TRON Movies and Animated Series 🧿
Release Date, Cast, Plot, Review, Opinions

Tron Adaptations

Didn’t you know Tron is a real video game, that came before the multiple TRON movies and animated series?


Who made the coin-operated game Tron? Bally Midway manufactured and started to distribute it in 1982, with the help of Bill Adams (lead programmer) and Earl Vickers (music programmer).


The game consists of four subgames (I/O Tower, MCP Cone, Light Cycles, Battle Tanks) inspired by the events of the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year.


The player controls Tron, either in human form or piloting a vehicle, using an eight-way joystick for movement, a trigger button on the stick to fire (or slow down the player’s light cycle), and a rotary dial for aiming. 


The goal of the game is to score points and advance through the game’s twelve levels named after programming languages ( RPG, COBOL, BASIC, FORTRAN, SNOBOL, PL1, PASCAL, ALGOL, ASSEMBLY, OS, JCL, USER) by completing each of the sub-games. 


Everything About Tron (1982)

TRON (1982) movie poster
Source: Walt Disney Productions



Production, Release Date, and Reception

The science-fiction film released by Buena Vista Distribution on July 9, 1982 was one of the first major motion picture films to use computer-generated imagery (CGI). 


Tron (1982) Trailer


While the film received mixed critical reactions upon its release, it became a cult hit and was lauded as a pioneering work in cinematic visual effects.


It went on to make $33 million in North America, moderately successful considering its $17-million budget.


Many don’t know, but Tron made its television debut, as part of Disney Channel’s first day of programming (April 18, 1983).



Cast and Characters

  • Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn/Clu)



  • Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley/Tron)



  • David Warner (Ed Dillinger/Sark/Master Control Program)



  • Cindy Morgan (Lora Baines/Yori)



  • Barnard Hughes (Walter Gibbs/Dumont)



  • Dan Shor (Roy Kleinberg/Ram)



  • Peter Jurasik (Crom)





Software engineer and former ENCOM employed, Kevin Flynn attempts to obtain evidence of  Ed Dillinger’s action, who fired him after stealing video games designed by Flynn to obtain promotions. Unfortunately, he’s prevented by the Master Control Program (MCP).



Review and Opinions

According to many, 1982s Tron was the first movie to create a digital world with humans embedded into it. It felt revolutionary and no one had seen anything like it before.


Yes, the film is hards to explain, but if you focus in between all the grids, chases, and defeating crashes of the soundtrack, then you’ll be able to comprehend all of Flynn’s efforts to escape from this electronic maze.


Roger Ebert: “Dazzling movie from Disney in which computers have been used to make themselves romantic and glamorous. Here’s a technological sound-and-light show that is sensational and brainy, stylish and fun.”


Jay Scott of The Globe and Mail: “It’s got momentum and it’s got marvels, but it’s without heart; it’s a visionary technological achievement without vision.”



Everything About Tron: Legacy (2010)

Tron (2010) Movie Poster
Source: Walt Disney Pictures / LivePlanet and Sean Bailey Productions



Production, Release Date, and Reception

Directed by Joseph Kosinski and produced by Steven Lisberger, Tron: Legacy is a sequel released on December 17, 2010, to the 1982 film.


While the sequel’s speculations were being carried for a long time, it was the Tron 2.0 game produced by Disney and released in 2003 that woke up the interest of media and fans.  


In 2005, Variety announced the hire of Brian Klugman and Lee Sternthal to write the sequel.



Tron: Legacy (2010) Trailer


The electronic music duo Daft Punk notoriously composed the score, which was highly appraised by critics and spectators. Despite that, the film received mixed reviews, with an average score of 5.9/10 on Rotten Tomatoes and a 49% average score on Metacritic.


The film grossed just over $400 million worldwide, against its $170 million budget.



Cast and Characters

  • Garrett Hedlund (Samuel “Sam” Flynn)


  • Owen Best (Young Sam Flynn)


  • Jeff Bridges (Kevin Flynn / Clu – Codified Likeness Utility)


  • Bridges (Clu (Codified Likeness Utility)


  • Olivia Wilde (Quorra)


  • Bruce Boxleitner (Alan Bradley)


  • Michael Sheen (Zuse / Castor)


  • James Frain (Jarvis)


  • Gem (Beau Garrett)


  • Jeffrey Nordling (Richard Mackey)


  • Sirens (Serinda Swan, Yaya DaCosta, and Elizabeth Mathis)


  • Daft Punk (Disc Jockeys at End of Line Club)


  • Shaddix (Steven Lisberger)




Flynn’s adult son Sam responds to a message from his long-lost father and is transported into “the Grid,” where Sam and the algorithm Quorra must stop the malevolent program Clu from invading the real world.



Review and Opinions

This sequel made 28 years after the original, is true to the first film. It has the same actors, it looks good, but it also can’t be understood.


I remember watching Tron: Legacy on 3-D in the theaters and genuinely thinking out loud: “these digital effects are the finest money can buy?” I was curious because, despite resulting excitement, the black-and-chrome textures still looked strangely retro.


I’m pretty sure that’s what the team planned to do for the vehicles, costumes, and buildings.


Manohla Dargis of The New York: “The film’s “vibrating kaleidoscopic colors that gave the first movie its visual punch have been replaced by a monotonous palette of glassy black and blue and sunbursts of orange and yellow.”


Bruce Jones of The New Yorker: “Disney may be looking for a merchandising bonanza with this long-gestating sequel to the groundbreaking 1982 film, but someone in the corporate offices forgot to add any human interest to its action-heavy script.”



Everything About Tron: Uprising (2012-2013)

Source: Disney Television Animation



Production, Release Date, and Reception

Animated science fiction television series spun off from the Tron film series, which airs on Disney’s television channel Disney XD, in the United States. 


The show premiered on June 7, 2012, and is directed by Charlie Bean, who also acts as executive producer alongside producers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz.



Tron: Uprising (2012-2013) Trailer


Why did Tron Uprising get Cancelled? Many fans were surprised to discover the show was moved without notice, rebroadcast, or advertising. 



Cast and Characters

  • Bruce Boxleitner (Tron)



  • Elijah Wood (Beck)



  • Emmanuelle Chriqui (Paige)



  • Fred Tatasciore (Kevin Flynn/Clu 2)



  • Mandy Moore (Mara)



  • Paul Reubens (Pavel)



  • Nate Corddry (Zed)



  • Lance Henriksen (General Tesler)



  • Reginald VelJohnson (Able)



  • Tricia Helfer (The Grid)



  • Parminder Nagra (Ada)



  • Paul Scheer (Hopper)



  • Donald Faison (Bartik)





Beck becomes the leader of a revolution inside the “Grid” a computer-made world. He wants to free his home and friends from the evil reign of Clu and General Tesler. 


Beck will be trained by the greatest warrior the Grid has ever known: Tron, who won’t only teach him to fight and light cycle, but Tron will also guide and mentor the courageous but impulsive Beck. 



Review and Opinions

Tron: Uprising had huge potential. Not only the voice cast is excellent but the writing is also good enough to appeal to young Disney XD spectators, as slightly older viewers (as myself).


The world and score are also still as fresh and original as its film predecessors. Thankfully, knowledge of either film is unnecessary as it sets the story/history from the start.



Everything About Tron 3 (Date To-Be-Announced)


Why is there no Tron 3? Is Tron 3 coming out soon? 


Joseph Kosinski revealed during a 2017 Q&A session that Tron 3 has not been scrapped. Instead, in his own words, it was in “cryogenic freeze.” It was also reported just a few days later, that Jared Leto was attached to portray a new character named Ares in the sequel.


While it was first titled Tron: Destiny, the truth is Disney hasn’t confirmed the project’s development.

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