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Animated movie awakens a teen ‘Kraken’

Teenage Kraken is a story about finding friends and discovering your true self. Photo courtesy of IMDb.
Teenage Kraken is a story about finding friends and discovering your true self. Photo courtesy of IMDb.

The new animated Netflix movie, Teenage Kraken is about a young Kraken, Ruby Gillman, who doesn’t quite fit in with her human peers and discovers her true self.

At first, Ruby (voiced by Lana Condor) is a 15-year-old girl who lives in a small town called Oceanside because her parents decided to leave their lives in the ocean behind to create a better life for their children. Because of this, her mother, Agatha Gillman (Toni Collette), forbids her from going into the ocean.

One day Ruby is talking to her crush, Connor (Jaboukie Young-White), when he is accidentally knocked into the water. Ruby jumps in and saves him, but after leaving the ocean she transforms into a giant Kraken and accidentally destroys the school library.

Ruby panics after being spotted by the new girl at school, Chelsea Van Der Zee, a secret mermaid, and hides near a lighthouse. Agatha explains how Ruby’s earlier mishap triggered the transformation and that it is a trait within the women in their family.

Angered that Agatha originally lied to her, Ruby sneaks out to meet her grandmother, the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas (Jane Fonda), who reveals that Ruby is a princess and next in line to take the throne. She also explains that mermaids are the most evil creatures in the seas, that they once found a powerful tool called the Trident of Oceanus to rule the ocean, and that it is now hidden.

Van Der Zee manipulates Gillman into getting the trident for her and then reveals she is Queen Nerissa, who battled Ruby’s mom 15 years ago. The three generations of Ruby’s family work together to battle Nerissa, who now has this trident capable of killing Krakens.

The movie explores ideas that aren’t often portrayed in movies. For example, the characters show how generational trauma can be broken and how important friendships are when one needs inspiration.

Agatha and her mother do not have a good relationship due to Agatha breaking away from her family. Still, Agatha has a good relationship with Ruby, due to not wanting it to turn out like her relationship with her own mom.

Ruby has a group of friends – Margot, Trevin, and Bliss – who support her instead of shutting her out when they discover she is a Kraken. This detail helps to develop the characters’ personalities and their relationships with each other.

The film’s plot progresses in rapid succession and is easy to follow. It doesn’t bore the viewers with unimportant details. 

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Gwen Gordon
Gwen Gordon, Staff Writer
Freshman Gwen Gordon is a first-year Staff Writer. She can be found listening to music or playing tennis.  
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