Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken Movie: What Parents Need to Know

If you’re thinking of taking your kids to see Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken, and looking for a spoiler-free parent review, don’t worry, I’ve got you. And details to help you decide if Teenage Kraken is scary for kids you might want to bring. This post might contain some commissioned links. 

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken movie poster. A blue background with a looming sea monster kraken behind other characters from the movie including Ruby
ⓒ2023 DreamWorks Animation

Another summer family movie is splashing into theaters, called Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken.  I didn’t know what to expect going into this film other than what I saw in the trailers. That and the fact that Straw Hat Goofy (JuJu Green) has a cameo in the movie, and I love that guy. The kids and I love DreamWorks Animation though so we were excited. In this movie we dove into the turbulent waters of high school and met Ruby Gillman (voiced by Lana Condor), a shy teen who discovers she is a sea kraken. The beginning of the movie definitely gave me a lot of Turning Red vibes with the whole coming of age story about a teenager with a funny group of friends, who discovers her mom’s been hiding a secret about her being a giant legendary animal. That’s pretty much where the stories diverge though as the villain in the previous story is seen as the mom and this one has a different kind of antagonist. 

Is Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken Ok for Kids?

(from left) Grandmamah (Jane Fonda) and Ruby Gillman (Lana Condor) in DreamWorks Animation’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, directed by Kirk DeMicco. Is Teenage Kraken scary for kids? This review should help you decide.
DreamWorks Animation

Parents need to know that Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken is an animated coming of age DreamWorks movie about a teenager trying to fit in at her school. Little does she know, she’s a giant sea kraken. The movie has some animated violence including people falling into the ocean and losing consciousness, harpoons fired at kraken, including one landing in someone’s head (he’s unharmed), and non-graphic slashes with a sea weapon. Language includes some insults such as “stupid” and  “dumb” and some almost swear words such as “son of an angler fish” and “mother flipping.” Teens discuss going to prom and asking people on dates. There’s also a small amount of teenage jokes and slang, which serves more as comedic relief. 

As far as sexual content goes, a married couple kiss, and a teen kisses another teen on the cheek. There is also some hugging, brief hand holding and dancing. There’s also a scene very similar to Turning Red where parents are discussing teen bodies going through changes, including metaphors about flowers and blossoming. 

This teenage kraken movie is rated PG for some action, rude humor and thematic elements.

No Spoiler Parent Review of Teenage Kraken Movie

I loved how far and wide the family cast of characters went in this movie. Not only did we have the dynamic between the mother, daughter, and grandmother (which we also saw in Turning Red), but we also got to see the dad, little brother, and funny uncle, who each have their own important roles in the story. I also love how Ruby is smart and how her knowledge comes into play several times in the movie. 

A read haired mermaid with a smile on her face, grabs a hold of a blue haired kraken with a surprised look on her face. Is Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken scary for kids? This review should help you decide.
DreamWorks Animation

There weren’t as many laughs as I’d hoped for, but definitely a few lines that we’ll be repeating awhile that I jotted down into our movie review book. The music was really catchy. It wasn’t a musical like Trolls, but the soundtrack definitely bops. The storyline often felt a bit predictable, and it didn’t move me as much as a similar story, but the positive messages of embracing who you are and making your own path are loud and clear.  Not only that, but my kids really enjoyed it, so that makes it a win for me. 

The runtime was just 91 minutes, which was the perfect length for my youngest’s short attention span.

Is Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken Scary for Kids?

You might be wondering if this new movie about a teenage kraken is scary for kids. After all the trailer talks about “evil mermaids,” sea krakens, and whatnot. So how bad is it? The violence and peril is about on par with the Trolls franchise, and much less frightening than the How to Train Your Dragon series. There is a scene where a large villain tries to attack characters and many people are in danger. Some sensitive kids not used to seeing movies in a theater on a large screen might find that a little scary, or loud, but it doesn’t last too long. Speaking of sensitivities there are some glowing and flashing light sequences that could be troublesome for photosensitive viewers. There aren’t any intentionally startling jump scares. My kids have more thoughts on how scary the movie was below. 

A large monster holding a trident aims it at a smaller sea creature looking scared in the ocean. Is Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken scary for kids? This review should help you decide.
DreamWorks Animation

Parents worried about Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken ruining their kids’ impression of mermaids need not worry. The timing of the release is a little ironic considering another summer blockbuster that is out right now, but if you ask me, it makes for a great discussion question after you see both movies. Comparing both movies and their portrayal of mermaids. More ideas of discussion questions after my kids’ review. 

But enough of what I thought, here’s what my kids have to say about this teenage kraken. 

‘Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken’ Kids Review

Jayda is my almost 13-year-old daughter. Ty is my 10-year-old son, and Lee Lee is my 4-year-old daughter. All love to watch, rate, and review movies with me in our movie tracker an here on my blog.

What did you think of Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken?

Jayda: I thought it was ok. I liked it because I thought it was cool under the sea, but I didn’t because I thought it was a lot like Turning Red, and I feel like I kind of predicted some of it. But it was a good movie, I thought it was funny. And I liked the soundtrack. 

Ty: I liked it! because the mermaids are bad and [spoiler redacted]

Lee Lee: Good! Because it was funny. 

What life lessons were in Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken? What message was the movie trying to get across?

Jayda: Be yourself and don’t hide who you are. 

Ty: Trust your family over a stranger. 

Lee Lee: Not trust friends that are mean. 

Who was your favorite character?

A sea kraken swims beside a large whale in the ocean

Jayda: Ruby

Ty: The whale. Or the son because he’s a dodgeball champ. Though I could beat him and just catch it. 

Lee Lee: The kraken. Ruby. 

What was the funniest part to you? 

Jayda: A lot of the funny parts were in the trailer. Like them saying humans like mermaids because humans are stupid. 

Ty: There weren’t a lot of funny parts but maybe when the mermaid was asking if her hair looked nice. 

Lee Lee: I liked all of the funny parts. When she said she was having a heart attack [panic attack]. And when the guy was eating a corndog and the birds were following him. 

What was your favorite part? 

A read haired girl walks with her arms open wide in front of a crowd of teens

Jayda: When Chelsea and Ruby were becoming friends. 

Ty: The ending.

Lee Lee: When they were swimming in the ocean with the music part. 

Who would you recommend this movie to? Friends or others? 

Jayda: Probably little kids. Older kids might like it too but I think it’s more for little kids. 

Ty: My little sister. [Lee Lee]

Lee Lee: Remy and Indi. [Her young neighbor friends]

Do you think it’s for older or younger kids? 

A blue teen girl, disguised as a human walks the halls of her high school. Is Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken scary for kids? This review should help you decide.

Jayda: What I just said. 

Ty: Probably older, PG-7, if they’re brave 7 year olds cause there’s the evil mermaid and stuff. 

Lee Lee: Big and little kids, cause I’m little. 

Do you think Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken is scary for kids?

Jayda: No. But I think the mermaid could scare some 4-year-olds

Ty: Not for me, but maybe for kids younger than 7, I think it’s for kids 7 and older. Mom: What about your 4-year-old sister? Ty: That’s cause I taught her to be brave, she’s seen Jaws

Lee Lee: No. Not even a little bit. 

A sea kraken family sits around a family table

Would you want to watch it again? 

Jayda: Probably not. 

Ty: Yes, I would. 

Lee Lee: Yea.

How would you rank it compared to other movies we’ve seen recently? 

Jayda: I would rank them Across the Spider Verse, The Little Mermaid, Elemental, then this. 

Ty: I like Transformers more than this, and Spider-Man too, but I can still like this. And Elemental was close. I like this more than The Little Mermaid. I liked The Flash more than this. 

Lee Lee: This more than Spider-Man, and Little Mermaid. I like this and I like Elemental too. I like both. [Elemental and this are tied]

A large sea kraken sits underwater beside a much smaller red haired mermaid Is Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken scary for kids? This review should help you decide.

How Would you Compare Teenage Kraken to other DreamWorks movies?

Jayda: I like Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon and Trolls more than this. It’s not that this is bad, I just like DreamWorks other movies more. 

Ty: I think I like How to Train Your Dragon more than this barely. And I like Bad Guys more than this. But Trolls, I think I this more than Trolls. I like this more than Shrek

Lee Lee: This or Trolls? This. This more than Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon

What about ‘Turning Red’?

Jayda: I liked this more than Turning Red

Ty: I think I like this more.

Lee Lee: I liked this more than Turning Red

A blue man covered in trees opens his arms for an embrace. Is teenage kraken movie scary for kids? No spoilers parent review

How many stars would you give it?

Jayda: 3 out of 5. 

Ty: 2.6 out of 5, but I still like it. Edit 6/28: He’s updated his rating to a 3.5/5 stars.

Lee Lee: 5!

Is it worth going to the movies to see?

Jayda: I don’t think so. 

Ty: Yes, it’s worth going to the movies to see!

Lee Lee: Umhmm. 

‘Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken’ Discussion Questions

(from left) Bright yellow Grandmamah (Jane Fonda) and purple Ruby Gillman (Lana Condor) in DreamWorks Animation’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, directed by Kirk DeMicco.

And I decided to add something new to my reviews to use to help kickoff conversations to talk to your kids about Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken. This is in case you want to go a little deeper than “what did you think?” Here are some suggestions you can use as teenage kraken discussion questions or to talk about life lessons in Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken.

  1. Discuss the portrayal of mermaids in this movie. How does it compare to other movies or stories featuring mermaids? Which representation do you prefer?
  2. What are some similarities and differences between ‘Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken’ and other coming of age kids movies such as Turning Red? Are there any common themes? 
  3. What is the role of Ruby’s over-protective mom in the story? How does it affect Ruby’s life? What did you think of the mom’s portrayal? Do you feel like there’s a similar dynamic in your home?
  4. How does the movie explore the theme of identity and self-acceptance? What are some positive messages shown in the movie? How can these be applied in real life?
  5. Think of how the movie showed characters being judged by their appearance in both good and bad ways. How does the movie highlight the importance of not judging others based solely on their outward appearances? 
  6. If you were to create an alternate ending for the movie, what would it be? How would it change the overall impact or message of the story? 

Is there an end credit scene in Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken?

No. Unfortunately there are no mid or end credit scenes after the movie. We waited around to be sure. My kids and I always like to wait and see if there’s “one last part.” 

Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken is diving into theaters June 30th. Once you see it please let us know what you thought and if you found Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken scary for kids.

Wondering how our review of Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken might compare to yours? Check out some of our other recent movie reviews.

If you like watching movies together as a family you’ll love our Family Movie Night Journal! Created by me and my oldest daughter Jayda. It’s bringing a family tradition of movie watching and rating to families around the world.

Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken is diving into theaters. Is the teenage kraken too dark or scary for kids? This movie review should help you decide which kids you bring. #TeenageKrakenMovie #DreamWorks #MovieReveiw #RubyGillman

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