Ruby Gillman (voice of Lana Condor) is just like any other awkward 15-year-old girl. She’s trying to fit in at her school, Oceanside High, and is very self-conscious about how she looks. But the problem is that Ruby isn’t a girl – she’s a kraken, a fish-like creature with tentacles, trying to be a human.
Ruby lives with her overprotective mother, Agatha (Toni Collette), father, Arthur (Colman Domingo), and brother, Sam (Blue Chapman). When her parents say that Ruby can’t go to the beach to celebrate the end of the year with her friends, she goes anyway. There she meets Connor (Jaboukie Young-White), a boy she has a crush on. Ruby inadvertently fires a romantic bubble shooter, which sends Connor flying into the ocean. Ruby is scared of the water, as she has always been told not to go into it, but she overcomes her fear and dives in.
Scared she’ll die, Ruby discovers she can breathe underwater and then turns into a beautiful, sylph-like creature with long tentacles. She saves Connor, who is unconscious in the water, and returns to land. To her horror, Ruby starts to grow into a giant creature. Agatha comes to her rescue, and Ruby learns of her true identity – she’s the granddaughter of the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas and protector of the oceans. Ruby also learns how her mother had fled the ocean after winning a battle with the mermaids and then locked away a powerful trident.
Naïve and kind by nature, Ruby has much to learn about her new identity and many challenges ahead. She comes to accept who she is and what she must do to protect the oceans.
Mythology; teenage romance
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken has some violence. For example:
- There’s some rough play on a baseball pitch – a boy throws a ball at kids’ heads.
- Ruby and Sam have a brief fight.
- Connor is thrown off a deck into the water by a bubble shooter.
- When Ruby grows very tall, she crashes through the ceiling of a building.
- Ruby shouts at her parents when they won’t let her go to the beach. She accuses her mother of lying to her and tells her parents she’s tired of trying to hide her difference.
- There’s a battle scene between the krakens and the mermaids. Agatha wrestles with Nerissa, the evil mermaid queen.
- The sea captain captures Ruby in ropes and fires harpoons at her but misses.
- Ruby gets sucked into a powerful force and lands heavily on the ocean floor.
- The sea captain harpoons Ruby’s pet, but it’s unharmed.
- A harpoon goes into Ruby’s uncle’s head, which shrinks into his body, but he’s unharmed.
- Nerissa knocks out Ruby with the trident.
- Nerissa emerges from the sea as a huge creature. She causes the sea to rise into a tidal wave, which starts to capsize a boat full of teenagers.
- Agatha, Grandmamah and Ruby fight Nerissa. Nerissa points the trident at Ruby’s throat.
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken has some sexual references. For example:
- Agatha and Arthur kiss briefly.
- Ruby kisses Connor on the cheek.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
There’s no use of substances in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken.
Nudity and sexual activity
There’s no nudity and sexual activity in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken.
There’s no product placement in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken.
There’s some mild name-calling in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, including ‘dum-dum’ and ‘stupid’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken is an animated fantasy movie about dealing with differences, finding yourself and taking control of your life.
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken has a lot of positive messages, particularly about parent-teenage relationships. There are also some scary scenes and violence, although no-one is hurt. It’s therefore not suitable for children under 6 years, and we recommend parental guidance for children aged 6-8 years.
The main messages from Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken are about finding yourself and negotiating the challenging teenage years.
Values in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken that you could reinforce with your children include:
- accepting others’ differences
- being non-judgmental
- valuing strong female characters
- being brave and courageous
- showing empathy and kindness
- liking someone for who they are, rather than how they look.
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like the following:
- Agatha and Ruby both lied to each other but faced up to it and accepted the consequences.
- Being over-protective of your children can prevent them from reaching their true potential. It’s good to compromise.