Review: Disney's TRON: Legacy is a High Tech Adventure
Initially released in 1982 (at the cusp of the IMB PC introduction, and way before wireless technology and the Internet), the original TRON was Walt Disney Studio’s pioneer high-tech movie. Now considered a cult classic, TRON was cutting-edge, taking computer graphics to an entirely new level. The film included virtual sets and live action sequences blended with hand drawn animation –- a major motion-picture studio first.
In TRON, the simple plot centers on the main character, Kevin Flynn, (played by Jeff Bridges) as he creates the internal world of his gaming grid and has to discover and create the rules of the game in real time. Kevin creates Clu, a master program in his likeness, to govern the growth of the digital kingdom. But Clu soon develops a mind of his own and begins to plot against Kevin and make him a prisoner in his own virtual world.
TRON, written and directed by Steven Lisberger, was initially intended to be an animated film. Along the way, Lisberger visualized an entirely bold concept, to include live-action elements with computer animation. A number of studios rejected the prospect of such a film since it had never been tested before. Disney, known for its superb animation, took on the film and helped establish a new high-tech movie industry. It would not be far-fetched to say TRON was instrumental in the way all CG movies are made today.
Fast forward 28 years later to the highly anticipated sequel, TRON: Legacy. Today’s advances in computer technology take this sequel to an entirely new level and have created a feast for the eyes just in time for the holidays.
In TRON: Legacy, gone are the warehouse sets and handmade props and in their place is an actual virtual computer world which uses 3D very effectively. I know this because I have a sensitive stomach and felt close to tossing my popcorn as the stunning visuals take you across a spectacular cityscape where you fly like Harry Potter across the landscape. The sound effects are ever so subtle, heightening the viewer’s experience as you hear the wind rushing by your side as you glide over the cityscape.
At the heart of the movie is a Disney fairy tale meshed with an updated Wizard of Oz plot. Like last summer’s Avatar (another visually stunning and ground-breaking movie) both have simple, moral themes about good versus evil, about the frailty of human relationships, the genocide of a race if good does not prevail, and finding one’s way back home.Continued on the next page