If you were a child of at least six years old in nineteen eighty-two, then you may remember seeing Tron in the movie theater. You might also remember being in awe of the visual effects since they were unlike anything you had ever seen before. Over the last twenty-eight years you may have shown this movie to your children and have often wondered if there would ever be another Tron movie. Now there is and the wait is over as Tron:Legacy graced screens around the world this past weekend.
While the first Tron film was visual candy in ’82, it pales in comparison to the visual intercourse experienced while watching Tron:Legacy.
Having shot the film using a combination of 3D and traditional 2D, the filmmakers create a subtle divide between our world and the digital world, where reality is flat; lacking depth and the digital world is fully interactive and intimately engaging. If you thought the effects in the original were something, you haven’t seen anything yet. The colors are brighter and the environment is nearly absent of straight lines and polygons. All of this shows that the digital realm has truly evolved.
The legacy of the first Tron is evident from the first scene where Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is telling his son, Sam is telling stories about his exploits on “the grid” with heroic Tron(Bruce Boxleitner), a security program and Clu; a program that Kevin Flynn designed to think like humans. After promising to take Sam to “the grid”, the elder Flynn leaves for work and never returns.
Fast forward to present day, where Sam Flynn (Garrett Hedlund)is now twenty-seven years old and the primary share holder in Encom- the company that Kevin Flynn took over in 1982 after successfully aiding Tron in defeating the MCP (Master Control Program) that sought to trap Kevin in the digital world-Sam, has no interest in taking control of Encom in his father’s absence. For him, the real world has little excitement to offer except when he sabotages an Encom board meeting.
Sam’s curiosity and hope is sparked after his father’s former partner, Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner) visits and tells him that he received a page from the office at Flynn’s Arcade, which has been closed for twenty years. The younger Flynn investigates the arcade and finds Kevin Flynn’s hidden office. After accessing the computer he finds, Sam is sucked into the digital world by the same device that originally transported his father into cyberspace.
Upon his arrival, Sam ends up on the game grid and has an encounter with Clu(Jeff Bridges)who nearly kills him, save for a daring rescue by Cora(Olivia Wilde). Cora takes Sam far from the game grid, to an isolated area of the system, where he has a joyous and unexpected reunion with his father who has been trapped in the system for twenty years. For both, it is a day they thought would never come.
Together again, Kevin Flynn tells his son why he did not return that night and how Clu betrayed both himself and Tron and now searches for Kevin’s identity disc, which is the master key to the entire system. They decide to make a dash for the portal back to our world. A task much easier said than done as father, son and Cora must get past Clu and his garrison.
On the surface Tron:Legacy is a story of how a son must come to terms with the inheritance his father has left him. Beneath that, is the story of a man who is betrayed by his own ambitions to create a perfect contribution to the world and must be rescued by his son who is his true legacy.
This is a great film to take your kids to and share in the world of wonder and adventure that Disney began so many years ago.
Tangled features the vocal talents of Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Mandy Moore. The film marks Disney’s fiftieth animated feature and follows the studio’s tradition of giving fairy tales the Disney treatment. This time it is the story of Rapunzel being retold.
Those who are used to the usual Disney style of animation are in for a treat, because the film is not only presented in computer animated form, but in 3D as well! The computer animation breathes new life into the familiar Disney animation, bringing the characters to life in a way that makes them more real. Facial expressions are portrayed so well that it is easy to forget that these characters are not real actors. The 3D effect only enhances the experience.
Although Tangled may seem like the typical fairy tale-A beautiful Princess held captive by the selfish and wicked old witch, only to be saved by a brave and stoic Prince-it is nothing of the sort. Yes, there are the arch types but, a few departures from the usual Disney formula, provides a unique and refreshing perspective on the tale written by the Grimm brothers.
Instead of a witch, Mother Gothel is an old woman who finds an item filled with magic powerful enough to keep her young. She hordes the healing properties for herself as centuries pass, until fate intervenes and places the item into the King’s hands who uses it to heal the ailing and pregnant Queen. The healing potion causes Rapunzel to be born with the magic sealed in her hair. The selfishness and vanity within Mother Gothel causes her to abduct Rapunzel and raise her as her own daughter. All the while using the magical properties of the girls hair for her own purposes.
Flynn Rider is a second character straying from familiarity, as his occupation is that of a thief. Dashing and smart he may be, though a Prince he most certainly is not. His ambitions bring him to steal a royal crown from the castle and he stumbles upon Rapunzel while attempting to hide from the castle guard in what he thinks is an abandoned tower.
Rapunzel is the only central character unchanged from the original context of the story. With the exception of her pet chameleon Leon,who provides a number of small, but memorable moments in the film.
I always looked forward to seeing Disney animated movies while growing up. Most especially those Disney films that retold a beloved fairy tale. Some of my favorites have been released within the last thirty-five years and Tangled is now part of that list. With this new addition, Disney gives us a story of wonder, sorrow, love, and hope told through music and laughter. In a word…magic-Walt Disney’s legacy.