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Ryan (2004)

TV-PG  |   |  Documentary, Animation, Short  |  14 March 2005 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 2,169 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 12 critic

The movie talks about the life of Ryan Larkin, a gifted Canadian animator of the late '60s and the early '70s.

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Won 1 Oscar. Another 26 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ryan Larkin ...
Himself - Interview Voice (voice)
...
Himself - Interview Voice (voice)
Felicity Fanjoy ...
Herself - Interview Voice (voice)
Derek Lamb ...
Himself - Interview Voice (voice)
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Storyline

Chris Landreth introduces himself to us in a funky restroom and then introduces the film's subject, Ryan Larkin, a brilliant animator in the 1960s and early 1970s. Chris shows us clips of "Walking" and "Street Musique," Ryan's ground-breaking shorts. We now see Ryan as he is: emaciated, alcoholic, much of his mind gone; we meet Felicity Fanjoy, his love during his creative period, and Derek Lamb, his producer. Ryan talks to Chris in the dining hall of what is probably a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Chris tries an intervention. We follow Ryan out into the street where he panhandles. The animation, which uses live footage, reveals the ravaged burned-out graceful man. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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TV-PG | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

14 March 2005 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?

Quotes

[first lines]
Chris: Hi, my name is Chris and I'm here to explain some things.
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Crazy Credits

For Barbara Landreth See more »

Connections

References It's Tough to Be a Bird (1969) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Best animated short
3 August 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

This is not your typical animated short. It's not something you'd normally see before a full length feature at the cinema. It's more complex, and deep as it is fun and entertaining. There are, however elements of that too.

"Ryan" is a story about Ryan Larkin, an innovative, talented and gifted Canadian artist from the late 60s and early 70s. Director Chris Landreth plays himself, only a much more animated version. His body is breaking apart, his memories are haunting him and he's much more interested in the late artist instead of his own life. He introduces us to Ryan, voiced by Ryan Larkin himself, and tells us that he's on the verge of breaking down (literally). The story then starts playing out very visually as Ryan starts explaining the troubles of being an artist and how many are not respected and poor.

The visual style of this is enchanting. It goes through 3D animation, to pencil drawing, to painting, to sketches. Really unique in the sense that it stimulates your eye and allows you to see much more in the screen than most animated features do in a full scene. There are relative clues as to the depth of the main character, and how he's nostalgic of the past, and stricken by the disease of poverty ('Spare change? Thank you, sir, you're very kind.').

Chris starts out by telling us that he's about to explain some things to us. We expect him to tell us a story of Ryan, which has a regular narrative structure in which there's a beginning, a climax and the end. However, he tells us this story in a series of flashbacks, interviews, and visuals. That's where the interesting part really kicks in. Friends of Ryan are brought in through different forms of animation, and they explain to us just how Ryan's life has been.

Every little detail of this movie is flawless. We see a closeup of Ryan and his jaw-dropping realistic face, we see that when he smokes and freezes the camera circles him, exposing every millimeter of perfection, from the smoke to the back of his deformed head. Each shot is so well animated, and yet so deep that it's no wonder it won at the Oscars (ironically since Ryan Larkin was at the Oscars in 1969 and lost only to become unsuccessful and poor). "Ryan" shows us that you can make an animated short that isn't targeted at kids, and have it both entertaining and thought-provoking.


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