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Sarah El-Mahmoud

The Life Lesson Shrek Taught Lana Condor Years Before She Voiced Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken

Shrek and Ruby Gillman

All The BoysLana Condor has become the latest Dreamworks lead with one of this weekend’s upcoming movies, Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken. The animated film comes just ahead of it being 25 years since the first movie from the studio, 1998’s Antz was released. In spirit of that, CinemaBlend spoke to Condor about her early memories with Dreamworks and how 2001’s milestone movie for the studio, Shrek, really influenced her growing up.  

Lana Condor just turned 26 last month, so the actress herself is just about as old as the animation studio’s filmography. That also means she was basically raised on Dreamworks movies. As the actress shared during our interview: 

I think with Shrek, I remember watching it and being like, I thought the fact that like Fiona, she is this princess, but then she chooses to be her truest self, which is like with Shrek and like to be in her Shrek form, like ogre form. I loved that. Like, I remember being as a kid being like, yeah, I should just be myself. But, I didn't know it was 25 years. Wow. Happy Birthday, Dreamworks.

I’m around the same age as Condor, and I can remember how big of a deal Shrek was when it first came out. The movie really turned fairytales on its head and brought a completely new perspective to the whole thing, especially with the character of Fiona, voiced by Cameron Diaz. The princess decides to be an ogre rather than break the spell and become human and be with Shrek. As Condor shared, while hilariously imitating herself as a child (in the video above), as a young kid the movie really inspired her to be herself in her early years. 

Now she gets to be that inspiration herself.

(Image credit: Dreamworks)
Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken
(Image credit: Dreamworks)

Release Date: June 30, 2023
Directed By: Kirk DeMicco
Written By: Pam Brady, Brian C. Brown, Elliott DiGuise
Starring: Lana Condor, Toni Collette, Annie Murphy, Sam Richardson, Nicole Byer, Colman Domingo, Will Forte, Liza Koshy, and Jane Fonda
Rating: PG for some action, rude humor and thematic elements
Runtime: 91 minutes

With Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken, Lana Condor is the voice of Dreamworks’ first titular heroine. The character is an awkward teen just trying to fit in at school, and perhaps even go to prom with her crush despite her mother’s crazy rules when she learns she has the power to become a massive kraken. Not only that, she’s also a princess kraken who is in line to lead the seven seas! 

As the movie progresses, Ruby meets her powerful Grandmama, voiced by Jane Fonda, and meets a shady mermaid, voiced by Annie Murphy, both of which really challenge her place in the world and her rocky relationship with her mother, voiced by Toni Collette.

How meaningful must it be to progress from being influenced by Dreamworks to being a part of that narrative.

Meanwhile, in the over two decades that Shrek has been out, the movie has really become the face of Dreamworks and what is possible for an IP with the animation studio. There are four Shrek movies thus far and a fifth Shrek is reportedly in the works with the studio as well. 

Ahead of the latest Dreamworks picture hitting theaters this Friday, you can check out our Ruby Gillman, Teenage Kraken review and look forward to more exclusive coverage from the cast and director. 

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