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Ruby Gloom

TV review by
Joyce Slaton, Common Sense Media
Ruby Gloom TV Poster Image
Sweet friendship and cooperation in a gothic setting.
Parents recommend

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 4+
Based on 5 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

Ruby and her friends have adventures together that stress the virtues of cooperation and kindness. Plotlines and side-jokes often involve historical events such as the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 and the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.

Positive Messages

The characters on Ruby Gloom love each other and accept their differences. They're always ready to help a friend in need.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ruby is unfailingly polite and kind to those around her, be they human, animal, or something else (ghosts, stuffed socks come to life). Though characters on the show sometimes make mistakes, they learn from them by the end of each episode.

Violence & Scariness

Characters bonk into each other and their heads make a coconut sound, pets get stuck in tight places. There are many gothic touches such as ghosts and dark shadows that may scare very young viewers.

Sexy Stuff

It is sometimes suggested that Ruby and Skull Boy like each other as more than friends, but they never date or kiss.


The entire series began as an apparel/accessories line, though it's no longer easily available.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ruby Gloom is a charming animated series that many have likened to Strawberry Shortcake gone goth. Ruby Gloom has the same sort of can-do hey-kids-let's-put-on-a-show energy, with a group of close-knot friends who can accomplish anything if they just stick together. The setting of Ruby Gloom is a crumbling gothic mansion with ghosts and monsters, dark shadows and looming trees; this may intimidate the youngest of viewers. But kids even a year or two older will appreciate the sweetness of Ruby and her pals. Unlike many animated female characters, Ruby also appears childlike (instead of like a sexualized mini-adult), and wears age-appropriate clothing. Parents may not like, however, that Ruby and her friends appear to live alone, with no adults in sight.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2 year old Written byGloriasMama May 26, 2013

Very cool show!

My daughter watched this when she was about 18mths (thanks to Netflix). She (before seeing this show) would not show interest in any show other than Yo Gabba Ga... Continue reading
Parent of a 5 and 6 year old Written bybuehler December 19, 2012

Not educational or particularly well written

From the several episodes I watched with my daughter, I will say that Ruby Gloomy is harmless. My daughter (6) seems to like it, but I can't see why. Her... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byvivicool995 August 8, 2013

Sweet, Cute, Unusual, and Wonderful

I discovered this show when my niece and nephew were watching it on Netflix, and I fell in love with it entirely. It's actually really sad that the product... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old May 14, 2014


I really love this show, despite it's obvious childish air. I have been watching most of the series on Netflix and I think that it is a fabulous idea that... Continue reading

What's the story?

Ruby Gloom had un-promising beginning as an apparel line popular in mall-punk stores like Hot Topic. But thanks to lovely animation and thoughtful, intelligent scripting, the animated series is one of the most charming out there, starring \"the happiest girl in the world,\" the titular Ruby Gloom (Sarah Gadon), a 10-year-old who lives in a curlicued gothic mansion with her cat, Doom Kitty. Ruby has a pack of unusual friends, such as Skull Boy (Scott McCord), a living skeleton, cyclops Iris (Stacey DePass), accident-prone Misery (Emily Hampshire), and other assorted oddballs. They get into scrapes and have gentle adventures, always solving problems together and helping their friends.

Is it any good?

A nice mix of sweet-and-sour, Ruby Gloom's dark gothic setting underscores all the cooperation and kindness. Adults will enjoy jokes that kids may miss, such as when it's revealed that Ruby eats Glum Flakes cereal for breakfast. And all but the most sensitive kids will be too enraptured by fantastic elements like talking pictures and a school for ghosts to be unnerved by dark elements like Misery's constant talk of disasters and death.

Adults who catch an episode here and there won't be surprised to learn that Ruby Gloom was produced in Canada: there's a gentle, slow vibe at work here that's different from many American animated series. Many of the main writers are female as well, and the friendships between the show's female characters Misery, Ruby, and Iris are particularly well-written and realistic, with characters occasionally griping at each other but always coming through in a pinch.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether Ruby's house and friends are meant to be funny, scary, or both at the same time. What is scary about characters like Skull Boy and Misery? What makes the scariness funny at the same time?

  • The main character of Ruby Gloom is Ruby herself, a girl. Can you think of other animated series with a girl as the main character? How is Ruby Gloom like or different from these series?

  • Ruby Gloom has a lot of situations that can't happen in real life, such as when ghost-boy Boo Boo has to learn how to scare people or he can't pass through walls. Why do cartoons so frequently illustrate fantasy scenarios like this? How does animation lend itself to fantastic plots?

TV details

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Our editors recommend

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