Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken: Marketing Mishap in Waterlogged Satire

With Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, the studio marketing it as a children’s film doesn’t hold much water.

Marketing can be the best and worst friend of any film. While Twitter is falling apart and TikTok is still the wild west of ‘How to Market Something Without Losing Yourself,’ Kirk DeMicco’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken couldn’t seem to find its feet (or tentacles) to really stick out from the crowd. 

It’s a coming-of-age film with a fish-out-of-water storyline. The young Ruby (voiced by Lana Condor) wants to go to prom. The only obstacle that is stopping her is identity. She is a Kraken who disguises herself from the humans and hides from the sea. 

Unfortunately, the story isn’t strong enough compared to the other DreamWorks Animation films. Those films have accomplished a good story and left a bigger impression on the audience. I know that the studio can make stories with an emotional impact catered to kids. One movie that comes to my mind is Puss in Boots: The Last Wish.

In the previous decades, Dreamworks Animation Studio’s Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon have received critical acclaim and accolades for their incredible storytelling. These movies have a great sense of humour with fantastical elements. It also showcases strong relationships with its characters and provides heartwarming stories that connect with the audience.

Image courtesy of DreamWorks Animation.

With Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, the studio marketing it as a children’s film doesn’t hold much water. The studio left parts of the story on the cutting room floor to sell it to a specific audience. Instead of marketing it as an adventure flick, it is shown as a children’s movie. The studio which brought incredible stories brings a nice, simple kids movie that doesn’t meet the viewer’s expectations. In the end, there aren’t even any epic battles between Mermaid and Krakens! 

If you have seen Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken‘s trailer, unfortunately, that means you’ve already seen the entire movie. I’ve noticed that this happens a lot with a lot of new IPs, especially with new animation IPs. Maybe the big wigs at the top worry they won’t be able to get butts in the seats to see their films. However, if you put shots of the final act in your first trailer, no one will see the movie because we know how it will end. 

If you have a young kid or you are a big fan of DreamWorks Animation, see Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken on a hot summer day. But I would suggest waiting until this is on a streaming platform and seeing it from your own couch or bed.

Read Linnea’s review of Unicorn Wars.

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