On this date in 1982, Walt Disney Studios released Tron, the riveting science fiction adventure starring Jeff Bridges. In the film, Bridges portrays brilliant game designer/hacker Kevin Flynn. After breaking into his former employer’s computer program in hopes to get credit for creating a popular arcade game he is transported into a digitized computer world where he must help free the system’s video game warriors from the despotic rule of the dreaded Master Control Program. With the help of the heroic Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), he helps kickstart an electronic revolution unlike anything ever seen before. Literally. The movie featured computer-generated effects that were groundbreaking for its time, and while the movie was a modest success 35 years ago, it was never the, er, game-changing blockbuster that Disney was hoping for. Then, something unexpected happened — the movie’s audience grew and grew during the era of home video. 2010 saw the release of Tron Legacy, a sequel that returned viewers to the original film’s digital world to illustrate how much the Tron environment had passed in the intervening years. One thing that remained the same? The movie also underperformed at the box office, and plans for another Tron adventure were scrapped. With the franchise currently lying in limbo, the original 1982 classic continues to have its reputation grow. So perhaps a Tron renaissance lies ahead of us? Hopefully, but for now we still have the film that kicked it all off enchanting countless fans across the globe. End of line.
Previously on MovieFanFare:
Looking Back at the Tron Dance Craze That Never Was
Remembering the 1982 Tron Holiday Special