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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken - A Decent Dive into the Deep Blue

Updated: Aug 14, 2023

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3/5 Stars)

Released 06-30-2023

Watched 07-21-2023

Reviewed 07-23-2023

"This whole time we have been hiding from monsters, it turns out I'm the monster."

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken is a heartfelt animated film that tells a coming-of-age story of a young girl who discovers her lineage lies with the legendary sea Krakens. With the heavy-weight vocal talents of Jane Fonda, Lana Condor, and Toni Collette, the movie dives into the abyss of adolescence, identity, and the wonder of marine mythology.

A highlight of the film is undoubtedly the visual spectacle. The animation is gorgeous and lavish in detail, evoking the splendor and mystery of the underwater world. The illustrative style is unique and crisp, adding depth and color to the story being told. It's hard not to marvel at the expansive underwater kingdoms, the luminescent aquatic creatures, and of course, the towering Krakens themselves.

The storytelling is strong, with characters that are both relatable and endearing. Jane Fonda's authoritative yet kind voice lends a sense of grandeur to the narrative, while Lana Condor perfectly captures the confusion and eagerness of a teenager struggling to find her place in the world. Toni Collette's vocal performance adds an extra layer of warmth and depth to the narrative.

However, where the film falters is in its lack of originality. The plot feels overly familiar, with many of its story beats echoing other popular animated coming-of-age tales like Pixar's RED. This predictability in the story progression may disappoint viewers hoping for a fresh narrative.

Furthermore, the movie seems to follow a well-trodden path, leaning on familiar tropes and refraining from taking any significant risks. The twists and turns are foreseeable, and it tends to play it safe when one wishes it would dare to delve deeper, both metaphorically and literally. This makes the journey of our teenage Kraken feel less impactful and engaging than it could have been.

Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken is a movie that sparkles with stunning animation and good storytelling but is held back by its lack of originality and predictability. It's a fun, entertaining watch, particularly for younger viewers, but may fall short for those seeking a novel and unpredictable story. All in all, it's a solid but not spectacular addition to the genre.


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