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Unique ID Code: 0000032001
Added by: DVD Reviewer
Added on: 20/3/2002 07:24
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Tron: 20th Anniversary Collector`s Edition (US)

8 / 10
6 votes cast
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A world inside the computer where man has never been. Never before now
Certificate: PG
Running Time: 96 mins
Retail Price: $29.99
Release Date:

A masterpiece of breakthrough CGI ingenuity - Disney celebrates the 20th anniversary of Tron - a dazzling film at the flashpoint of a continuing revolution in its genre. Packed with five hours of bonus features, including exclusive, never-before-seen material, this feature-rich collector`s edition showcases an epic adventure inside a brave new world where the action is measured in microseconds.

When Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hacks into the mainframe of his ex-employer to prove his work was stolen by another executive, he finds himself on a much bigger adventure. Beamed inside by a power-hungry Master Control Program, he joins computer gladiators on a deadly game grid, complete with high-velocity "Light Cycles" and Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), a specialized security program. Together they fight the ultimate battle with the MCP to decide the fate of both the electronic world and the real world!

Special Features:
"The Making of Tron" - All New, Extensive Documentary, Including New Interviews
Deleted Scenes with All-New Introductions by Bruce Boxleitner
Production Photo Gallery - All-Encompassing Gallery, Including Never-Before-Seen Photos
Audio Commentary with Steven Lisberger, Donald Kushner, Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor
3-D Animated Menus that Put You in the World of Tron
Storyboards Showcasing Early Work on Light Cycles
Storyboard-To-Film Comparisons

Video Tracks:
Widescreen Anamorphic 2.20:1

Audio Tracks:
Dolby Digital 5.1 English

Subtitle Tracks:
CC: English

Directed By:
Steven Lisberger

Written By:

David Warner
Cindy Morgan
Bernard Hughes
Jeff Bridges
Bruce Boxleitner

Casting By:
Pam Polifroni

Soundtrack By:
Wendy Carlos

Jeff Gourson

Costume Designer:
Lorry Richter
Rosanna Norton
Eloise Jensson

Production Designer:
Dean Edward Mitzner
Syd Mead
Jean Giraud

Donald Kushner
Harrison Ellenshaw

Executive Producer:
Ron Miller

Buena Vista
Disney Pictures

Your Opinions and Comments

9 / 10
In 1982 I had been working in the film industry for about 10 years and, as a fan of sci-fi - it was 5 years after `Star Wars` and 3 years since Disney`s own `The Black Hole` - I was as keen as most to find out what Disney had come up with. `Tron` stands as a groundbreaking feature film with a unique style that has never been duplicated. If you listen to the commentary on `The Last Starfighter` (the first film where all the effects are computer generated) you can get some realisation of the impact that `Tron` had amongst the effects and animation community.
It`s with the benefit of this hindsight that it becomes easier to appreciate `Tron` for all that it accomplished rather than deriding it for its few shortcomings. Disney previously released `Tron` as a bare-bones DVD with no extras and a problematic non-anamorphic transfer. This new 2-DVD special edition puts this all to right. Fans of the film are now treated to a beautiful new anamorphic transfer, a new 5.1 audio mix, and an entire second disc packed with extras.
In `Tron`, Jeff Bridges stars as Kevin Flynn, a former employee of ENCOM whose life`s work was stolen out from under from him by his supervisor, Ed Dillinger (David Warner). In Flynn`s absence Dillinger has introduced the Master Control Program (MCP), a tyrannical computer program that seeks to dominate not only the world of bits and bytes but the physical world as well. When Flynn`s former co-workers Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora (Cindy Morgan) find themselves locked out of the computer network they convince Flynn to return to ENCOM with them in an attempt to hack into the system, shut down the MCP, and find proof of Dillinger`s wrongdoing. But the MCP isn`t about to go down without a fight and it zaps Flynn with an experimental beam that transforms his physical body into a computer program at the mercy of the MCP and its digital minions. In this alternate computer world, programs take on the appearance of their real world programmers and Flynn soon hooks up with the Alan look-alike, Tron, a security program sent to defeat the MCP. The chief obstacle in their way is the evil program Sark, the MCP`s lieutenant and Dillinger doppelganger. To find and defeat the MCP, Flynn and Tron must traverse a vast computer world populated by programs both good and bad. During their journey they make use of such modes of transport as light-cycles, tanks, recognisers, and solar sailers which afford the film`s creators ample opportunity to show off their then cutting-edge technology and production art. The unabashed "look what we can do" feel of its fully realized computer world gives the film`s CGI a much more prominent air than is typically seen in movies these days where the whole point is to try and fool the audience with transparent computer special effects. In addition, the design of everything from the costumes to the myriad background matte paintings reveal that `Tron` was a film made by true artists who just so happened to be branching out into the new realm of computer animation.

After spending some time viewing the extras it`s easy to excuse the filmmakers for some of the movie`s more glaring shortcomings. `Tron` started out as a germ of an idea but when Disney became the only studio to back the project it was suddenly put on the fast track. In a matter of months the team had to finish the script, select the cast, and figure just how they were going to make their pie-in-the-sky special effects ideas a reality. Under those pressures it shouldn`t come as a surprise that the final film isn`t as polished and professional as it could have been. `Tron` was filmed in 65mm, is presented in its original 2.20:1 ratio and is anamorphically enhanced. It`s important to understand just how much abuse was heaped on the film elements in the drive to achieve the cutting-edge special effects. In some cases, a single second of film was subjected to over 100 different physical processes to get the final look. For this reason, the film has a somewhat worn and soft appearance for much of its runtime and no amount of restoration work is going to change that. The real world footage is quite nice with vibrant colours, only slight film grain, and very solid black levels. As the movie shifts into the computer world the image quality drastically changes. Here the film grain is quite heavy, colours are either muted or neon, and black levels tend more toward grey. But again, this is just how `Tron` looks so the DVD can`t really be faulted.
`Tron` is billed as a special edition and the bulk of the included extras are truly informative and entertaining. Disc one features the film itself along with a commentary track culled from the previous laserdisc boxed set. Featuring director Steve Lisberger, producer Donald Kushner, effects guru Harrison Ellenshaw, and effects supervisor Richard Taylor, this is an engaging track that is chock full of information. While it`s a given that much of the discussion focuses on the production design of "Tron," the filmmakers also delve into the original ideas behind the story and the more human aspects of making this film. The remainder of the bonus features are on disc two and chief among these is the brand new 90-minute documentary, "The Making of Tron". Featuring interviews with all of the principal participants -- except for David Warner -- this feature succeeds at explaining the origins of `Tron` and the continuing appeal of the film some two decades later. The cast and crew all have fond memories of this very difficult project and are clearly enthusiastic about participating on this new DVD. Also included in the documentary are behind-the-scenes peeks, early production designs, and a handful of snippets from the movie.
Many of the other extras on the disc are at least touched upon during this piece so this really is a good place to start as it makes some of the follow-on special features a bit redundant. This is just the type of in-depth documentary that is sorely lacking from most current so-called special editions. The "Development" section of the disc offers up some early `Tron` test footage and concept art as well as some of the previous animation work done by Lisberger Studios. "Digital Imagery" provides five Featurettes exploring the groundbreaking CGI used on `Tron` and highlights test footage from MAGI and Triple-I -- the outside studios that were hired to work on "Tron." The "Music" section offers a few gems for fans of Wendy Carlos` work. First up is the light-cycle scene with an alternate music track that was removed from the final film. Next are the end credits featuring Carlos` original music instead of the Journey song "Only Solutions" that was used in the final theatrical release. "Publicity" offers four theatrical trailers as well as a trailer consisting of test footage. Also included is the 5-minute trailer that was thrown together for the National Association of Theater Owners convention and acted as a test of sorts for the filmmaking process that was to be used for "Tron." Also available are galleries of production photos and advertising and merchandising artwork. "Deleted Scenes" consists of two `love scenes` between Tron and Yori - one of which was completed - the other is just story board - but they were removed as it was thought they slowed the story too much. Also included is an alternate opening prologue that introduces the world of `Tron` through some opening text. The "Design" section offers up a myriad of animated and still galleries that cover the design work for practically every character, vehicle, and environment in the movie. "Storyboarding" features both animated and still storyboard galleries as well as a storyboard-to-final film comparison that uses the light-cycle scene as its example. These extras provide an incredible amount of information and are laid out in a logical and easy to navigate manner. Disney is getting better and better at their DVD user interfaces and `Tron` features some amazing, but fairly non-obtrusive, animated menus.
What more is there to say? At long last Disney has graced `Tron` with a deluxe special edition truly worthy of such a groundbreaking and influential film. `Tron` certainly has its detractors and wasn`t exactly a box office goldmine but I can think of few films that have so influenced an entire generation of computer programmers, filmmakers, and artists. This is one film that had an impacted on nearly every special effects movie since without ever being directly copied.
Featuring an excellent new video transfer, a solid audio mix, and a wealth of bonus features, the new `Tron` 2-disc special edition is a real treat for fans of the film. While not every viewer will be swayed by its charms, anyone with even the slightest interest in the history of film, animation, or computer graphics design really must sit down with `Tron` and experience this remarkable film for the first -- or even fiftieth -- time.
posted by Tony Myhill on 20/3/2002 14:16
7 / 10
If you're unfamiliar with the film you may find it slightly hard to get in to, but for fans this is a dream come true. This is the best ever presentation of Tron; a cult-classic with fantastic visuals, audio and a stunning array of quality extras, combined with some very slick presentation. Whether you're a die-hard fan, or simply have fond memories from your childhood, do yourself a favour and get you hands on this disc. Highly Recommended.
posted by Aslan on 8/4/2002 03:06
8 / 10
A classic little film, a superior print to previous version. The extras give a real insight to what the filmmakers achieved the technology of the time...
posted by Richard73 on 19/9/2002 15:08
8 / 10

While working for the ENCOM Corporation, computer genius Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) was responsible for the invention of some of the most popular video games ever. Unfortunately for Flynn one of his co-workers, Ed Dillinger (David Warner), stole the programs and took all the credit, earning himself a big promotion and getting Flynn fired in the process. Flynn now finds himself the owner of a video games arcade that is, ironically, home to many of the games he designed.

Flynn has tried time and again to hack into ENCOM's systems to uncover the data he needs to prove Dillinger's treachery, but is thwarted at every turn by the MCP (Master Control Program) that guards the system. The MCP, brainchild of Dillinger, was designed to control the daily operations of the company, but things are starting to get out of hand. The MCP's intellect has become over two thousand times greater since its "birth", and it is no longer satisfied with running the day-to-day operations of its own system. The MCP is assimilating all non-aligned programs into its own database, and is even planning on taking over the Pentagon and the Kremlin!

Flynn is approached by his old colleagues, Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora (Cindy Morgan), who are concerned about the activities of the MCP, which has locked them out of ENCOM's system. Flynn, recognising an opportunity to take back what was stolen from him, agrees to help the pair break into ENCOM and gain access to Alan's new security program, Tron, which will stop the MCP dead in its tracks.

Flynn's hacking incurs the wrath of the MCP, which dislikes him poking around in its memory. Using an experimental laser, it transports him into the computerised world of the programs, where Flynn learns of the MCP's tyranny. All programs that fail to denounce their "superstitious" belief in the Users (the programmers who created them) are sent to the game grid to be pitted against others in gladiatorial combat. It is here that Flynn meets Tron (Alan's security program), a warrior who fights for the Users.

Only Sark, the MCP's sadistic second in command, is aware of Flynn's true identity, and he forces him to play some very lethal computer games. Flynn doesn't plan on dying playing one of the games he invented, and with the help of Tron and another renegade program named Ram, he escapes. Together they seek to destroy the MCP and put an end to its dominance of the system…

Firstly, it's very hard to review a film like Tron, mostly because of the rose-tinted specs I'm wearing. I loved this movie when I was younger, for its fantastic visuals and innovative storyline. Twenty years on I'm hopefully a little harder to please, and it is now that the chinks in Tron's armour start to show. Firstly, the standard of the acting isn't as high as it could be. Jeff Bridges puts in a spirited performance as Flynn, and David Warner is suitably maniacal as Dillinger/Sark/MCP, but the rest of the cast fail to live up to the standards set by the pair, and the movie just seems to leave them behind.

Another, possibly more disastrous failing is the lack of plot. What is there is pretty thin, especially the 'real world' segments, which feel rushed. It's as if they're simply a way to facilitate the transition to the 'computer world', and I guess in a way that's true.

With all of that said, Tron is still an entertaining film. It's plot may be a little hard to follow at times, but once you get into the swing of things you'll figure out what's going on quickly enough. The visual style of the film is unique, even to this day, and this really helps to set it apart from other movies of this ilk (although I can't really think of any films quite like Tron). Once the dazzling computer imagery appears, and you catch your first glimpse of Tron fighting enemies with his code disc, you'll be well on your way to becoming hooked. By the time the Light Cycle sequence arrives, you'll be totally converted. Basically, even twenty years on, Tron is still inexplicably cool!


This collector's edition comes complete with a newly restored 2.20:1 anamorphic transfer, which looks very nice indeed considering the age of the source material. The segments set in the real world are relatively free from grain (although not entirely so), with good flesh tones and nice bright colours. Inside the computer world things are radically different. The image is very grainy, with brilliant, often garish colours and radically fluctuating contrast levels. This is not the fault of the transfer however, but more a by-product of the various processes used to bring the film to the screen. Blacks are solid and the level of detail is generally good, with little in the way of compression artefacts and print damage. For those interested in the technical side of things, Tron has an average video bitrate of 8.32Mb/sec.

It is a testament to the originality of the film that it still looks fresh today. There really is nothing quite like Tron in the visuals department, and even if the computer graphics are starting to show their age, the film is still very visually impressive. I actually like the simplistic graphics, which lock the movie firmly into a specific timeframe when computers weren't as powerful or accessible as they are today. With the recent quantum leaps in processing power we can only assume that the forthcoming sequel, Tron: Killer App, will feature stunning visuals, the like of which have never been seen before…


For this collector's edition we are given an all-new Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix to go with the restored visuals. As far as remixed soundtracks go, Tron is a winner. Dialogue is perfectly clear throughout and, whilst most of the action takes place as the front of the soundstage, there is some nice use of the surround channels at key points. A good example of this is when Flynn and his fellow prisoners are being address by Sark. The way Sark's voice moves around the soundstage depending on the camera angle is brilliant, and adds a new dimension to this aging film.

As someone who frequented video game arcades in the early 1980s, I can remember the old Tron arcade game like it was yesterday. You could tell if an arcade housed a Tron machine the second you walked in, so instantly recognisable is the music. Scored by Wendy Carlos (who used to be Walter Carlos for those of you interested in such things), Tron fuses synthesised music with orchestral instruments to create a soundtrack that perfectly fits the nature of the film. It sounds as great today as it did way back in 1982. In fact, it sounds better on this DVD than it ever has!

The sound effects also conjure up images of smoky arcades, and sound better than ever here. The Light Cycles, Recognisers and other craft have a suitably 'computery' sound to them, and are just as unique as the visuals. My one criticism would be that the mix is perhaps a little heavy on the bass sometimes, but this niggle aside it is a very nice example of a remixed soundtrack.


The first thing that you'll see when you insert disc one into your machine is a promo for the new movie, Tron: Killer App, due in 2003. After this sequence has played out you'll be treated to some of the best menus of any DVD I've yet seen. Not only are they fully animated, but they are also based on the computer-generated imagery found in the film. This helps to provide a fantastic transition from the menus to the movie, and it really puts you in the right frame of mind. In fact, the menus actually look better than the original CGI in the film!

Tron is no slouch when it come to supplemental material, and the two disc set is packed full of bonus features. The first disc houses the commentary track, featuring Steven Lisberger, Donald Kushner, Harrison Ellenshaw and Richard Taylor. The commentary track is choc full of fascinating information about all aspects of the film, and the participants are very interesting to listen to. It appears that some of participants were recorded separately and then stitched together, rather than everyone being in the same room.

Disc two is where the bulk of the supplements are housed, as is becoming the norm with most high-profile releases. Again, the disc features some excellent animated menus, with eight separate subsections for the various special features.

The first section is entitled 'Development' and this in turn has five subsections. The first of these, called 'Early Development of Tron' is an interview with Steven Lisberger in which he discusses the origins of Tron. 'Early Lisberger Studios Animation' shows a very early incarnation of what was to go on to be Tron, while 'Early Concept Art and Backgrounds' is a series of pages of still photographs showing early artwork and background tests for the imagery used in the film. Next is a segment entitled 'Computers are People Too', which is an excerpt from a program on computer graphics that was originally aired around the time of the film's release. Obviously the segment included here deals specifically with Tron. Finally in this section we have 'Early Video Tests', which shows a series of unfinished video from Tron. This is interesting if only for the fact that many of the characters are different colours than in the final movie. Sark, for example, is blue here.

The next section on the disc is entitled 'Digital Imagery' and features a number of segments dealing with the effects in the film. 'Backlight Animation' details the procedure of making the characters 'glow' the way they do in the film. In 'Digital Imagery in Tron', Richard Taylor talks about the various companies who had a hand in creating the stunning visuals. 'Beyond Tron' is an excerpt from a TV special that explores MAGI's involvement with the film. In 'Role of Triple I' Richard Taylor talks about the company's involvement, with the final segment 'Triple I Demo' showing off some of the companies work.

The 'Music' section of the supplements disc contains two finished, unused pieces from Wendy Carlos. The first is the Light Cycles scene, with alternative Carlos score. The second is the complete score as originally written for the end credits, before the track from rock band Journey was used.

The best of the special features, for me at least, is the hour and a half long 'Making of Tron' feature. This contains interviews with Lisberger and pretty much everyone else involved with the production talking about all aspects of the film, as well as footage from various stages of production, from the beginning right through to the final release. This is an entertaining piece, and more thorough than most 'Making of' featurettes.

Next we have 'Storyboarding'. This menu contains five subsections detailing the storyboarding process. The most interesting of these is the 'Storyboard to Screen Comparison' section. This shows the Light Cycle chase scenes from the film in slip-screen mode, complete with the original storyboards so you can chart the evolution of the scene. You can also choose to watch just the storyboard or video.

'Design' concentrates on the artistic aspect of the film, with submenus containing stills of the evolution of the programs, vehicles and the electronic world. Each of the individual segments contains subsections and it will take you some time to view all of the available stills.

Also included in the supplemental material is a small 'Deleted Scenes' section. These are the famous deleted "love" scenes between Ton and Yori, as well as an alternative set of opening titles. The scenes are interesting to watch, but only one has fully realised special effects and audio.

Finally we have the 'Publicity' section, which houses some of the most interesting features of all. Contained in this section are six trailers, hoards of production photos and merchandising stills. The merchandising section contains everything from clothes and toys to the Tron arcade games themselves. A bit of useless info for you: I still have the original figures from the first release of the toys! Tron, Flynn, Sark and the Warrior are all minus their various weapons, but they're still a nice bit of my childhood to hold on to. I never did manage to get hold of a Light Cycle (although Forbidden Planet have started selling replicas of the original toys, so who knows)…


If you're unfamiliar with the film you may find it slightly hard to get in to, but for fans this is a dream come true. This is the best ever presentation of Tron; a cult-classic with fantastic visuals, audio and a stunning array of quality extras, combined with some very slick presentation. Whether you're a die-hard fan, or simply have fond memories from your childhood, do yourself a favour and get you hands on this disc. Highly Recommended.
posted by Chris Gould on 20/12/2002 23:36
10 / 10
This film is such an underrated piece of work. No film has and ever will come this close to creating a completely unique enviroment on screen.
The disc is just perfect...great sound (fantastic use of the 5.1), the picture quality is fantastic condsidering the master print.
This is pure escapism entertainment at its best!
posted by Fraught on 17/1/2003 17:06