TRON The Original Classic (1982)

6.81 h 35 min1982X-RayPG
When a brilliant video game maker named Flynn hacks the mainframe of his ex-employer, he is beamed inside an astonishing digital world and becomes part of the very game he is designing. It's an epic adventure that everyone will enjoy!
Steven Lisberger
Jeff BridgesBruce BoxleitnerDavid Warner
English [CC]
Audio languages
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Supporting actors
Cindy MorganBernard Hughes
Donald Kushner
Walt Disney Pictures
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
Available to watch on supported devices


4.7 out of 5 stars

2925 global ratings

  1. 82% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 11% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 4% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 1% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 1% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United States

Feo AmanteReviewed in the United States on June 23, 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Writers Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird had a great visionary story
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Writers Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird had a great visionary story, and as a director Steven knew how to bring his imagination to life through cgi. What Steven didn't know was how to communicate his ideas to experienced, solid actors.

Lisberger did his best (see the disc Extras), working on blank sets that wouldn't be filled in by cgi for another year, but his actors couldn't uniformly agree on what that world they needed to interact with would look like, and Steven couldn't communicate it any better.

Everything we see within the computer world of TRON is what the actors couldn't see.

The movie suffers for it, both in the different actors muddled reactions to the same thing, as well as some horribly awkward dialog, so out of place with the events happening to the character.

Our modern superhero / comic book cinema era was grandly laid out for generations before it reached this blockbuster point, and there was tons of missteps throughout the decades. Few remember that Marvel didn't get solidly on its feet until 2008.

Like Star Wars, TRON laid the groundwork for everything that would come after and build upon it. Unlike Star Wars, the actors were as out of their depth with the story as the director was out of his in directing it. What likely helped Star Wars was all if its practical effects, giving the actors Some Thing to work with.

A young Tim Burton wanted to direct TRON as his first feature, and Steven was happy to let him have at it (see the disc Extras), but a bad short film Tim made with live actors at the time gave the Disney bosses cold feet.

So what does all of this ancient triva mean for the viewer? Is TRON entertaining or not?

It's quite entertaining as the world Steve created back in the late 70s, early 80s is in many ways more compelling than cgi worlds we have today. It looks now like a computer savvy person of this era would expect a computerized world to look. By comparison TRON: Legacy was one note and while written better, drew upon shallow, ugly-hearted characters that no one could care about.

Unlike Legacy, Steve didn't want his computer world to look like a realistic version of earth, which would have been easy enough at the time with mere neon and light panels.

TRON takes us fully into an imaginary world, far more fantastic than Alice's Wonderland – even if the computer characters all talk like they just stepped off the set of Bonanza.

TRON remains a rich landscape, flawed yet beautiful, worth repeated visits, and the extras are great!
25 people found this helpful
Joy from BrooklynReviewed in the United States on January 17, 2020
5.0 out of 5 stars
An All-Time Favorite which has Ripened With Age like Good Cheddar Cheese
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Wow. Hard to believe "Tron" will be 40 years old 2 years from now! I remember a critic praising the movie for its stunning, ingenius effects in 1982 when it came out.
But, like "Blade Runner," it was underappreciated as a whole, back then. The movie has been criticized for the storyline being vague. It isn't. It's clear. But, again like "Blade Runner," the spiritual import and art for art's sake was most important to the writers and creators. Because of this, it's a tad harder to follow. But well worth the return! Because of this, it's a movie you can watch again and again and each time get something new out of it.
From what I read, it pioneered computerized special effects. But most of this movie was manually done. The characters are believable as sentient beings existing as components of computer programs, as is the transference of a human user into that world. It's core themes are reverence, respect for life, love of good over evil and the courage to fight for deep-seated principles.
Back to how computers were in the early 80s: the electronics designers had about 2 MBs to work with on their computer and not a ton of memory! But their work, the live action and any hand-drawn animation are seamless.
By all means, if you haven't, do see the original "Tron."
Highly recommend.
Oh, and the 2-CD set comes with a bonus disk on how the movie was made.
4 people found this helpful
KerryReviewed in the United States on December 8, 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
Maybe not for everyone, but a fantastic movie nonetheless
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Boy oh boy! This movie! I really do love this movie. That being said, I also work with computers for a living, so I find the entire concept to be fascinating. That aside, this movie is a classic. The special effects may turn some people off, and I know many prefer Tron: Legacy due to it's fantastic effects. However, consider this: in the original Tron, computers were still relatively new, rather basic, and scary things. So naturally, within a computer world, the environment and programs would be rather basic. However, as technology progressed to what we see in Tron: Legacy (even though technically the computer used is only 7 years older), we can see a more complex and developed computer world. Nonetheless, Tron is a great movie, with a fun a plot and a great concept. My personal rating is a 5/5, but viewers who aren't tech savvy may find it difficult to understand some of the computer jokes and concepts. Still, looking beyond that, I believe this is a movie that should not be overlooked due to it's age, and would make a delightful addition to any movie collection.
30 people found this helpful
Raisuli the MagnificentReviewed in the United States on March 25, 2019
5.0 out of 5 stars
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A really outstanding science fiction offering from Disney fortelling dangers of an imperious computer network gone bad. When this film first came out I have to admit that I'm ashamed to say that my Star Trek snobbery really dismissed this film, but once I rented it on VHS some years later, and saw it again on HBO, I wasn't just dazzled by the visuals, but really moved by the dialogue and whole theme of questioning existence of who we are, what we do, and why we're here (if there is a "wherefore").

The film doesn't answer any of those questions, but presents a parallel of us and our relation to, quite frankly, the universe. And it does it by presenting the future of a medium that hadn't taken hold of society like it has today; i.e. the internet before it went public outside of universities, high ranking government and secure military facilities. The net before the net became the net. Though to be fair office computer networks, at least for the US, were still quite common at the time.

Marry that to some really spectacular Disney visuals, production values, and the every well polished performances from the actors, including Jeff Bridges, and you got yourself one first class film.

I mean the film is a product of its time, but it's simplicity and rawness does shine a light on ourselves and what we've become with computers and phones hooked up to the net being ubiquitous.

Why they made a sequel to this I'll never know, but the original film is top grade-A stuff.

Check it out and enjoy.
3 people found this helpful
M. L. HaysReviewed in the United States on December 13, 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
Alert Joel - this is really, really, dreadful
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Truly awful, worthy of MST3K.
Who wrote this trash?
I’m old enough to have seen this in the theater, but never did. Somehow I managed to never rent it either. But when the sequel came out I put into my queue.
You know, I wondered back in the day why no one ever included Tron in their lists of classic early digital sci-fi movies. Now I know, because it is so poorly written. The plot, such as it was, was confusing, and the action nearly impossible to track. Scenes jump from place to place inside the system and seem like nothing so much as excuses to try out an early video game idea.
And talk about crap effects and Ignorantly contrived plot devices. I was willing to remember what tech was like when this came out and to give it a break, but whoever wrote it had exactly zero understanding of the workings of 1970’s era computing.
I’m only giving it 1 star because you can’t give it zero to minus 5.
7 people found this helpful
GrayArcadianReviewed in the United States on December 16, 2015
5.0 out of 5 stars
If the Kids Can't Read Doctorow or Gibson yet, then Get Out the TRON.
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I am teaching computer and information science to middle school students right now, and - well, it's a big subject they hear about *constantly*, but understanding how we got to the point where computers are everywhere and why the ethical questions surrounding them are not simple black and white just isn't something mere facts alone can manage. This is what fiction is *for*. TRON is not computer science as it is. It's computer science as fairy tale. Dillanger and Gibbs' arguments frame some of the debates had by Woz and Jobs about the direction of Apple. Gibbs comments about computers starting to think while the humans stop is brilliant in the face of living AIs who believe in their creators. The MCP off-handedly mentioning he can run things "better" than any human opens up discussion for what constitutes "better," in a wired world. Flynn's attempts to break into ENCOM also opens up the door to questions about the ethics of hacking. TRON offers this thin layer of fiction which makes these large-scale questions easier to discuss at arms' length without insulting some tech company where mom or dad might (more like "probably" with my kids) work. Also, what *does* it mean to "fight for the users" 30+ years later?

Speaking of users, Laura/Yori just being on the screen allows me, as their female teacher, to discuss women in the industry without some of the drama that normally comes from bringing that subject up. (Praise the Users for small favors!) I also get a kick out of showing them the ENCOM basement with all the hard drives and comparing that room to one of their phones and pointing out the lousy passwords all as ways of showcasing change.

Now, regarding the effects: The kids have *zero* problems with them. I thought the CGI/Rotoscope combo might be off-putting, but since it's not a style they're used to, it just comes off as "quirky old movie," for the class. I even got a few "oooohhhhh" out of the room with some of the better scenery moments. The light cycles don't have the same impact they once did it seems, though. In exchange for some minor lost wonder at the effects, they seem to grasp the whole "travelling into and out of a virtual world," more than we geeks of a certain age did.

Bonus feature: TRON and TRON: Legacy are fascinating because they are dystopias which show the differences between what we feared then (Communism; oppressive, distant governments and their surveillance; elitism; our creations surpassing us) and what we fear now (our own creations trying to kill us; boundaries between the "real world," vs.our virtual lives; corporate control and surveillance - which is especially darkly funny with this being a Disney film;). It's one of the only SF universes I can point to the updated itself like that. Yes, it's all very SF-lite, but the ideas are sprinkled through at just the right intervals to make this incredibly useful while guiding a willing audience through difficult and constantly shifting subject matter.
11 people found this helpful
NobodyReviewed in the United States on September 7, 2021
5.0 out of 5 stars
The Original 80s Classic !
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It was a different world back in 1982. Disney had released "Dragonslayer" the year before but was going for something more original than a cliche fairy tale this time. Spawned from a line-drawn back-lit liquid-neon electronic character nicknamed "Tron" (because it was "electronic"), and originally intended to be developed as an animated film, the storyboards for Tron were rejected by various studios before it would find a home with Walt Disney Productions.

Soon after Tron released in theaters (July 9, 1982) its counterpart video game tie-in of the same name showed up in arcades and was awarded "Coin-op game of the year" by Electronic Games magazine. Unfortunately the movie itself received mixed reviews and despite being the highest-grossing live action Disney film in 5 years it was considered a financial disappointment. The Motion Picture Academy would then refuse to nominate Tron for an award in special-effects because they thought that the use of computers was considered cheating. But Tron had further demonstrated the potential of computer graphics in films shortly after the release of "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan" (June 4, 1982), and would develop a cult following which eventually led to the 2010 sequel "Tron Legacy".

Tron is one of the ultimate 80s movies and a must-have for any fan of science fiction films. This 2-Disc Special Edition has everything necessary to relive the magic with lots of bonus material including an 88 minute documentary "The Making of Tron".
BillReviewed in the United States on December 1, 2019
4.0 out of 5 stars
film is what i wanted bought two one is a gift
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the film was exactly what i was looking for. not a cheap remake like 'tron legacy ' is
the sequels, are NEVER as good as the original films. a good friend saw the original film in the theater, and loved it he also played the TRON video games that were in the arcades at the time. this will make the perfect gift for him since this is the original film also am gifting the 26 episode ' VICTORY AT SEA ' set as he also watched this show when it was on NBC on sunday nights in the fifties i do wish there were more sound options on the disc then just surround sound.
One person found this helpful
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