, ReelViews
This might be the strangest movie of the year …The look of “Ruby Gillman…” has a TV-cartoon cheapness, but its frames are cluttered with all manner of objects and elements of odd design, almost as if the filmmakers hope we won’t notice how basic and uninspired everything looks. …
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture (New York Magazine)