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Diving Deep, The Wonders & Whirlpools of 'Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'
Migal Ungale
5 min read

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

A Tale of Two Worlds

Ruby Gillman, portrayed by the talented Lana Condor, is no ordinary teenager. In the picturesque town of Oceanside, Ruby walks the tightrope between her human facade and her true Kraken identity. As friendships with Margot (Liza Koshy), Bliss (Ramona Young), and Trevin (Eduardo Franco) flourish and young love blossoms with Connor (Jaboukie Young-White), Ruby's struggle to protect her secret intensifies. Toni Collette's portrayal of Agatha, Ruby's protective mother, highlights the tension of belonging, while the dynamic between Ruby's family subtly unravels deeper layers of identity and acceptance.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

Bridging the Past with the Present

A dramatic turn of events plunges Ruby into the depths of her ancestry, revealing secrets that challenge her perceptions. From Brill, her long-lost uncle (Sam Richardson), to the majestic Grandmamah (Jane Fonda), Ruby embarks on a whirlwind journey through Kraken royalty. In her pursuit to mend family ties, a quest for a magical trident emerges, intertwined with unexpected alliances and betrayals.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

DreamWorks-An Animated Odyssey

DreamWorks Animation Studios has crafted cinematic marvels over the years, with classics like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and How to Train Your Dragon. Their foray into traditional 2D animations, with gems such as The Road to El Dorado, solidified their status as a formidable animation powerhouse. Yet, every creative journey has its ebbs and flows. Films like Bee Movie and Turbo perhaps missed their mark, while more recent ventures have recaptured the studio's earlier spark.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

Kraken Unleashed, A Critique

Enter Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken. With the studio's reputation riding on its waves, this film, unfortunately, seems to glide under the radar, feeling somewhat overshadowed by the triumphs of its predecessors. Director Kirk DeMicco, known for his work on The Croods and Vivo, tries to weave a familiar teenage narrative into a mythical tapestry. However, the cinematic outcome, while visually enticing, often feels rushed, leaving audiences yearning for depth and connection.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Animation Meets Reality

The animation is a visual treat. The elongated limbs and whimsical character designs combined with Jon Gutman's impressive cinematography create a vibrant world. The pop-infused soundtrack keeps the energy alive, echoing the youthful spirit of Oceanside High.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

An Array of Voices

While the storyline may have its shortcomings, the cast certainly does not disappoint. Lana Condor brings depth to Ruby, capturing the quintessence of teenage angst. Stellar performances by Toni Collette and Jane Fonda inject maturity into the narrative. Yet, characters like Chelsea Van Der Zee (Annie Murphy) remain underutilized, hinting at potential plot directions left unexplored.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

Modern Production - A Double-Edged Sword

Today, with the explosion of CGI and advanced animation techniques, the potential for creating vast, intricate mythological worlds has never been greater. There's an ability to visually represent fantastical elements with a level of realism previously unattainable. However, there's a caveat: with great power comes great responsibility. The temptation to over-rely on visuals often overshadows the narrative. In 'Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken,' while the animation is commendable, the storyline's depth doesn't always match up. The genre's evolution seems to be leaning more towards visual spectacles than robust storytelling, a shift that might not be entirely beneficial.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

Balancing Tradition with Innovation

A significant challenge in modern mythological animation is balancing reverence for source material with innovative storytelling. While 'Ruby Gillman' is an original tale, it draws heavily from age-old themes of identity, transformation, and the classic 'sea monsters' from various cultures. The best of this genre intricately weaves tradition with fresh perspectives. Pixar's 'Coco,' for instance, offers a modern take on the Mexican Day of the Dead, creating a narrative that's both contemporary and respectful. 'Ruby Gillman,' in its quest to be groundbreaking, sometimes strays into the territory of the generic, missing opportunities to delve deeper into Kraken folklore and sea myths.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

Audience Reception in Today's World

Modern audiences are a mix of nostalgia-seekers and new-age critics. With platforms like Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, every viewer is a critic, and the immediate feedback can be both a boon and a bane for creators. Mythological tales, given their historical richness, are often under intense scrutiny. Today's viewer, armed with information and a global perspective, seeks authenticity, depth, and relatability. The genre's challenge is to satiate this well-informed and often critical audience. While 'Ruby Gillman' has its merits and will find its fan base, especially among younger audiences, discerning viewers might find it lacking in depth, especially when compared to other contemporary mythological animations.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken'

The animated mythological genre stands at an interesting crossroads. On one hand, there's unparalleled technological prowess, allowing for stunning visual narratives. On the other, there's an ever-demanding audience seeking stories that resonate on a personal and cultural level. For future ventures in this genre, the key will be a harmonious marriage between captivating animation and compelling storytelling. Only then can these films transcend being mere visual delights and evolve into timeless tales for future generations.

Migal Ungale
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