A gentleman panhandler. One of the pioneers of Canadian animation. Oscar nominee. Poor beggar. An artist unable to create. God observing the world. Fallen angel. Arrogant. Shy. Broken. Not destroyed.
Ryan, directed by Chris Landreth, is an animated tribute to Canadian animator Ryan Larkin. Thirty years ago, at the National Film Board of Canada, Ryan produced some of the most influential animated films of his time.
In Ryan we hear the voice of Ryan Larkin and people who have known him, but these voices speak through strange, twisted, broken and disembodied 3D generated characters… people whose appearances are bizarre, humorous or disturbing. Although incredibly realistic and detailed, Ryan was created and animated without the use of live action footage, rotoscoping or motion capture…but instead from an original, personal, hand animated three-dimensional world which Chris calls ‘psychological realism’.
A world encapsulated in the words of Anais Nin:
We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. —National Film Board of Canada
Animation is a second career for Chris Landreth. He was an engineer for several years after receiving his M.Sc. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from the University of Illinois, where he worked for three years in experimental research in fluid mechanics before making the leap to computer animation.
In 1994, he joined the animation software company Alias, where he tested software in-house before it was released to the public. His first animated short The End (1995), in which Landreth discovers he’s the character in his own work while trying to think of a decent ending for it, was widely heralded on the festival circuit and garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Animated Short Film. His follow-up Bingo (1998) also received numerous international awards and a Genie for Best Animated Short.
Landreth’s most recent film, Ryan (2004), is also his most acclaimed. A poignant and at times revelatory study of artists, addiction and the creative process, it is both animation… read more
4 honorable stars! and I'd give 5 stars for the bonus documentary about Ryan and how they made the animation.