Watch the first trailer for DreamWorks' monster-inspired coming-of-age feature "Ruby Gilman, Teenage Kraken" (June 30)

DreamWorks has released the trailer for its upcoming animated feature "Ruby Gilman: Teenage Kraken," due out June 30.

After last year's box office and critical success with "Bad Guys" and "Puss in Boots": expectations for the studio's next film are high; with these two films, released in 2022, DreamWorks has shown that it is not afraid to take risks in its theatrical feature film aesthetic.

The visual language of "Teenage Kraken" is curvaceous, with a fluidity of action that reflects its oceanic setting. Characters glow with deep-sea bioluminescence, and the tremendous scale of the action scenes in the trailer make the film look both like a coming-of-age high school comedy and a king-sized monster action movie.

The film's director Kirk DeMicco told Cartoon Brew about the studio's continued aesthetic innovation with Ruby Gilman:

When I joined, production designer Pierre Olivier Vincent had already I was lucky because Pierre-Olivier Vincent, the production designer, had already designed the world of the film. He was inspired by the curves of an octopus, and you can see those shapes throughout the film. Tables, couches, cars, characters, buildings, and the kingdom of Kraken, all designed in a similar style, albeit on a larger scale. What the trailer gives us a taste of is the color and bioluminescence of the characters as well as the world. You may have never seen a film with so many effects on the characters themselves. And I'm still adding more as I complete the film. Ruby has characters with super-mythical powers. By the time we finished the boarding and layout and saw the shots, we sometimes thought, "We need to make it bigger." Scale was really important in this film. Traditionally, the Kraken is the destroyer, the one who wipes the slate clean:

Working on something completely new was one of the most exciting challenges for us. There was no limit to what we could do. It all started with the Gilman family and the character Ruby. Pierre was committed to the fact that our characters are sea monsters, and the world he and visual effects supervisor Dave Walvoord created reflects that.

Demicco is a regular at DreamWorks, where he directed The Croods. This time he is joined by first-time co-director Farin Pearl (Story Artist's The Croods: New Age, Trolls World Tour).

Pearl is the latest DreamWorks graduate to rise through the ranks and take a leadership role in the production. Cooney-Silella spoke of how important it is for studios to keep their doors open to artists looking to move up in the ranks: "[I]t's one of the things DreamWorks does best, and as someone who joined DreamWorks 20 years ago and was able to move forward with the help of a mentor and a guide, I would say yes. As someone who was able to do that, I would say that. I worked with Fallin on "Trolls: The World Tour" and saw her sensibility up close. I knew immediately that she would be able to relate to this character, and she did. Fallin started as the storyteller and was a major influence on the characters of Ruby and her high school friends, their quirks and sense of humor. Kirk's involvement in the film allowed him to promote Farin to co-director, where she excelled. It was wonderful that Farin had the opportunity to be mentored by someone like Kirk, and conversely, that Kirk used Farin to bounce ideas around and seek a different perspective from her own.

For Demicco, Pearl was a boon. She has great taste and is a great board artist. I always like to work with partners. I get the best work when I have someone to work with. Inside this huge monster fantasy world is Ruby's beautiful and intimate story. She has a huge responsibility to keep secrets, but she faces the same problems as high school girls everywhere. It really helped to have someone who could focus on the emotional wavelength of the film. Plus, Farin was just so funny, which was key to telling this story.

While DreamWorks films have a long tradition of strong female characters playing important roles, Ruby Gilman is the first female character to appear in a DreamWorks animated feature. In fact, most of the film's major characters are women. Behind the scenes, the studio wanted to assemble a team that reflected this demographic. Connie Cirera explains:

It was important to have a large number of women in leadership roles. Our editor-in-chief is Michelle Mendenhall, and she has done a fantastic job. She has a long history at DreamWorks as an associate editor and took on the lead role in this film. Composer Stephanie Economou, fresh off a Grammy for her work on "Assassin's Creed" ("Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarok"), brought a youthful, fresh and contemporary feel to the film. The film also features female artists. We have put together a great team.