Tron: The Original Classic (Disney) is coming back to home video after years of being on moratorium. The Blu-ray is available exclusively in the deluxe “Tron: Legacy 5-Disc 2-Movie Blu-ray Combo Pack,” but the DVD is also available separately as a two-disc special edition. The animated menu alone is more sophisticated than the then-pioneering digital effects of the 1982 original, but that’s nothing against the film, which was groundbreaking in its day in terms of effects and stiff and silly as a dramatic adventure.
In light of the “Legacy” sequel, Tron is a quaint product of its time, a visualization of computing culture before home computers, point-and-click operating systems, and cyberspace. The digital world is envisioned as a video game and the Master Control Program super-villain is HAL by way of Roman Emperor Nero, an all-powerful computer program with a God complex and a love of terminal video games. Take away the zippy motorcycles and the ethereal sailship and it’s a downright gloomy purgatory where ghostly B&W figures in incandescent suits wander a dungeon-like maze that periodically surges and cackles with electrical pulses—surely not what Disney thought they were getting into with the original video game adventure. Jeff Bridges makes for a shaggy fun video-game geek turned cyber-warrior and Bruce Boxleitner is stalwart as the good guy program Tron and nerdish as his human user/creator. Cindy Morgan and Barnard Hughes co-star as fellow video rebels and David Warner does villain duty again as the corporate shark and his cyber alter ego.