Born 1943 in Montréal.

He studied at Montréal’s École du Musée des beaux-arts to be a painter but switched to film after taking an animation workshop with Norman McLaren who became his mentor, and oversaw his first two films Syrinx (1965) and Cityscape (1966).

He joined the National Film Board, in 1964 and won Canadian Film Special Awards for Syrinx in 1966, and Walking in 1968, but his career was destroyed by alcoholism and drug addiction. He left the N.F.B. in 1970.

He was the subject of an animated film Ryan (2004) by Chris Landreth which won a Genie Award and an Oscar in 2004. After release of the film Ryan experienced a revival in his career but died in 2007.


Article book:

Take One’s Essential Guide to Canadian Film. Ed., Wyndham Wise. University of Toronto Press 2001: “Larkin Ryan.” 123.

a handbook of Canadian film. Writ., Eleanor Beattie. Peter Martin Associates Ltd/Take  One, 1973: “Ryan Larkin.” 174.