Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a strong visual presentation.
Sharpness satisfied. Nary a sliver of softness crept into the image, and that meant a tight, concise picture.
No issues with jagged edges or moiré effects materialized, and I saw no edge haloes. Source flaws failed to become an issue.
Parts of Teenage learned blue/green, but the film included plenty of brighter hues as well, so expect pinks, purples, reds, yellows and other vivid tones. The Blu-ray replicated these in fine fashion.
Blacks became deep and dense, while low-light shots felt smooth and clear. The movie offered a terrific image.
I also felt pleased with the exciting DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Teenage, as it kicked into higher gear a lot of the time. Of course, the aspects of Ruby’s high school life didn’t manifest much in terms of involvement.
However, the kraken parts allowed the soundfield to sizzle. The movie upped the action as it went and created a lot of scenes with plenty of impact from all the channels in this well-blended mix.
Audio quality worked well, with speech that felt natural and distinctive. Music showed nice range and punch as well.
Effects delivered a good punch, with clean highs and deep lows. The soundtrack became an active and vivid part of the experience.
When we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Kirk DeMicco, co-director Faryn Pearl, producer Kelly Cooney Cilella, head of character animation Carlos Fernandez Puertolas and head of cinematography/layout Jon Gutman. All sit together for a running, screen-specific look at story and characters, cast and performances, design and animation, music, editing, and connected areas.
Historically, commentaries for DreamWorks animation films have been spotty, and that remains true here. While we get more than enough insights to make the track worth a listen, we also find too much happy talk for this to be a genuinely good discussion.
Including intros from Pearl, three Deleted Scenes take up a total of 10 minutes, four seconds. We get “Prologue” (2:43), “Walk to School” (3:03) and “Crab ‘n Skate” (4:18).
Obviously “Prologue” brings an alternate opening. It sets up the movie’s themes and foreshadows later events but seems less than engaging.
“School” gives Ruby the ability to talk to aquatic critters, a feature that doesn’t appear in the final film. It seems mildly amusing but also slightly horrific to see a bunch of creatures desperate to survive.
Finally, “Skate” makes Ruby more of a “mean girl”. It feels too out of character and was a good cut.
Pearl gives us basics about the scenes and lets us know why they didn’t make the movie. She adds useful info.
Many featurettes follow, and Squad Solidarity spans three minutes, two seconds and shows the actors in the recording studio. It becomes a fun glimpse behind the scenes.
Myth or Monster goes for three minutes, 32 seconds and provides info from actors Lana Condor and Annie Murphy.
They provide a lesson on the history of krakens. We get a short but useful summary.
Next comes Meet the Cast. This nine-minute, three-second reel involves Condor, Murphy, and actors Toni Collette, Jane Fonda, Colman Domingo, Sam Richardson, Jaboukie Young-White, Liza Koshy, Eduardo Franco, Ramona Young, and Will Forte.
They offer basics about their characters and performances. Other than a little more enjoyable recording studio shots, this turns into a forgettable reel.
The Kraken Krew occupies nine minutes, 58 seconds. It offers statements from Pearl, DeMicco, Condor, Fonda, Murphy, Richardson, Collette, Cilella, Gutman, Puertolas, head of story Glenn Harmon, production designer Pierre-Olivier Vincent, character look development supervisor Megan Lea Walker, location modeling supervisor Emilie Austin, VFX supervisor Dave Walvoord, editor Michelle Mendenhall and co-producer Rachel Zusser.
“Krew” examines story issues, character and environment design, cinematography, animation and music. This turns into a fairly good overview.
After this we find Prom Stories, a four-minute, 37-second clip with material from Condor, Murphy, Fonda, Franco, Pearl, and Harmon.
As expected, the participants tell us of their prom experiences. It gives us a fun collection of memories.
And for what it’s worth, when I was in high school, “promposals” didn’t exist – we just asked! For which I’m thankful – I was nervous enough about asking out girls back then without the pressure to Put On a Show.
Super Sea Girl Besties fills five minutes, five seconds. It comes with notes from Pearl, Murphy, Collette, Cilella, Mendenhall, Condor, Zusser, Austin, Walker, and head of lighting Joanna Wu.
“Besties” discusses the female-centered crew of the film. It leans fluffy.
Tutorials follow. We find Oceanside Drawing Guide (five sections, 14:28 total) and Make Your Own Aquarium (two sections, 10:36 total).
The “Guide” features Harmon as he teaches us how to drive five different characters. We get a fun exploration, as even for those of us who don’t play to sketch anything, we learn about visual choices.
“Aquarium” features an unnamed narrator who instructs us on some arts/crafts experiences. Kids may enjoy these activities.
A second disc provides a DVD copy of Teenage. It includes all the same extras as the Blu-ray.
A box office flop, I cannot claim Ruby Gillman Teenage Kraken offers an ignored cinematic classic. Nonetheless, it gives us a fairly charming and entertaining effort that deserved a better fate. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with a good array of bonus materials. This turns into a likable – if derivative – animated effort.