TRON: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition

Release Date: January 15, 2002
Run Time: approximately 96 minutes
Ten-second Rundown: Hacker Kevin Flynn gets sucked into an evil mainframe, forced to play video games for his very life.
Version: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition
Disc: Dual-layered

  • Audio Commentary with the director, producer, and special effects animators
  • Documentary: The Making of Tron
  • Deleted Scenes with all-new introductions
  • Production Photo Gallery
  • 3-D animated menus
  • Storyboards, including storyboard-to-film comparison
  • Production Designs
  • Production History
  • Publicity Materials
  • …and more…
  • Tech Specs: Anamorphic Widescreen (Aspect Ratio 2.20:1), English Dolby Digital 5.1, Spanish and English subtitles, THX Certified.

    Choice Scene: Maybe it's hokey, but watching Tron battle on the grid is still cool.

    Journey back to the days before the Macintosh and Windows, when the idea that you could one day carry a computer in your hand would have gotten you laughed out of the room. When the internet had not yet been invented by Gore, when computer animation looked like a laser show at best, and when all the little programs you could run on your massive computers were forced to do battle in primitive videogames for your amusement.

    Always, ALWAYS wear a helmet when light-cycling.
    You don't remember that?

    Disney does. And well they should, since they released the groundbreaking Tron in 1982. A lot of it may look quaint 20 years later, but as this lavish Collector's Edition proves, Tron has value for both its pioneering impact and its cheesy fun.

    Made at a time when Disney couldn't exactly attract the A-list of Hollywood, the movie features Bruce Boxleitner as both the title character and his "user," Alan. But the real star is Jeff Bridges as hacker/game designer Kevin Flynn, whose games were stolen by the film's bad guy Dillinger (David Warner). Dillinger took the credit and became the president of Encom while Flynn was fired and forced to open an arcade featuring the games he had designed.

    When Flynn sneaks back into Encom with the help of Alan and Lora (Cyndi Morgan), the Master Control Program that runs the company digitizes him (before most of us knew what that would really mean) and sucks him into the mainframe. There he fights alongside the warrior program Tron to liberate his computer world from the MCP that seeks to keep users and their programs from communicating.

    Clearly, a lot has changed since then. We now know that instead of MCP the threat comes from Windows XP, but still Tron has a lot to say about computer culture. It just doesn't say it very well, but it is flashy and exciting and simply cool.

    As they tend to do well when they want to, Disney has pulled out all the stops on this release, giving us a new crisp video and sound transfer (they had released a single disc a couple of years ago).

    I was a respected Shakespearean actor once.
    The included commentary rises above the usual "gee whiz, wasn't this fun?" that usually comes when a staff gets together after twenty years. While none of it is outright seditious, somebody at Disney DVD felt it necessary to include a disclaimer upfront, separating the commentary from corporate policy. Producer Donald Kushner is refreshingly honest, but not mean. Clearly, Disney took a chance on these guys years ago, but the gratitude is kept in its place.

    It also helps to hear writer/director Steven Lisberger talk about how the culture influenced him. The deeper ideas behind the movie are great; they just don't translate well into the story. It's much better to hear the explanation than to concentrate on the weird quasi-religion the programs all have in the movie. Instead, what carries Tron (without commentary) is flashy style and some cheerfully hammy heroes and villains.

    (Note to Harrison Ellenshaw: Lisberger was right to cut the love scenes between Tron and Yori. They may be designed well, but they're silly.)

    The included documentary complements the commentary well, and, like the Atlantis disc, the included production materials are exhaustive and a little exhausting. However, they are easy to navigate, so if you get tired of examining an aspect of production, it's relatively painless to return to the main menu.

    In the main menu alone comes the proof of how amazingly far effects have come since 1982. The classic publicity sequence of Tron coming together and then raising his disc provides the main image. But for a second, it's not obvious that now it is completely computer animated. (And more animated than Boxleitner is in the movie.)

    As a package, this might not be a "must-have." But every good fanboy should have a copy of this movie on their shelf to pop on the player now and then, and until the accursed blue laser takes over, this will be the best one you can own.

    Derek McCaw


    Copyrights and trademarks for existing entertainment (film, TV, comics, wrestling) properties are held by their respective owners and are used with permission or for promotional purposes of said properties. All other content ™ and © 2001 by FanboyPlanet. If you want to quote us, let us know. We're media whores.
    Movies Comics Wrestling OnTV Guest Forums About Us Mystery Sites

    Click Here!