DreamWorks Animation delves into the tumultuous waters of high school with a hilarious, heartfelt action comedy centered around a quirky teenager who discovers her membership in a legendary royal lineage of mythical sea “krakens.”
In “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,” the eponymous role is voiced by Lana Condor, who attained global stardom as Lara Jean from the highly successful young adult (YA) franchise “To All the Boys I've Loved Before.”
The ocean — a mysterious world that land dwellers can barely fathom — serves as the backdrop for this story, where fantastic creatures reside beneath the waves. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Kirk DeMicco, in his fourth animated feature, “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,” draws inspiration from folklore and myth to narrate the relatable tale of an extraordinary teenager who, upon uncovering a surprising truth about her identity and familial heritage, learns to embrace her inner hero.
“As a filmmaker, I have always sought to defy expectations in my storytelling,” says DeMicco.
“When it came to 'Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,' one of the aspects that excited me the most was the opportunity to challenge the mythology of krakens and mermaids. Traditionally, krakens have been depicted as monstrous creatures to be feared and avoided at all costs. However, in this film, we sought to explore the notion of krakens as powerful and benevolent guardians of the sea. Similarly, we aimed to subvert the conventional image of mermaids, crafting a more intricate and nuanced mythology that defied audience expectations.”
“Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” adeptly balances character-driven comedy with significant themes of identity, familial obligations, love and authentic self-acceptance.
When the story commences, Ruby is a charmingly awkward and insecure 16-year-old who spends time with her close-knit group of friends. That is when she is not tutoring her crush, Connor. Ruby yearns to invite him to prom, despite it being a post-colonial patriarchal tradition, but her mother, Agatha, forbids her from attending.
The event takes place on a boat, and Agatha's cardinal rule is that Ruby must never go near the water. This wouldn't be such a predicament if they did not reside in Oceanside, where leisurely hanging out on the pier essentially constitutes the number one pastime.
“The film weaves an inter-generational narrative that taps into the cultural chorus surrounding teenage empowerment,” asserts DreamWorks Animation President Margie Cohn.
“We believe that 'Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken' possesses the potential to become the girl-power movie of the summer and, hopefully, a touchstone for generations of girls yet to come.”
Presented by DreamWorks and Universal Pictures International, “Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken” will finally make its debut in local cinemas nationwide today.
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