Release Date, Trailer & Everything We Know

What typically comes to mind when you hear the word “Kraken”? Odds are, if you’re at least somewhat familiar with the sea beast of legend, some pretty scary visuals come to mind. Examples from movies in particular that ring to mind include the time Zeus (Laurence Olivier) ordered the monster’s release onto the Greek world in Clash of the Titans (1981), not to mention the time that Davy Jones used the tentacled creature to drag his enemies to the ocean depths in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006). With such a rich history in folklore and mythology, it’s no wonder that the Kraken has become an iconic antagonist in various stories. There certainly aren’t that many friendly Kraken in movies and television, and there are even fewer that end up as main characters, but it appears that is set to change thanks to an animation studio well-known for flipping classic tropes on their head. That studio, of course, is Dreamworks, and they’re set to deliver a different take on the Kraken with their next feature film, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken (2023).


This new animated adventure from the studio behind the Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon franchises sees the titular character of Ruby Gillman (Lana Condor) trying to live life as a normal teenage girl. That becomes more difficult when Ruby learns her family history and the fact that she’s the direct descendant of a long line of royal Krakens, who, in this world, are the sworn protectors of the ocean.

At a glance it looks like Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken will be an aquatic superhero story, but under the surface, it looks more like a story of growing up and accepting responsibility. To learn more about the film’s cast, plot, release date, and more, here is everything we know so far about Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken.

Image via DreamWorks

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Watch the Trailer for Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Universal Pictures dropped the first trailer for Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken on March 16, 2023. The footage opens with a monologue from Ruby’s grandmother (Jane Fonda) explaining that the myths and legends told about the notorious Kraken have been greatly exaggerated. Instead of being bloodthirsty beasts that scour the seas in search of ships to prey on, they’re not so different from the average human. We see that with young Ruby, who lives life as a normal teenager despite her whole body being colored blue, showing that this world possibly runs on Invader Zim (2001-2006) rules, with out-of-this-world lifeforms posing as school children.

Things take a major turn when a popular new student arrives on the campus, the snobby Chelsea (Annie Murphy), who also has an aquatic secret of her own. Chelsea is actually an undercover mermaid, and in what feels like a cheeky nod to another animated redheaded merperson, mermaids are actually the ancient enemies of the Kraken. After learning that Chelsea has grand ambitions to conquer the entirety of the surface world, Ruby decides it’s time to acknowledge her all-important heritage and learn the ways of the Kraken and save the day.

Where and When Is Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken Releasing?

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken will be swimming into theaters just in time for the Summer, as the next film from the animation juggernaut has its premiere date set for Friday, June 30, 2023.

Dreamworks struck gold with their latest animated hit, that being the Oscar-nominated Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022), which raked in some more-than-healthy box office returns. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken will be premiering exclusively in theaters once it releases this Summer. After Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken‘s theatrical run concludes and is available on VOD, the film will more than likely make its streaming home on Peacock, as that’s the service owned by parent company NBCUniversal.

So What’s the Plot of Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken?

The official plot synopsis of Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken reads as follows:

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. She’s math-tutoring her skater-boy crush (Jaboukie Young-White, Ralph Breaks the Internet), who only seems to admire her for her fractals, and she’s prevented from hanging out with the cool kids at the beach because her over-protective supermom (Oscar® nominee Toni Collette, Knives Out), has forbade Ruby from ever getting in the water. 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.

Related:10 Underrated Standalone DreamWorks Movies

Who’s Making Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken?

Image via DreamWorks

Co-directing Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken are Kirk DeMicco, who previously directed Dreamworks’ The Croods (2013), and Faryn Pearl, who will be making their directorial debut with the project. DeMicco will also be co-writing the film with South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999) screenwriter Pam Brady.

The rest of the film’s crew is rounded out by composer Stephanie Economou (Jupiter’s Legacy), editor Michelle Mendenhall (Fox and Hare), and production designer Pierre-Olivier Vincent (How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World).

Who’s In the Cast of Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken?

Filling in the titular role of Ruby Gillman is Lana Condor, who became a breakout success story after starring in To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018). Condor is joined by a hugely impressive supporting cast, with her main nemesis being someone who has plenty of experience playing popular rich kids, Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020) star Annie Murphy. The Gillman family members are also star-studded, including legendary Oscar-winner Jane Fonda voicing Ruby’s grandmother, Knives Out (2019) star Toni Collete as Ruby’s overprotective mother, Fear the Walking Dead (2015-2023) alum Colman Domingo as Ruby’s more supportive father, and Council of Dads‘ (2020) Blue Chapman as Ruby’s younger brother.

Other members of the supporting cast are Jaboukie Young-White (Ralph Breaks the Internet), Will Forte (The Last Man on Earth), Nicole Byer (Nailed It!), Liza Koshy (Liza on Demand), Ramona Young (Never Have I Ever), Eduardo Franco (Stranger Things), and Echo Kellum (Arrow).

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