Tron 39th Anniversary: No End of Line in Sight
39 Years Later, Tron Retains its Place Among Sci-Fi Classics…
I mean, it’s out there. Like, really out there. But somewhere in the middle of the quasi computer-generated jai alai and day-glow hockey helmets is a groundbreaking sci-fi classic.
And, now 39-years later, you can see the film as a genesis moment of computer animation (not to mention big moments in the careers of Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges).
#TRON was released on this day, 39 years ago.
How old am I?! pic.twitter.com/Ah36e2JFLR
— Bruce Boxleitner (@boxleitnerbruce) July 9, 2021
A Movie About CG, With an Analog Soul
However, looking back, the creator of the world that became Tron said he was lucky to have worked with Disney.
“I think people at any other studio would have thrown up their hands and said, ‘This is impossible,’ but it was like an animated movie, and we were talking to the people at the Disney Studios about the fact that we had 100,000 frames of this or 200,000 frames of that and all this effects animation,” said Director Steven Lisberger in 2010. “We were speaking their language, and they were like: ‘Yep, we can do that.’
“TRON has an analog soul, but it’s a movie about CG,” he added.
Today is the anniversary of the classic sci-fi film, “Tron” (1982)! Pictured here is one of the costumes from our collection for the title character, played by Bruce Boxleitner. To learn more about this costume, check out episode 2 of “Prop Culture” streaming now on #DisneyPlus! pic.twitter.com/17xIpAGMyT
— Walt Disney Archives (@TWDCArchives) July 9, 2021
What Lisberger meant was that much of the film was NOT computer-generated.
Creating a New Genre
In 2017, D23.com posted:
We made a lot of the film with traditional animation techniques,” recalls Steven Lisberger, creator/director of the original TRON and a producer of TRON: Legacy. “By using backlight and diffusion and multiple exposures, we gave the impression to people that it had been generated by a computer.”
Oh, but what an impression it made!
A sequel, several video games, an animated series, and attractions in the Disney parks – Tron is more of a phenomenon than a movie.
Aerial look at Tron. pic.twitter.com/TqIHuJXq6y
— bioreconstruct (@bioreconstruct) July 10, 2021
And on the occasion of the film’s 35th anniversary in 2017, D23.com spoke with other folks behind the film.
We were not trying to reinvent the wheel. We were trying to make a whole different wheel that was not necessarily round,” master matte artist and TRON associate producer Harrison Ellenshaw explains. “All movies until TRON were set in an established genre. TRON created a new one.”
Game on! 👾 Tron was released on this day in 1982. pic.twitter.com/zS2VgHmuMA
— Disney (@Disney) July 9, 2021
It certainly did create a new genre; a style of storytelling that continues to inspire creators today.
Moreover, take a moment or two to check out this new video from Disney+ and learn more about Tron.
Finally, here’s hoping that another Tron story will be announced and imminently released when the attraction finally opens at Walt Disney World.
After all: #FlynnLives!
Happy anniversary, programs. Maybe we’ll see you in Tomorrowland on the 40th.
End of line.
Feature Image: Disney