Stories about coming out of one’s comfort zone is often a winning scenario in storytelling. In Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken what’s presented looks like more than girl coming out of her shell. She will have huge challenges to face and one of them includes dealing with an eternal war between her species and an other.
As the title and trailer suggests, this young woman will have to not only deal with high school problems but also experience her Sweet 16 in a way that could potentially the attention of the world.
I get the sense we’ll have a story that’s going to be very different from A Little Mermaid. Althouth the last films from DreamWorks presented some cutting edge visuals which were good, sometimes all we need are the basics–an eternal tale about how species from the aquatic world can get along instead of keep fighting it out. And as for how Ruby will embrace her legacy depends on whether Krakens from long ago were ever treated as adversaries. They were first introduced in Scandinavian lore and over time, films like Clash of the Titans helped popularize the Greco-Roman version. They are huge and terrifying. Sailors often thought of them as terrors as the opening narration suggests. But in this story, they are actually protectors of the seven seas.
Perhaps what we don’t know is that they were stopping ships from carrying dangerous cargo hence these attacks. What’s presented is no different from how Namor wants to prevent land dwellers from invading his kingdom. Although what’s revealed so far doesn’t show connections to classical legends, I’m hopeful more will be revealed when this film releases June 30, 2023.
Partial Spoilers and the Trailer follow:
From The Press Release:
This summer, 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 (Lana Condor, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Franchise) is desperate to fit in at Oceanside High, but she mostly just feels invisible.
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 (Academy Award® winner 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 (Emmy winner Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek) just happens to be a mermaid. Ruby will ultimately need to embrace who she is and go big to protect those she loves most.