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Western Animation / Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

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"The ocean is a mysterious world. One that land dwellers can only begin to imagine. Of course, you think you know what lies beneath the surface. Ah, but the sea creatures who live there, well, even the ones you have imagined, you've imagined them wrong. Take the mythical, mighty giant kraken. Bloodthirsty monster, sinker of ships, drowner of sailors. That's what you people think. You see, in real life, krakens are noble protectors. The sea will always need a kraken, and a kraken will always answer the call."
Grandmamah, Opening Narration

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken is a 2023 animated teen fantasy comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Kirk DeMicco (The Croods, Vivo), and co-directed by Faryn Pearl (Big City Greens, Trolls World Tour). It stars the voice talents of Lana Condor, Toni Collette, Jaboukie Young-White, Colman Domingo, Annie Murphy, Sam Richardson, Blue Chapman, Will Forte, Nicole Byer, Liza Koshy, Ramona Young, Eduardo Franco, Echo Kellum, and Jane Fonda.

The film follows a shy yet kind-hearted junior high school student named Ruby Gillman (Condor) who just wants to fit in, but discovers her family has a massive secret: they’re part of a lineage of fearless krakens sworn to protect the land and sea from power-hungry and destructive mermaids, and she's next to inherit the throne from her grandmother, the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas (Fonda). Sounds awesome, right? However, there's just one tiny little problem - the most popular girl at Ruby's school, Chelsea (Murphy), happens to be a mermaid herself.

The film was released in theaters on June 30, 2023.

Previews: Trailer 1, Trailer 2

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken contains examples of the following:

  • Aborted Arc: Ruby and Chelsea form an alliance to get the Trident of Oceanus in the hopes of finally ending the eternal war between krakens and mermaids and making peace between the two species. However, once Chelsea is revealed to be Queen Nerissa and only using Ruby to get the trident, the idea of finding peace between krakens and mermaids is quietly dropped and never followed up on again, with Ruby instead becoming a protector of the sea against other aquatic threats.
  • Actor Allusion:
  • Alpha Bitch: Even if she wasn't a mermaid, Chelsea still lives and thrives on this trope. From the first trailer alone, she mockingly deduces Ruby's Kraken origins right in front of her, moments after being paraded around by schoolmates like a queen. This is subverted at first. Unlike what the trailer would suggest, Chelsea doesn't deduce Ruby's a giant kraken in front of the other students and instead notices Ruby's panic attack and shows concern, asking her if she's okay with her following scenes making her more akin to a Lovable Alpha Bitch. However, Chelsea is still revealed to be Evil All Along in the film's third act but by the time that happens the High School setting is no longer present nor does she actually specifically invoke any of the tropes associated with an Alpha Bitch during her time as an open villain.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Grandmamah describes mermaids as evil sea creatures who want to take over the ocean from the krakens, and neither she nor Agatha trusts any mermaid that befriends Ruby. Chelsea seems to subvert the trope by expressing her wish to make peace between krakens and mermaids with Ruby, but double-subverted when it's revealed she's manipulating Ruby to give her the Trident of Oceanus to restore her true power as Nerissa, the evil queen of the mermaids.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Krakens have a wide range of colorful skin tones in their monster forms, ranging from purple to green, to pink, to blue. Ruby's family retains blue skin in their "human" form.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The Trident of Oceanus was once a weapon utilized by the mermaids to give them a major power boost against the enemy krakens.
  • And the Adventure Continues: The film ends with Uncle Brill, via Gordon Lighthouse's tour seabus, urgently informing Ruby about a "devil whale" a foot. Ruby confidently takes this chance to jump off the boardwalk, answering the call again to be a defender of the Seas.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: A TV Spot has Ruby describe Sam as "my annoying little brother" while showing them fighting each other.
  • Arc Words:
    • "It's been 15 years...": A phrase repeated by various characters connected to the history of the Gillman family. Grandmamah been distanced from her strained daughter, granddaughter and later grandson for that length of time; Ruby has grown up among human society for that length of time; Uncle Brill hasn't been treated to the kind of loving reunion between his sister and mother for that length of time; Chelsea's festering revenge against Agatha has been building for that length of time.
    • "Go big!": A phrase stated by Margot and Chelsea in the film, and Ruby in the trailers. Generally speaking, a call to action to be brave and do something bombastic to get what you want. For Margot, this was encouraging Ruby to finally ask out Connor with a proposal, with a party cannon no less. For Chelsea, it's a declaration to the crowd of why she decided to take the risk of rescuing the drowning Connor (that she took credit from Ruby).
    • A kraken always answers the call. This is important for Ruby's arc as a protector. At first, she rejects the call, but when Agatha and Grandmamah are fighting against Nerissa, she answers it and attacks her.
  • Bad "Bad Acting": The commercial for Gillman Real Estate features a couple who's trying their best to maintain their ideal homeowners' look. The wife quickly cracks at the end, uttering anxiously that they're afraid to know how they got their dream home.
  • Bare Midriffs Are Feminine: Chelsea wears a light blue crop top in her human form, to indicate that she's a beautiful and popular but mean teenage girl, as well as to evoke the Seashell Bra of mermaids.
  • Big Bad Friend: Chelsea befriends Ruby as a means of manipulating her into helping her obtain the Trident of Oceanus.
  • Big "NO!": Chelsea/Nerissa says this the moment before Ruby, Agatha and Grandmamah destroy the Trident of Oceanus with their Eye Beams.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: Ruby, Agatha, and Grandmamah all have glowing, bioluminescent colors in their giant kraken forms.
  • Book Ends:
    • Grandmamah first appears in the film as the narrator, telling the audience the truth about krakens. She also narrates the epilogue.
    • The start of the movie has Ruby watching videos of her family and how they've adjusted to human life. In the end, they star in new videos that show them embracing their kraken lineage.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Ruby attempts to use quadratic equations as a proposal to Connor but her friends vote against it, convincing her to for something more extravagant. When she does properly ask him he accepts... in the form of a quadratic equation. Ruby is ecstatic.
    • After learning that his sister will be a Giant Kraken, Sam asks if she'll be able to secrete poison from her tentacles. In the end, he asks this question to his grandmother after they formally meet.
    • While reuniting with her granddaughter via hug, Grandmamah forbids her son Brill from joining saying that it's not "Brill's time" yet. After Nerissa's defeat, Grandmamah says it's "Brill's time now" allowing him to hug her and his sister.
  • Call a Pegasus a "Hippogriff": While the Giant Krakens are very much reminiscent to krakens of folklore with multiple tentacles and whatnot, regular krakens are human-sized and only have two legs, which make them more in-line with gill-men, pun not intended on Ruby's surname.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: After Ruby storms out on her, Agatha finally decides to storm back into her mother's domain. Agatha chews out Grandmamah for still being a controlling presence in her family life, despite trying to move on from being a royal warrior and living a quiet domesticated path. Grandmamah also chews Agatha out for forcing Ruby into a life she never wanted.
    Agatha: MOTHER!
    Grandmamah: And here I thought I knew how to make an entrance.
    Agatha: Stay away from my daughter!
    Grandmamah: You mean my granddaughter? The Princess? The heir to the throne?
    Agatha: Still trying to get your way. (scoffs) Some things never change!
    Grandmamah: You're trying to force your daughter into a life she doesn't want. Now where have heard that before?
    Agatha: The difference is I didn't raise my daughter to be a reflection of my glory.
    Grandmamah: Well, that's certainly true. You raised her to run away and hide.
    Agatha: You still think I was scared to fight. You think it was easy to start over? To risk everything? I never stopped fighting! I fight for my family. I fight for who I love. You? You just love to fight!
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ruby gets tongue-tied every time she tries to tell Connor how she feels about him.
  • Cathartic Scream: Ruby screams into her bean bag chair out of frustration after learning about her heritage as a giant kraken.
  • Central Theme: Parents forcing their kids to follow on their footsteps under the belief that they know what's better for them, and how this only creates generational resentment. Agatha wants Ruby to have a normal life among humans like her and purposefully hid their Kraken heritage (which is in turn stemmed from Grandmamah forcing Agatha to follow on her footsteps), while Grandmamah wants Ruby to abandon her life on dry land and become the new queen of the ocean, with neither of them stopping to ask what Ruby truly wants.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The Trident of Oceanus is indestructible, hence why Agatha hid it somewhere only krakens can reach, but Ruby realizes that it can be broken if she, Agatha, and Grandmamah all direct their Eye Beams at it simultaneously.
  • Company Cross References: During Ruby’s video where she tries to convince her mom to let her go with her friends to prom, she mentions spending time on the internet a lot, which is followed by a plushie of Puss in Boots playing the piano.
  • Cool Kid-and-Loser Friendship: Chelsea, a popular, pretty but mean mermaid, befriends Ruby, a dorky, socially-awkward kraken girl who struggles to hide her true heritage from those around her, over them both being sea creatures living in the human world. This doesn't last once Chelsea is revealed to be Queen Nerissa, and the subsequent battle ends with Ruby becoming the popular one, Chelsea becoming ostracized for her evil actions, and their friendship falling apart.
  • Corrupted Character Copy: Chelsea is a red-haired teenage mermaid who turns into a human, just like Ariel. But while Ariel is kind and pure-hearted, Chelsea is presented as vain, selfish and cruel.
  • Cosmic Deadline: Once the Trident of Oceanus is located and Chelsea AKA Nerissa claims it and betrays Ruby, the film's plot accelerates to a brisk pace with Agatha, Grandmamah, Ruby, transforming into their giant Kraken forms and quickly overcoming the challenges that they face. The plot point about Ruby and Chelsea resolving tensions between Krakens and Mermaids is quietly dropped.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • The teaser poster shows three giant krakens about to fight four red-eyed mermaids with humanoid skin and tentacles that act like hair. The lone kraken vs. mermaid fight in the film is between the three giant Gillman krakens and just one giant mermaid with bioluminescent skin and eyes, and long "hair" that's actually a mass of water spouting from her head; the four mermaids on the poster are actually a group statue detailing the krakens' previous clashes with mermaids.
    • The teaser poster also depicts Grandmamah holding a trident, which is explained to be the mythical Trident of Oceanus. In the film, not only does Grandmamah not use this herself, but Trident is mostly shown as a weapon of Mermaids, due to being a perfect counter against giant krakens.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The credits are shown with various character portraits and splash screens of the main and recurring casts. Some of the sea-based characters are even done in the style of the velvet art featured in Grandmamah's history lesson.
  • Cute Monster Girl: Even in her "human" form, Ruby still stands out from the crowd due to her blue skin, tentacle-like hair, and seemingly boneless level of flexibility. Her family's explanation for this is that they're from Canada.
  • Dance Party Ending: After defeating Chelsea AKA Nerissa, Agatha finally allows Ruby to go to prom, so she gets on the party boat (complete with a sparkly blue dress she gets after going back to her normal form) and dances with her friends and Connor.
  • DreamWorks Face: Unsurprisingly considering it's a film by the Trope Namer, on the release poster both Ruby and Chelsea wear an asymmetrical smirk. The characters were designed by designer Charles Ellison and final look was made by Visual Development artist Meghan Walker, in order to stand out from every Dreamworks movie before it.
  • Don't Sneak Up on Me Like That!: While Ruby and her mother embrace, after the former returns to humanoid form, she's surprised by her Uncle Brill trying to turn it into a Group Hug. Since she doesn't know him as family at the time, Ruby immediately throws rapid punches at Brill's malleable body to defend herself. Brill takes it in stride, commenting that Ruby shares her mother's hidden strength and reflexes.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Chelsea's introduction shows the girls falling in love with her as much as the boys, with one, in particular, wanting to marry her.
  • Evil All Along: Even though this was revealed in the trailers, Chelsea is actually the evil mermaid queen Nerissa who wants to use Ruby to get the trident for her so she can finally rule the ocean.
  • Evil Redhead: Chelsea has long red hair and is the Big Bad.
  • Eye Beams: This is one of the abilities giant krakens like Ruby possess, described as "electrically-charged bioluminescence". At the end of the film, Ruby, Agatha, and Grandmamah use their respective eye beams to destroy the Trident of Oceanus, reverting Chelsea back from her One-Winged Angel form.
  • Feminist Fantasy: This is prominently DreamWorks Animation's take on doing a Coming of Age Story comedy through the lens of a shy adolescent girl. The twist here being it's filtered through a superhero-esque sea fantasy starring humanoid sea krakens that can transform into powerful Kaiju. As stated sporadically in the film, only the women of the Gillman family exclusively have the ability to become giant warriors, allowing each royal generation to be the ruling defenders of the Seven Seas. The film also explores generational conflict between mothers and daughters among the living Gillman women, showing how they initially drift apart, but eventually reconcile through common familiar bonds and talking.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Quite a bit towards the fact that Chelsea is a False Friend to Ruby, and also some towards her actually being Nerissa, the mermaid queen whom Agatha defeated in the past.
      • Chelsea, despite acting friendly towards Ruby, doesn't actually show true concern for her the way a real friend would. When Ruby is violently pushed out of the current while trying to get the trident, multiple times, Chelsea asks "What happened?" instead of "Are you okay?", not to mention showing little concern about asking Ruby to be the one to get the trident in the first place. She also notices Ruby decline a call from Connor, but doesn't say anything about it or offer any encouragement, because she doesn't actually care about Ruby or how she's growing more distant from her other friends and her crush.
      • When first explaining to Ruby where the trident is and how to get to it, she seems to know a surprising amount about it considering that her mother, who supposedly died trying to reach it, would have done so when Chelsea was too young to remember this info. Because Chelsea actually is Nerissa and has personally tried to get the trident back.
      • Her overall plan on how bringing back the trident will bring peace between the krakens and mermaids is also rather dubious as bringing a dangerous Amplifier Artifact wouldn't resolve the ongoing conflict between two warring species.
      • She also expresses nervousness about meeting Agatha when Ruby plans to introduce them, and when she actually tries to, Chelsea suddenly bails out and is gone. Ruby doesn't call her out on this when they next meet up, but we soon learn there's a good reason for it (and why Chelsea never meets Grandmamah, either): both Grandmamah and Agatha would have instantly recognized her as Nerissa, so she avoids them and only directly interacts with Ruby, who doesn't know what Nerissa looks like, until she gets what she wants.
    • One of Agatha's commercials describes her as a "real estate warrior". Along with her coming from a longline of warrior Giant Kraken, she was also the one who spearheaded the victory against the mermaids.
    • In regards to Agatha's beef with her mother. When a buyer couple admits that they want to move to the Oceanside to be close to the husband's parents, she makes a snide comment how parents tend to be overcontrolling and dictate how you should live your life.
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Krakens have four fingers, unlike the five-fingered humans and mermaids.
  • Gender-Restricted Ability: Only the female krakens in the Gillman family can turn into giant krakens.
  • Generational Trauma: The conflict began with Grandmamah forcing Agatha to embrace the family's Proud Warrior Race Guy heritage. And after defeating the mermaids, Agatha renounces her title and runs away to live a new life. But her efforts in making sure that her children kept themselves hidden result in Ruby running away to learn how to be a true giant kraken. Grandmamah even calls her out on committing the same sins she did during their reunion.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: A promo shows Ruby and Chelsea playing a game to see who can put their hand on top of the Trident of Oceanus first, showing them on friendlier terms than what the trailers and the actual film itself show.
  • Hand Wave: When Brill asks Agatha why her and her family decided to live close to the ocean even though they're supposed to stay away from it, Agatha's answer is that they still need to stay moist.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: Krakens are the heroic defenders of the seas, but they have a reputation as monsters that sink ships.
  • Heartfelt Apology: Agatha gives one to Ruby, aplogizing for not trusting her and not telling her the truth and promises not to keep anymore secrets or hide from humans again. After they hug, she let's her go to the prom boat with her friends.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade: In-universe; at some point, humans began glorifying the vain and evil mermaids.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: In-universe; humans for some reason demonized krakens, who are actually protectors of the sea, in their stories.
  • Humans Are Morons: Humans in this film are explained to be stupid for believing that mermaids are deserving of their praise while the krakens are feared and hated. This is apparent in the Gillmans passing off their obviously non-human appearances as due to them being Canadian.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Ruby isn't shown reacting very nicely to having to be a Warrior Princess and fight the mermaids as she shouts that she just wants to live her life while putting her face on a cushion. The second trailer also shows her stressing out about her new position and talking to Chelsea about how she just wants to be a normal teenager.
  • In-Universe Factoid Failure: According to the narration in the trailer, humans are completely wrong about krakens being giant, shipsinking monsters, as they are actually humanoid protectors of the ocean.
  • Ironic Echo: Chelsea reveals herself as a "motherflipping mermaid" to Ruby when they're underwater. She does this again after she reclaims the Trident of Oceanus and reveals her true colors.
  • Kraken and Leviathan: Krakens as shown in the film are a species of octopus-like creatures with an array of powers who protect the seas. Interestingly, most portrayals of krakens usually have them represented as simply being large monstrous animals. Here, they are far more humanoid in design, and much friendlier as well. The Leviathan, meanwhile, is depicted as one of the monsters the Krakens fight.
  • Last Of Their Kind: Many Giant Kraken lost their lives during their war with the mermaids with only three remaining- Grandmamah, Agatha and Ruby.
  • Liar Revealed: After her first transformation into a giant kraken, Ruby becomes furious with Agatha for having kept this secret from her all her life and calls her out on it.
  • Magic Pants: When Ruby turns into a giant kraken in the sea, her clothes vanish, and then reappear when she reverts to her (somewhat) human form.
  • Make My Monster Grow: The trailer culminates with the main evil mermaid growing to a gigantic size to attack the town and Ruby herself growing in turn to face her.
  • Market-Based Title:
    • In Brazil, the film is known as Ruby Marinho - Monstro AdolescenteTranslation. "Marinho" keeps the Punny Name aspect, referring to "marine", while also being a legitimate surname used by notable Brazilians like Roberto Marinho of Globo.
    • In Portugal, the film is known as Ruby - Kraken Adolescente.
  • Meaningful Name:
    • The Gillmans are a lineage of humanoid sea monsters.
    • Additionally, Chelsea is a mermaid. Her last name, van der Zee, is Dutch for "from the sea".
  • My Grandson, Myself: Chelsea is revealed to actually be Queen Nerissa herself, who never ages and was pretending to be her own daughter.
  • Never Trust a Trailer:
    • Starting from the initial trailer, Chelsea's introduction is presented as living proof of what Grandmamah warns Ruby about prior: a narcissistic mermaid, posing as a human, who has the Oceanside High populace easily enraptured by her presence alone. Upon laying her sights on Ruby, Chelsea whispers an intimidating declaration about knowing Ruby's kraken origins and how the public will eventually know to resent her, causing Ruby to anxiously try to escape while signs of her changes show. In the film proper, the context and execution are portrayed differently. For starters, while Chelsea does showboat, she's taking credit for rescuing a drowning Connor, while making a name for herself as the heroic new girl. Crucially, Chelsea doesn't intentionally try to intimidate Ruby here, as the latter is still generally winded and anxious after her first transformation. The surrounding crowd's comments about Ruby's increasing panic and wet appearance causes her to slip away, where Chelsea is seen looking confused and concerned for Ruby.
    • Both main trailers focus on the actionized sub-plot about Ruby having to embrace her destiny, being a Warrior Princess who must stop an evil mermaid in plain sight. In the film proper, while this is a notable sub-plot, the trailers significantly downplay that it's a means to explore controlling Generational Trauma between the three generations of living Gillman women.
    • The first trailer shows off Grandmamah's training to Ruby, where she points out that giant krakens have various super abilities. She demonstrates camouflage, super speed, hardening abilities and laser eyes. In the film, the camouflage and super speed abilities are omitted in the Training Montage, with camouflage not being present at all. Instead, Ruby learning to hone her super strength and improving her swimming is shown off in their place.
    • In the second trailer, after Grandmamah introduces Ruby to her ruling people, Ruby exclaims she's having a panic attack. In the trailer, Grandmamah looks happily none the wiser about Ruby's comment as the crowds cheer. In the film, she looks partially annoyed as the crowds cheer.
  • Nice Guy: Connor is a chill and nice Oceanside High School studient, who likes to skateboard, and doesn't judge or ignore Ruby at all. He values Ruby for teaching him math, and he likes when Ruby calls him "My Alge-bae"/"Alge-bro". No wonder Ruby has a crush on him.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood:
    • Despite the Kraken being seen as vicious sea monsters that sink ships, Grandmamah’s narration in the trailer reveals they are actually the noble protectors of the seas.
    • Chelsea claims this in a sarcastic tone while in her giant form in several TV Spots, telling Ruby that "[she's] not evil, [she's] just pretty and misunderstood". In the film proper, she says this in pity towards Gordon Lighthouse, after being detained.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Arthur tries to comfort his wife by assuring her that Ruby doesn't hate her for keeping secrets from her and that she wouldn't run away from home. He lampshades this trope when they catch their daughter trying to sneak out of the house (to go to school).
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Agatha directly accuses Grandmamah of straining their relationship by being a controlling presence on her, as a daughter who only wants to do her own thing. Grandmamah casually retorts that Agatha's behavior towards her own daughter Ruby isn't that different from her own, just executed differently.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The moment Agatha smugly smiles at Arthur, Brill, and Sam, they realize that face is one of those faces she makes when she'll make them do something they really don't want to do.
    • Chelsea/Nerissa sports this just before the Trident of Oceanus is destroyed by Ruby, Agatha and Grandmamah’s Laser Eyes.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: According to Grandmamah's exposition to Ruby, mermaids here are portrayed as evil beings who want seek power to destroy the world. If anything they're closer to the Greek Sirens or the traditional Japanese depiction of mermaids.
  • Reactive Continuous Scream: This happens between Ruby and the school librarian, after the librarian sees a giant Ruby in the library. The librarian screams at Ruby, Ruby screams back and they do it once more before the librarian runs off as Ruby accidently destroys the library.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: It is revealed in the second trailer that Ruby is from a line of royal krakens, and her mother never told her this.
  • Red Herring: Earlier in the film, Chelsea mentions how her mother taught her "big risk, big reward" and would later explain to Ruby how she died during the Kraken-Mermaid wars. Her real mother never makes an appearance.
  • The Right Hand of Doom: After she reverts back from her first transformation, one of Ruby's hands is left enlarged with visible suction cups. Since she wants to live as a normal girl, Ruby's not very happy about it. It eventually goes away once she learns to control her kraken powers.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Grandmamah explains to Ruby that the royal women in her family have a birthright to not only rule the Seven Seas, but also fight to protect them. It was the case for her, her daughter Agatha during the Mermaid-Kraken War, and defacto princess Ruby is expected to do the same.
  • Royalty Superpower: The Gillman family are the royalty of the Kraken species, and only the females have the ability to become giant krakens.
  • Rubber Man: Krakens like the Gillmans are able to stretch their bodies at will and have extendable arms and legs. Sam bounces in the air like a ball and falls on his uncle's head without any damage for either, and Chelsea plays with Ruby's face. Ruby even mentions how exhausting is to walk straight so she can pretend she has a spine.
  • Running Gag: Token goth girl Bliss taking a moment to ominously describe a castraphoic event that could happen.
  • Seashell Bra: In the teaser the poster and on a statue seen on Grandmamah's palace, the villainous mermaids have seashells over their chests.
  • Sea Monster: Along with Krakens and mermaids, Grandmamah reveals that the ocean is filled with tons of sea monsters who often at times try to endanger the inhabitants of the sea. She even namedrops the Leviathan and Umibozu. In the end, Uncle Brill warns Ruby that a devil whale is about to attack the kraken kingdom.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Just like in The Little Mermaid fairy tale, the male love interest (Connor) is rescued from drowning by the aquatic heroine (Ruby) only for a beautiful rival (Chelsea) to claim herself responsible for his salvation.
    • In a Freeze-Frame Bonus of the livestream shown, one of the comments says "Call me Ishmael".
    • When Ruby asks "What's the first rule of being a mathlete?", Chelsea replies with "never talk about being a mathlete?"
    • One of the posters that Ruby Gillman is sitting and lying down on the side of the bridge is an homage to Spider-Man: Homecoming, parodying Ruby with her headphones and jacket similar to Tom Holland's Peter Parker.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Ruby's parents are shown to be this in the film, kissing on the dinner table much to Sam's chagrin.
  • Significant Wardrobe Shift: After the Internal Reveal, when Ruby's friends come to accept her as a kraken, their prom outfits emphasize glowing lines and sparkles, closely resembling Ruby's bioluminescence in her kraken form.
  • Smitten Teenage Girl: Ruby has a crush on Connor, a fairly nice skater boy who she helps as her math tutor. It was later revealed he has the same crush on Ruby.
  • Start My Own: Defied. Because of her mother's anti-ocean rule forbidding her from going to prom, Ruby tries to rope her friends into making their own "Anti-Prom" party. She decides to go for the real thing after her friends insist on going along with convincing her of asking her crush to the prom.
  • Stealing the Credit: Chelsea's first scene has her explaining to the high school kids how she saved Connor from drowning when in truth Ruby was the one to save him after unlocking her giant kraken powers.
  • Super-Toughness: In order to survive the scorching heat of the geysers, Ruby learns from Grandmamah that giant krakens in her lineage have the ability to manifest "body armor" on their skin which protects them from harm.
  • Take That!: Chelsea's design looks similar to Ariel. She's also, according to the trailer, a narcissistic and cruel villain. It should be noted this movie's coming out a month after The Little Mermaid (2023).
  • Tentacle Hair: This is a trait of Ruby and other krakens’ character designs. It becomes more obvious when they are underwater and in their true kraken forms.
  • There Are No Therapists: Subverted. Grandmamah assures her granddaughter that she regularly sees a therapist (a wise hammerhead shark) who's been helping her with her anger management.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The film's narrative depicts Chelsea as a twist villain, going from a new friend of Ruby to her Arch-Enemy at the film's climax where she reveals her true colors. However, the marketing team spoiled the big twist by outright saying that mermaids are evil and Chelsea is the Big Bad at the climax, and the first trailer heavily emphasized krakens and mermaids being enemies and portrayed Chelsea as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, leaving little to no surprises for moviegoers. Post-release, the twist is still spoiled by the movie's own descriptions for physical and digital release.
  • Training Montage: Ruby goes through this as Grandmamah trains her in how to incorporate each of her kraken powers.
  • True Companions: Ruby has her squad of high school friends who go out of their way to stick together and support one another ala "squad solidarity". Though it's deconstructed as her friends have had to miss out on various fun events out of respect for Ruby who's unable to attend because of her mom's no-ocean policy.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: According to Grandmamah, and reiterated by Ruby, people love mermaids despite being secretly cruel and selfish beings. In the trailer, this is Answer Cut demonstrating a large crowd adoring Chelsea, but not in the film proper.
    Ruby: But people love mermaids.
    Grandmamah: Of course, they do. People are stupid.
  • Villainous Rescue: Chelsea saves Ruby after she's caught in one of Captain Lighthouse's snare traps. She even mentions that she "owed her" after Stealing the Credit earlier.
  • Wake Up, Go to School & Save the World: What Ruby decides to do at the end: she'll continue her life on dry land, but will act as a protector of the oceans whenever she's needed.
  • We Need a Distraction: Noticing that his daughter is about to go big during his wife's open house party, Arthur stages a performance between his brother-in-law and son to distract the guests.
  • Wham Line: Upon discovering Ruby's friendship with Chelsea, Agatha confronts her estranged mother, bringing up the fact that Ruby's befriended a mermaid. But then Grandmamah drops a bombshell that pieces together Chelsea's true identity, and the two realize too late just how much danger Ruby is truly in.
    Agatha: [Ruby]'s just a kid. A sweet, naive kid, and now she's in trouble. She made friends with a mermaid!
    Grandmamah: What?!
    Agatha: Yes. The daughter of the Mermaid Queen!
    Grandmamah: "Daughter"? Nerissa never had a daughter!
    Agatha: (gasps in horrified realization) Ruby…!
  • Wild Card Excuse: The Gillmans claim to be from Canada to explain their weirdness.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: Despite a reoccurring trait of Ruby is her being a mathlete her describing combining the kraken's lasers together isn't exponential growth, it'd actually be linear.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken


Destroying the Trident

While the might of ''one'' Kraken isn't enough to destroy the trident, but the might of three krakens can.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / CombinedEnergyAttack

Media sources: