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Mermaids are actually the bad guys in first trailer for Dreamworks' ‘Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken’

Apparently, those high school years can be even tougher if you're a kraken. 

By Gina Salamone
(from left) Ruby Gillman and Grandmamah in DreamWorks Animation’s Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Apparently, those high school years can be even tougher if you're a kraken. While prior fantasy films — we're looking at you, Clash of the Titans and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest — portrayed krakens as massive, murderous sea monsters, an upcoming animated flick is taking a different approach. Enter Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken, a coming-of-age flick from Universal Pictures due out this summer.

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The DreamWorks Animation comedy paints the title character, played by Lana Condor, as a shy teen who's outshined by a mermaid until she learns she's a descendent of kraken queens and is heir to the throne her grandmother, the Warrior Queen of the Seven Seas (Jane Fonda), will leave vacant. "I'm just Ruby Gillman, normal teenager," our hero says in the newly released trailer, before embracing her destiny. "I just want to live my life."

Watch the trailer for Ruby Gillman: Teenage Kraken

“Ruby is wildly earnest and has a big heart,” Condor, who played Jubilee in X-Men: Apocalypse, says of her kraken character. “She’s genuinely optimistic and steadfast. She’s determined to follow her dreams despite the obstacles she faces living as a kraken in a human community. I love her fearlessness and sense of adventure, but most of all, I love her unwavering loyalty to her family and friends.

"Over the course of the film, we see Ruby go on an amazing journey from being shy and insecure about her unique powers as a kraken to fully embracing them and using them to protect the people that she loves," Condor added in a statement. "I had so much fun bringing her to life and I’m excited for audiences to see her vibrant, powerful story unfold on the big screen.”

Ruby, a 16-year old student at Oceanside High who's struggling to fit in, has a crush on a skater-boy who she's tutoring, played by Jaboukie Young-White, who also voiced a character in last year's Strange World. One of the reasons Ruby has trouble making friends is that her mom (Toni Collette) won't let her chill at the beach with the other kids. But once Ruby disobeys her mom and goes into the water, she discovers what she's meant to be. 

And if you're accustomed to Disney's version of mermaids, get ready for a whole new world. In Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, mermaids are portrayed as selfish, vain, power-hungry and dangerous creatures, while kraken are protectors of the oceans. That'll cause some problems for Ruby, since her popular classmate Chelsea (Annie Murphy) is a mermaid.

Also starring in the film are Colman Domingo (Fear the Walking Dead) as Ruby’s dad, Sam Richardson (Veep) as her uncle and Blue Chapman (Council of Dads) as her little brother.

Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken swims into theaters on June 30.

Want more from DreamWorks Animation? Antz, The Prince of Egypt, Chicken Run, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek Forever After, Shark Tale, Madagascar, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, and more are now streaming on Peacock.