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May 13, 2012 7:08 PM   Subscribe

On June 7th, the Disney XD channel will premiere a new, 10-part miniseries: Tron Uprising. The series, which will feature the voices of Elijah Wood, Lance Henriksen, Bruce Boxleitner (reprising his role as 'Tron',) Mandy Moore and Paul Reubens, will combine 2D and CGI animation styles, and is set between the events of the first and second Tron movies. Trailers: 1, 2. 2011 ComicCon Preview. Disney released a full-length "prelude episode" yesterday evening (US Only): Beck's Beginning. (Via)

The fan site Tron Sector notes that last night was Bruce Boxleitner's 62nd birthday.
posted by zarq (38 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh. Interesting. I hadn't heard anything about this. I'll definitely have to check it out.
posted by hippybear at 7:22 PM on May 13, 2012


Cool.

The animation looks like the next generation after Batman Beyond.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 7:49 PM on May 13, 2012


It would be ever so cool if YouTube wasn't apparently having a moment right now and the video would actually play...
posted by Samizdata at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The uploader has not made this video available in your country.
Sorry about that.


It's not such a small world after all, is it Disney?
posted by Sys Rq at 8:04 PM on May 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


I was excited until I watched it and saw it was animation. That was prior to this post.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:16 PM on May 13, 2012



I like it so far.

Although, I really dislike how they go straight for the action tropes when there is this lively and interesting world to explore.

The original Tron had some of that, and Legacy less so. This has even less than that. It seems like lazy writing. I hope it picks up.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:23 PM on May 13, 2012


heh, yeah, I'm a sucker for tron. I Don't care that the legs are too long. I'm really looking forward to the OST coming out.
posted by rebent at 8:34 PM on May 13, 2012


I was excited until I watched it and saw it was animation. That was prior to this post.

As opposed to what? Pure live action? Pure CG?

I've always thought that 'pure' live action kids shows were uniformly terrible, full of cheesy special effects and so on. Of course with Tron you would be doing everything green-screened anyway, and you wouldn't have to worry about any of the CG being "Cheesy"

Anyway, in my experience animated shows have always been better at showing huge, imaginative worlds compared to live action TV shows in the past, which were mainly people standing around talking on a handful of sets, with some sporadic action.
Although, I really dislike how they go straight for the action tropes when there is this lively and interesting world to explore.

The original Tron had some of that, and Legacy less so. This has even less than that. It seems like lazy writing. I hope it picks up.
Eh, part of the problem with exploring the "world" of tron is that it Makes No Sense at All. Maybe it seemed somewhat plausible in 1982 or whatever, but these days computers aren't all that mysterious. The world of tron isn't supposed to be a "virtual" world full of AIs, but rather a representation of the actual low level operation of a computer, except programs have somehow been imbued with consciousness.

And then, if you say -- well, really it's a just a virtual world ala second life -- then "anything" becomes possible, so there are no limitations on what can happen - in which case any particular thing isn't of that much interest, because it might blink out of existence at any moment.

Anyway, I thought the new Tron movie was pretty visually cool, and I liked some of the action scenes, but the "metaphysical foundation" of the movie was totally incoherent, so I think it was a good idea to focus on action and not worry too much about what it all meant.
posted by delmoi at 8:36 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a big Tron nerd, and I like this so far. The fight cinematography and animation style are stellar, and the stylized look of the characters is striking. The voice cast is great -- loved Boxleitner's Tron and Tricia Helfer as the voice of the Grid -- and I like the callbacks to the first movie and the diversity of the characters, too. I thought the moralism in the first episode was a bit too for-the-kids, though, and I wish they'd stuck closer to the plot/setting from Legacy... but hey, there's no point in bitching about canon-consistency in a Tron cartoon, and there are hints that things might get less black-hat/white-hat (red-circuits/white-circuits?) later on.

I just wonder how it'll end -- a revolution story "set between the events of the first and second Tron movies" ought to be pretty damn bleak. Hope they're not planning a retcon.
posted by vorfeed at 8:41 PM on May 13, 2012


Looks like great fun, some serious Tron geekery.

Yay Disney for being willing to leave their usual style.

So nthing the hopes for no retcon.
posted by Samizdata at 8:51 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Are you sure you like it?
posted by Brocktoon at 8:59 PM on May 13, 2012


The world of tron isn't supposed to be a "virtual" world full of AIs, but rather a representation of the actual low level operation of a computer, except programs have somehow been imbued with consciousness.

Well, more to the point (and maybe this is what you meant), the world of Tron, the landscape itself, is meant to be the physical computer, the low-level operations (daemons and subroutines) are confined and simplistic personalities, and the programs have consiousness because they need to be able to move throughout the landscape in order to accomplish their tasks.

It's a really cool metaphor which worked great in the first movie. In the second movie, not so much. (It was really really pretty, but it felt like the people who wrote it had no real clue what made the first movie so cool and were just kind of thrashing about in what they thought was that universe.)
posted by hippybear at 9:03 PM on May 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


What, no Legend of Korra talkback?
/AICN
posted by PapaLobo at 9:09 PM on May 13, 2012


I just wonder how it'll end -- a revolution story "set between the events of the first and second Tron movies" ought to be pretty damn bleak.

Lucas' people have managed 4 seasons of Clone Wars so far with the same problems. Although I'm 3 episodes short of the end of S4 and it's getting kind of rough for the little kiddies. I'll call myself tentatively hopeful.
posted by immlass at 9:11 PM on May 13, 2012


This suits me just fine, and it has my daughter all excited. Saturday mornings just got a little better, and I guess Korra and the Mane Six have some company.
posted by lekvar at 9:46 PM on May 13, 2012


Still not getting the "Beck's Beginning" to play but the other trailers look promising. I'll definitely be watching the whole series. Love me some Tron in any guise.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 9:52 PM on May 13, 2012


Wish I could see this!

SLIGHT NERDY TRON SPOILERS

Waitaminute. In the first movie The Grid is located in the ENCOM mainframe, but in the second one The Grid is in a computer Kevin Flynn hid away in his old arcade. How can there be events between the movies when they're set in two different places?

I always assumed the original Grid was destroyed when ENCOM replaced their computer systems.
posted by Kevin Street at 9:54 PM on May 13, 2012


Still not getting the "Beck's Beginning" to play but the other trailers look promising.

There are other places you can find it than YouTube, for instance Demonoid has it.
posted by scalefree at 9:58 PM on May 13, 2012


Waitaminute. In the first movie The Grid is located in the ENCOM mainframe, but in the second one The Grid is in a computer Kevin Flynn hid away in his old arcade. How can there be events between the movies when they're set in two different places?

The second Grid was running on Flynn's computer in the arcade basement for years after his disappearance in the late (ish?) 80s. These new show features events which occur on that grid before Sam Flynn discovers it in Tron: Legacy.
posted by device55 at 10:04 PM on May 13, 2012


Ah, that makes sense. Thanks, device55!

And we know that Flynn copied programs from the original Grid into his private computer (like Tron himself), so I guess there's no reason characters from the first movie can't show up again.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:08 PM on May 13, 2012


Apparently, this series may not be "canon" because of inconsistencies between the films and what we're seeing. Personally, I'm fine with this entire thing taking place in a sealed backup system or somesuch.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:11 PM on May 13, 2012


Also I am a sucker for Tron and have been since I saw it in 1982. No, the movies aren't "good," but they're gorgeous and they feature the two modes of Jeff Bridges I most appreciate: The Punk and The Dude. I do wish the second had a real screenplay, though.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:16 PM on May 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My biggest problem with Legacy is that Jeff Bridges was about a hundred times more interesting than Garrett Hedlund. So when Sam was on-screen it just dragged.
posted by Kevin Street at 10:23 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I were in charge of the movie I would have focused mostly on the visuals and action and made the plot completely incoherent. Also I would have shown a bunch of awesome 3D fractals [i.e: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 ]
posted by delmoi at 11:41 PM on May 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, more to the point (and maybe this is what you meant), the world of Tron, the landscape itself, is meant to be the physical computer, the low-level operations (daemons and subroutines) are confined and simplistic personalities, and the programs have consiousness because they need to be able to move throughout the landscape in order to accomplish their tasks.
It's a really cool metaphor which worked great in the first movie. In the second movie, not so much. (It was really really pretty, but it felt like the people who wrote it had no real clue what made the first movie so cool and were just kind of thrashing about in what they thought was that universe.)


I think it was always a pretty loose metaphor, to be honest. The second movie was also less about what happens when you discover a hidden computer-world full of thinking, feeling programs, and more about what happens when you make one. The programs there never got to run around performing tasks For The Users -- they were just toys in Flynn's (and later Clu's) quasi-utopian dollhouse.

For all Legacy's flaws, I thought the writers nailed that part: the creation/neglectful-father-and-abandoned-sons theme was much more interesting than the point A -> point B plot.
posted by vorfeed at 11:46 PM on May 13, 2012


Ya know, Tron is a lot funnier, but much less epic, if you mentally retitle it in your head "The Secret Lives Of Unix Command-Line Tools," which was basically what it would have been back when it was written.
posted by JHarris at 12:11 AM on May 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Beck's "I won't stop fighting!" "I'm done fighting." transition in the prelude episode seemed a bit clunky but on the whole I was entertained.
posted by the_artificer at 2:46 AM on May 14, 2012


The uploader has not made this video available in your country.
Sorry about that.
It's not such a small world after all, is it Disney?
This is kind of funny in the context of the first Tron being partly about a fight to give users full access to the capabilities of their computer system.

Fortunately plenty of other people have uploaded the videos for us in the backwaters of the Internet to watch.
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 4:42 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seems to me to have more in common with Aeon Flux than Batman Beyond, which isn't a bad thing but explains the long legs and faces.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:18 AM on May 14, 2012


delmoi: Oh man I would have loved to play a Descent like game where you're able to scale yourself up and down in that 7th animation…
posted by monocultured at 8:14 AM on May 14, 2012


Not sure why the YouTube link isn't working, but weirdly enough the embedded video in the Via link in the post, to the same exact video(!) works just fine.
posted by zarq at 8:16 AM on May 14, 2012


Well, more to the point (and maybe this is what you meant), the world of Tron, the landscape itself, is meant to be the physical computer, the low-level operations (daemons and subroutines) are confined and simplistic personalities, and the programs have consiousness because they need to be able to move throughout the landscape in order to accomplish their tasks.

After I watched "Beck's Beginning" and got lost on the Tron wiki for a while I realized that "Tron: Legacy" is basically "Paradise Lost" with cool motorcycles.

Kevin Flynn creates a perfect, ordered utopia. He populates it with programs. One of those programs, modeled on Flynn himself, realizes that in order to complete his programming he must take over and control the entire system. Along the way these beings show up (the ISOs) which threaten the perfection of the system, and they must be destroyed.

So obviously Kevin Flynn is god. He's called the "creator" throughout, as he's literally the creator of that universe. His creation "Clu" is Satan. He wages a war against Flynn and the Grid (god and heaven) in order to realize his programming.

The Grid is heaven. You can't drive to the Grid, or take a walk to the Grid. The Grid's not around the corner. You have to die to enter the grid - you enter the grid only by being blasted, literally, to bits by a big blue laser. Your body is destroyed. Inside the grid you are given a new body. You are reborn.

The programs like Zuse and the sirens, are angels - agents of the creator. They have consciousness and purpose, but they do not control their own destiny. They don't have free will.

Clu's program is to create the perfect system. Clu, like the rest of the programs, doesn't really have free will. His plan to enslave all programs in the system and his attempt to destroy all of the ISOs are a natural result of that program. Clu could never choose not to create the perfect system. He has no choice.

The ISOs, then, must be man. Lost, wandering, with no purpose, born innocent. They have free will and can choose their own purpose. This will naturally result in imperfection; Clu must destroy them in order to have a perfect system.

Sam Flynn, the literal son of the creator, dies to enter heaven (the grid) defeats satan and saves humanity (Quorra, the last ISO) and is reborn on earth to complete his destiny of running his father's company.
posted by device55 at 8:35 AM on May 14, 2012 [9 favorites]


That's an excellent summation. And it's not just interpretation, the religious parallel is pretty explicit in the movie.

Basically, all of The Grid's problems can be traced back to the fact that Kevin Flynn is not an omniscient god. He can't control The Grid from the outside, so he has to enter the system and change things from within. But because he's now part of that system his own flaws are baked into it, so to speak. CLU is his adolescent self given free reign, and he doesn't have to power to just wave his hand and stop it. The rules of programming (arbitrary as they might be) have to be obeyed.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:56 AM on May 14, 2012


Disney XD sounds (and looks) like a porn channel for plushies.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:12 AM on May 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Youtube doesn't play for me (in the US), but youtube-dl seems to be downloading it just fine. YMMV.
posted by zengargoyle at 10:12 AM on May 14, 2012


Clu's program is to create the perfect system. Clu, like the rest of the programs, doesn't really have free will. His plan to enslave all programs in the system and his attempt to destroy all of the ISOs are a natural result of that program. Clu could never choose not to create the perfect system. He has no choice.

There's a comic (Tron: Betrayal) which tells the story of Clu and the ISOs, and it makes the point that Flynn could have fixed the "imperfections" the ISOs were causing, but just... didn't. His input into Clu's life seems to have been leaving him alone on the Grid, refusing to answer his questions, and putting him down in favor of the "miraculous" ISOs, all of which add up to a great role model for a dictator. Betrayal also suggests that Clu had free will enough to have tried non-genocidal ways to make things perfect, which makes sense: if he can figure out how to work Alan's pager or invade Earth on his own, then he's probably not very limited in what he does and how he does it, so long as it furthers the general goal. If so, that makes him only slightly less free-willed than we seem to be, since we don't get to stop craving food and sex and shelter any more than he gets to stop craving order (and besides, what fun is Tron as a hero if he is literally forced to Fight For The Users?)

In short: I think BEEP BOOP BOP PER-FEC-TION was only half the problem. Flynn was trapped by his own programming, but also by his own personality -- turns out his son was Just Like Him.
posted by vorfeed at 11:28 AM on May 14, 2012


Seems to me to have more in common with Aeon Flux than Batman Beyond, which isn't a bad thing but explains the long legs and faces.

Agreed, and the first thing I did after watching was check to see if Peter Chung was involved.
posted by lekvar at 11:52 AM on May 14, 2012


For those who had trouble seeing it on youtube: the first episode is a free download on iTunes.
posted by vorfeed at 7:06 PM on May 14, 2012


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