*½/**** Image A+ Sound A+ Extras A
starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan
screenplay by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird
directed by Steven Lisberger
by Walter Chaw When Tron came out in theatres in 1982, it was touted as a revolution in digital imaging technology (which it certainly was), but the film lost any momentum it might have garnered due to the kind of lock-step exposition that characterized the Disney formula of the Seventies and Eighties. (Think The Cat from Outer Space, or the Love Bug phenomenon.) To this day, Disney animation relies upon anthropomorphic animal sidekicks (there is a floating .gif ball named "BIT" in Tron) and the addled old geezer who's a genius and also the father of the beautiful young love interest--hoary old chestnuts that provide as good an explanation as any for the extent to which Disney has fallen behind animé and even its Pixar affiliates in the realm of animated entertainment. Tron stinks of that kind of laziness and worse (for instance, it rips off images whole cloth from Star Wars), leading to the surprising realization that while it touts its technological influence, Tron is actually more instructive a model for the special effects extravaganzas that continue to litter the multiplex: all bells and whistles with nary a hint of plot or character development.