It’s hard to be disappointed with a movie like this Ruby Gilman, Teenage Kraken. In a year that, with a few notable exceptions, has been relatively light on solid animated fare, there’s something nice about taking on such a largely sweet story. In many ways, considering the release from Pixar this year has been pretty formulaic, it looks like it could emerge as one of the stronger studio animations of 2023, like Something Terrible. turning red. Alas, though not always defined by formula, it frequently feels derivative and slight without time to dive deep into its foundations. The characters are consistently charming, the humor is silly enough, and the animation is often beautiful, though the standard path it takes completely backs off from exploring the potential lurking beneath the surface. The film is at its best when it breaks free at the end.
The latest animation from DreamWorks, the studio behind the extravaganza How to Train Your Dragon The film and was last year’s surprise hit Puss in Boots: The Last Wish It follows awkward yet ambitious Ruby Gilman (Lana Condor) as he tries to survive the normal challenges faced by teenagers. Namely, she wants to ask her crush, Zabuki Young-WhiteIts dreamy yet underachieving skater Connor, off to prom. Although he isn’t nearly as meek as her, the fact that he harbors feelings for her seems promising. The only problem? Ruby is not like other kids her age.
Namely, he’s Kraken in disguise. his parents, Toni ColletteIts Agatha and Coleman DomingoIts Arthur, lovable though often rambunctious as they tell him he can’t go to the prom because it’s on the water he’s forbidden to go to. The cover story they provide makes them suspect that they are not They are who they say they are, ie Will FortIts Captain Ahab-esque Gordon Lighthouse, they’re actually from Canada. This excuse, occasionally punctuated by Eh, holds enough water to keep the family living a secret life in their sleepy town by the sea. However, when Ruby must jump into those waters to save Connor after a well-intentioned proposal goes awry, her cover may soon be blown as she becomes a giant version of herself swept up in a generational conflict.