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Blu-Ray : Must Own
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Release Date: April 5th, 2011 Movie Release Year: 1982

Tron - 2D / Tron Legacy - 3D

Overview -

Contains both 'Tron' and 'Tron Legacy - 3D.'

Must Own
Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Technical Specs:
Blu-ray 3D/2 Blu-rays/DVD/Digital Copy
Video Resolution/Codec:
1080p/ MGEG-4
Aspect Ratio(s):
2.40:1 and 1.78:1(IMAX) (Tron: Legacy)
Audio Formats:
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (Tron: Legacy)
English SDH, French, Spanish
Special Features:
Release Date:
April 5th, 2011

Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take


Tron: The Original Classic

When you think about it, the idea for 'Tron' is more than a bit far fetched, and on paper, it can be hard to connect with the material. Sure, for a modern day audience the idea of artificial intelligence and computer programs interacting with human in a digital environment may seem like a possibility on the horizon -- just look at the modern advances in computer technology -- but for an audience in the early 80s, 'Tron' must have felt really out there. Thankfully, the movie featured an entertaining, fast-paced story that audiences could enjoy, and showcased some of the most groundbreaking special effects ever seen on film.

'Tron' is the story of programmer Kevin Flynn, (Jeff Bridges) a young phenom who was the brightest young programmer at ENCOM Corp. During his time at ENCOM, Flynn had his two best video game programs stolen by rival engineer Ed Dillinger (David Warner). Dillinger used them to become wealthy and rise up the ranks of ENCOM. Deciding that he wasn't going to accept it, Flynn has been on a mission to hack the company's Master Control program and find the evidence to prove Dillinger stole his work. With the help of ENCOM employee/friends Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora Baines, (Cindy Morgan) Flynn breaks into ENCOM to find the evidence he needs. While trying to gain access to the system, the M.C program uses a quantum laser to transport Flynn into the virtual world of its system. Inside, Flynn discovers a world where programs interact in human form and serve the M.C program. With the help of Bradley's security program Tron, Flynn is on a mission to escape the virtual world and defeat the M.C program. Along the way, he is forced to do battle with energy discs and race to the death on light motorcycles.

Having never seen 'Tron,' I was very impressed. The story was engaging and high energy, there were very few instances where I felt the plot dragging. The true treat is the vintage special effects. Much as people love the original 'Clash of the Titans' for its vintage effects and stop-motion creatures, I think the same feelings are felt for 'Tron.' At the time of its release, these were truly groundbreaking effects, heavily driven by the new technology of computer animation. Fans were amazed at the sheer spectacle. I won't go so far as to say it was a must see film in the same way that 'Star Wars' was, but 'Tron' felt like solid evidence that computer animation was the future of movies.

Personally, what I enjoyed most was the story, which felt just as ahead of its time as the effects. Bridges also does an excellent job keeping the audience involved. He's a likable character, one we can't help but root for. Admittedly, 'Tron' isn't for everyone. If you don't have a moderate interest in science fiction or computer technology you won't find much to enjoy here. But for people looking for a nostalgic 80s sci-fi experience, you can't go wrong with this one. (Movie rating: 3.5/5)

Tron: Legacy

When you think back to 'Tron' today, most people think of the iconic red vs. blue lightcycle race. Since the release of the original film, a cult following of fans has remained loyal to the film while screaming for a remake or sequel. For many years, it seemed Disney was content to let 'Tron' live on as a pop-culture reference to a nostalgic 80s film. Finally, after 26 years of waiting, fans at the 2008 Comic-con in San Diego were treated to a teaser trailer for 'Tron: Legacy.' Disney went all out with this release, rather than attempting a remake of the original film, the studio opted to make a sequel to the original cult classic. That gutsy move paid off big time!

The film starts off in 1989, 7 years after the events of the original film. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is now the CEO of ENCOM and leading the company into the future with groundbreaking achievements in computer programming. All of a sudden, Flynn goes missing. He leaves no note, tells nothing to his family, he's just gone, leaving behind his company, his family, and his young son, Sam. Control of the company is left to Flynn's friend Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) until Sam is old enough to take control. 20 years later, Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is a tech savvy, confident kid, much like his father was. Drawn to his father's old arcade by a mysterious message, Sam learns that there may be more to his father's disappearance when he discovers Flynn's secret office. Amazingly, Sam is transported to the digital realm known as "the grid," where he is forced to compete in deadly energy disc battles and lightcycle races. He quickly realizes that the programs, led by Clu (a digitally altered Jeff Bridges made to look like Bridges from the 1982 film) see the users as slave drivers that keep the programs from achieving their true potential. Sam is rescued by a program named Quorra (Olivia Wilde) and taken to the outskirts of the grid, where he is reunited with his father. Sam must now choose whether to obey his father and not interfere with Clu and his intentions, or try and stop Clu and get back to reality.

'Tron: Legacy' really succeeds in ways far beyond the original film in terms of the story. Sure, the original was a fun, engaging tale, but this installment goes far beyond that. 'Tron: Legacy' is a film of multiple stories, there's the story of Flynn's disappearance and it's effects on Sam, there's the story of Clu taking over the grid and driving Flynn to Exile, and finally we have the mission Sam is on to rescue his father and stop Clu. Together, these elements combine to create an entertaining and gripping plot. Viewers of the original will also be pleased with some of the subtle nods to the first 'Tron,' like when Sam comments on the size of the door at ENCOM when he breaks in. I can see how many people will draw parallels to the modern corporate structure of "money, money, money" and look at Sam as the savior, but really, I just take that as establishing the type of person he is, someone who's not ready to settle down and wants to fight the system and preserve his fathers ideals. Sure, this is a special effects, eye candy movie that special effects lovers will gush over, but once you get past the visuals, the story really makes this a memorable film.

The legacy of the first movie is clearly the groundbreaking special effects. They were far ahead of their time and paved the way for computer animation. 'Tron: Legacy' builds on those groundbreaking effects and brings them into the modern arena. To say the effects in this film are amazing doesn't begin do them justice. Simply put, they're jaw dropping. From the start of pre-production, the producers sought to create an experience that would please the fans of the original and draw in a new audience. To do this, they took the gladiator type battles from the first film and beefed them up to a larger than life style. Watching the lightcycle race in 3D IMAX is an incredible experience, one that will have fans old and new on the edge of their seats. The environment of the grid is equally impressive. Bright neon lights as far as the eye can see, combined with the monstrous vehicles, combine to create a visual playground.

As far as remakes and sequels go, you can't do much better than 'Tron Legacy.' Sure, some hard-core fans may see this film as a bit over the top, but for me, it really worked. It appeals to the current generation and serves as an excellent way to modernize a classic story. When you get down to it, 'Tron: Legacy' is pure eye-candy, with an awesome techno soundtrack. If you're looking for an entertaining experience with some mind-blowing visuals, look no further. (Movie rating: 4.5/5)

The Blu-ray: Vital Disc Stats

The Tron 5 disc, 2 movie collection comes packaged in a standard blue case with a holographic slipcover. Disc one is the 3D Blu-ray version of 'Tron: Legacy,' please note that this disc is playable in 3D only. Disc two is the 2D version of 'Tron: Legacy' along with all the special features. Disc 3 is the Blu-ray version of 'Tron.' Disc four is the DVD version of 'Tron: Legacy' and disc five is the digital copy of 'Tron: Legacy.'

Video Review


Tron: The Original Classic

'Tron' makes its debut on Blu-ray nearly 30 years after its original theatrical debut. Much of the film was shot on dark sets, where colors were hand-painted in later, and the early computer animation simply doesn't have the detail of more recent films. Keeping that in mind, the best way to look at this transfer is with a "preservation" mind set. As we know from past Disney catalogue Blu-ray releases, they have an excellent track record in preserving the intended visual style of a film while using high definition to showcase that style. Disney has once again done this by treating 'Tron' to a faithful to the source, high definition release.

Disney presents 'Tron' with a 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer that will please fans of the 1980's classic. First off, the real world sequences have never looked better. Colors are bright, skin tones and textures are faithfully preserved, and blacks are deep, at times overpowering background details. Sure, there is a fair amount of grain and noise in the source, and blacks are overblown at times but these are to be looked at as preservation decisions for the transfer, this is how 'Tron' was originally seen and Disney has stayed faithful to that look. The grid also receives a nice upgrade from its DVD counterpart. Keeping in line with the visual style, blues and other bright reds and oranges mix well with the deep blacks. Detail in the characters has also been preserved with no apparent over the top digital clean ups. Basically, you are seeing the film the way it was intended, with a caring cleanup of the source material.

Overall, Disney has done a terrific job with this transfer. They have faithfully kept the nostalgic style of the film alive, even if it appears to viewers that the film is plagued with visual anomalies. This is just about as good as 'Tron' is ever going to look, and fans should be very pleased with the result. (Video rating: 4 / 5)

Tron: Legacy 3D

'Tron: Legacy' arrives on 3D Blu-ray as a very important release for the new format. Being an extremely successful 3D release this past winter, nothing short of a demo worthy transfer would please fans. I am pleased to report that Disney has continued their superb 3D Blu-ray track record and produced their best looking disc yet.

'Tron: Legacy' is presented with a stunning 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer that alternates between 2.35:1 and 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the later representing the film's IMAX sequences. 'Tron:Legacy' is not an entire 3D film, as most modern 3D releases are. Rather, at the start of the film we are told that portions of the film were shot in 2D and will be shown in 2D as that is how they are intended to be seen. The 2D sequences are entirely in the real-world periods of the film. To my relief, this is a barely noticeable transition, and the results are stunning. The strength of this transfer is all in the colors. In the real world, blacks are inky and deep, colors are not overly bright, and textures are spot-on. The colors really shine through in the sequences on the grid. Blacks and infinitely deep Blues, reds, oranges, and other bright neon colors burst out of the screen, impressing throughout. Skin tones are equally impressive and detail from the clothing down to the shiny surfaces is nearly perfect. You will truly be drawn into this visually stunning film.

The 3D effects are also demo quality, especially in the IMAX sequences. Depth is extremely strong, turning your TV into an infinitely deep tunnel at times. This 3D presentation does not jump in your face and wow you to death, instead, it serves to create a near perfect experience that is nearly mistaken for reality at times. The lightcycle sequence will keep you on the edge of your seat, making you feel like you're riding alongside the characters. Colors and textures lose none of their beauty in 3D, and no dimming is experienced. Ghosting is also non-existent in this release. Simply telling you how awesome this film appears in 3D is not enough, this truly needs to be experienced at home as this film truly showcases the potential of 3D Blu-ray.

'Tron: Legacy' is simply a demo disc. If I could, I would give this a 6/5, but as it stands, this is a must view experience for all. (Video score: 5/5)

Tron: Legacy 2D

'Tron: Legacy' arrives on Blu-ray with a stunning 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 transfer that fans of the film will gush over. This movie is presented in the same manner as 'The Dark Knight.' Sequences alternate between a 2.35:1 and 1.78:1 aspect ratio, the later representing the sequences of the film that were designed for IMAX.

The strength of this transfer is all in the colors and detail. In the real world, blacks are inky deep, colors are not overly bright, and textures are spot-on. The colors really start to shine in the sequences on the grid. Blacks and infinitely deep blues, reds, oranges, and other bright neon colors burst out of the screen. Skin tones are equally impressive, and detail from the clothing down to the shiny surfaces is nearly perfect. You will truly be drawn into this visually stunning film. This transfer is also entirely free of any digital artifacts. This is truly a demo disc on par with some of the best looking releases on Blu-ray. (Video score: 5/5)

Audio Review


Tron: The Original Classic

Like the video transfer, Disney has also produced a very faithful DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track for 'Tron.' After nearly 30 years this soundtrack is starting to show its age but having said that, it's still a very good mix. Dialogue is mostly clear and centered throughout, perhaps falling off and producing a slight ringing effect on the lower register. When used, bass and surround effects are very effective, especially in the lightcycle race sequence. Owing to the film's vintage, this mix is very front-heavy, and the music does tend to overpower the dialogue and sound effects at times. I tend to chalk that up to the faithful reproduction of the original soundtrack. Sure, after almost 30 years you can definitely hear the age in this mix, but really, it fits in wonderfully with the look of the film. (Audio score: 4/5)

Tron: Legacy

As awesome as the video transfer for 'Tron: Legacy' is, Disney has also provided a top of the line DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack that will work your sound system to the max. Every single speaker will get a full workout. LFE effects are strong throughout, really pulling you into the action, and bass effects will shake your floor and wake the neighbors. Spoken dialogue is crystal clear and centered throughout, never being overpowered by the active sound and bass effects. The score by Daft Punk is on true display here, right from the start you know you're in for a fun ride. Overall, this is truly a 360 degree sound track, you'll feel drawn into the film and be blown away by the end result. (Audio score: 5/5)

Special Features


The Tron two movie collection arrives on Blu-ray with a generous helping of special features. Here are the features that are carried over from the original 'Tron' DVD and 'Tron: Legacy' DVD.

Tron: The Original Classic

  • Audio Commentary This is an excellent commentary featuring director Steven Lisberger, producer Donald Kushner, producer and visual effects supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw, and visual effects supervisor Richard Taylor. Together, they discuss the challenges of making the film, how they came up with the idea of for the film, and the process of working with the actors. This is a must listen track for fans.
  • The Tron Phenomenon (HD, 10 minutes) This is a short documentary featuring thoughts on the impact 'Tron' has had on filmmaking over the years.
  • The Making of 'Tron' (SD, 88 Minutes) This is a feature length documentary that covers all areas from production to the final cut of the film. It also discusses ways in which 'Tron' has influenced filmmaking and the place it holds in Disney history. This is a fun documentary that fans will enjoy greatly.
  • Development (SD, 8 minutes) This is a look at the very beginning phase of the production of 'Tron.' It features some early concept art, test footage, and a television short entitled "Computers are People Too."
  • Digital Imagery This features the process of the backlit animation process for the film and the use of digital Imagery. It also has a fun little Triple I demo animation sequence from the 80s!
  • Music (SD, 8 minutes) This features both the lightcycle sequence and end credits with their original music composition by Wendy Carlos.
  • Publicity (SD, 13 minutes) This collection includes a sample reel of the film, a work in progress trailer, the four trailers for the movie, and a collection of posters and other marketing material.
  • Deleted Scenes This is a collection of 3 deleted scenes with an introduction by director Steven Lisberger. The scenes are titled, "Tron and Yori's Love Scene," "Tron and Yori's Love Scene 2," and "Alternate Opening Prologue."
  • Design This is again introduced by director Steven Lisberger. This features a look at the design of the programs living on the Grid as well as the lightcycle vehicle.
  • Storyboards (SD, 9 minutes) This is a look at the storyboard process for the introduction to the film as well as some of the lightcycle sequences.

Tron: Legacy

  • First Look at Tron: Uprising (HD, 2 minutes) This is a very brief first look at the upcoming Disney XD animated series. We basically get a look at some lightcycle riding and that's about it.
  • Visualizing Tron (HD, 12 minutes) This is a nice feature that explores various elements of the production of the film. This explores ties to the original movie, the creation of the young Jeff Bridges character, a look at designing the lightcycle, clothing of the grid, and the use of lights and colors. This packs a great deal of information into a short time frame. A must watch for fans of the film.
  • Installing the Cast (HD, 12 minutes) This is basically a meet and greet with the cast. They discuss the process of filming and seem to heavily compliment each other's performances.

Final Thoughts

This is clearly the definitive version for any 'Tron' fan. You get four ways to watch 'Tron: Legacy' and you also get the original 'Tron' for the first time on Blu-ray! Aside from the two highly entertaining movies, this five disc pack includes numerous bonus features, especially for the original film! Sure, it would have been nice to have a commentary track for 'Tron: Legacy' but I felt the excellent 3D video and audio more than made up for that, and who knows, Disney may be waiting for a double-dip to release the commentary. Once again, Disney has released another 3D Blu-ray gem, but this release shouldn't just appeal to 3D owners. Everyone will find something to love about this release and it's a great value for the amount of content included. This is a must own!