Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023) Review

Jun 29, 2023 04:34 PM EST
By Allison Rose   X Formly Known as Twitter
3 Min Read

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken has a few things going for it. First, the vocal talent of the cast, especially the females, is great.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023) Review

Nine out of ten times, when someone keeps a secret, it isn't a good thing. Oh sure, there are some good ones like the pregnancy and gender reveal secret or planning a surprise party, but most times people keep secrets or "omit facts" because if their secret got out it could have harmful consequences for one or more individuals.  What if the secret was something a mother hid from her teenage daughter?  Perhaps the child was adopted or mom drank and drove as a teenager herself and got arrested or perhaps...the daughter comes from a long line of royal, gigantic, deep sea creatures and she is actually an underwater princess.  For Ruby Gillman, so many things start to make much more sense once she finally finds out the truth.

Ruby (Lana Condor; X-Men: Apocalypse) is your average teenager.  She likes hanging out with her friends and gets annoyed by her parents and her little brother.  And, even though her mother has repeatedly told her no, Ruby wants to go to prom.  However, her prom is on a boat and Ruby has been taught from a very young age that she can't go in the ocean, but has never been told why.  

Just as she is beginning to learn to live with it, her crush, Connor (Jaboukie Young-White; Rough Night) slips and falls unconscious into the water.  With no one else around, Ruby jumps in after him.  Unfortunately, once she does, she becomes a huge, purple Kraken. Upset and confused, Ruby finally learns the truth and meets her uncle Brill (Sam Richardson;  VEEP) and her grandmama (Jane Fonda; 80 for Brady) for the first time. As Ruby adjusts to her new truth, she finds out the new girl at school, Chelsea (Annie Murphy; Schitt's Creek), is actually a mermaid who wants to befriend Ruby and heal the wounds of a fight their mothers had many years earlier.  Sadly, Chelsea's intentions are not as innocent as they seem and the Lady Krakens must team up to defeat her.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken has a few things going for it.  First, the vocal talent of the cast, especially the females, is great. Fonda has such a distinctive voice that, even if you didn't know she was a part of the cast, you would immediately recognize her.  The fact that Fonda has had an acting career for over fifty years and doesn't show any signs of slowing down, is impressive. Condor infuses Ruby with a certain maturity that makes you want to listen to her even though she portrays a, sometimes, bratty teenager. Agatha Gillman, Ruby's mom, is played by Academy Award-nominated actress Toni Collette (Heredity), and her cheeriness and upbeat demeanor come through in every line she recites.

Second, the animation is well done.  The color pallet is bright and cheery and the characters and objects are very well done showing a deep level of fine detail.  From Ruby's Purple Kraken body to Grandmama's bright, glowing yellow one, colors pop off the screen demanding the audience's attention.  Even the scenes set at night offer varying shades and tones of black giving the background a layered effect.

Unfortunately,  The plot is tried and true and boring.  We have seen these themes repeatedly, whether in animated or live-action form.  Parent hides the truth, and in this case, it simply doesn't seem necessary, teenager rebels, bad things happen, but in the end, the "bad guy's" evil plan is thwarted and everyone learned to accept and embrace their inner Kraken.

Take the little ones to see Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken but don't expect too much.  It's a cute movie, if unoriginal.

Grade: C



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For more information about Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken visit the FlickDirect Movie Database. For more reviews by Allison Rose please click here.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken images are courtesy of Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


FlickDirect, Allison   Rose

Allison Rose, a Senior Correspondent and Critic at FlickDirect, is a dynamic presence in the entertainment industry with a communications degree from Hofstra University. She brings her film expertise to KRMS News/Talk 97.5 FM and broadcast television, and is recognized as a Tomatometer-Approved Critic. Her role as an adept event moderator in various entertainment industry forums underscores her versatility. Her affiliations with SEFCA, the Florida Film Critics Circle, and the Online Film Critics Society highlight her as an influential figure in film criticism and media.




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