Tron: 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition (1982)

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Released 17-Mar-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Main Menu Introduction
Menu Animation & Audio
Audio Commentary-Steven Lisberger (Director), Donald Kushner (Producer) et al
Featurette-Early Development of Tron; Early Lisberger Studios Animation
Gallery-Early Concept Art and Background Concepts
Featurette-Computers are People Too; Early Video Tests
Featurette-Backlight Animation; Digital Imagery in Tron; Beyond Tron
Featurette-Role of Triple I; Triple I Demo
Featurette-Lightcycle Scene with Alternate Carlos Music Tracks
Featurette-End Credits with Carlos Music
Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-The Storyboarding Process; Moebius Misc. Storyboarding Art
Featurette-Creation of Tron Main Title-Moebius Storyboards
Gallery-Early Storyboard Artwork; Publicity and Merchandising
Storyboard Comparisons-4
Featurette-Introduction to Design
Gallery-Programs (10); Vehicles (5); Electronic World (7);Production
Deleted Scenes-3 + introduction
Trailer-6
DVD Credits
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1982
Running Time 91:51
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (51:16)
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Steven Lisberger
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring Jeff Bridges
Bruce Boxleitner
Cindy Morgan
David Warner
Dan Shor
Barnard Hughes
Case Amaray-Transparent-S/C-Dual
RPI $44.95 Music Wendy Carlos
Journey


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.20:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
Spanish
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Finnish
Spanish Audio Commentary
Swedish Audio Commentary
Norwegian Audio Commentary
Danish Audio Commentary
Finnish Audio Commentary
Spanish Titling
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement Yes, but not annoying at all.
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

"A Milestone In The History Of Computer Animation"

    There is a world that mirrors our own. One that in some ways is very similar to ours. It is peopled with inhabitants that go about their business, doing their jobs, playing games, carrying out research, falling in love and growing a society, just as we do. But this other world is not so much in another place as it is in another reality, a cyber reality that takes place inside a computer. And in this world something is going very, very wrong...

Meanwhile in the real world.....

    Kevin Flynn has been hard done by. Once the star computer programmer at multi-national software giant Encom, Flynn has been drummed out of the corporation by a rival named Ed Dillinger. On the eve of releasing a collection of new video games that he himself has written, Kevin is shocked to find that not only are his files missing, but his access to the company's system is denied. With no access to the network and nothing to show for his months of effort, Flynn is forced from Encom and becomes a video arcade operator. Shortly thereafter, Encom programmer Ed Dillinger (David Warner) announces that he has written some spectacular new games for the company and even though Dillinger has taken credit for his work, Flynn hasn't given up on trying to find the missing files that could prove who the real author of the new games is and continually hacks into the Encom system with ever-increasing success. Unfortunately, he can never quite get to the information that he is looking for. But he is making progress, and the MCP, the Master Control Program that runs the Encom 511 mainframe knows this.

    Enlisting the help of two former work mates (one his former girlfriend), Flynn (Jeff Bridges) hatches a plan to get into the Encom system not by hacking, but from a terminal within the company headquarters itself. A risky proposition at best, but with a little smooth talking and some nifty gadgets, Flynn, Lori (the former girlfriend) and Alan (Lori's new boyfriend) break into the Encom building, set up in Lori's research lab and begin to look for proof that the company's now Senior Executive Vice President Ed Dillinger is a fraud and a thief. Along with Flynn's investigations into his lost files, Alan (Bruce  Boxleitner) has written a new security program called Tron, which can monitor the Encom system and all its connected systems and watchdog the MCP as well. This is too much for the MCP who, bored with infiltrating other corporations and appropriating programs to continually upgrade himself, has set his eyes on the Pentagon, the Kremlin and Beijing. The MCP believes that he has become far better than humans and can control things much better. But all this could be undone if Kevin Flynn exposes the truth about Dillinger and the MCP's actions, and the MCP isn't about to let that happen. Lori has been working on a new matter digitizing technique and the MCP is going to find it very useful. Sitting at a terminal in Lori's research area, Kevin never knows what hits him.

"This isn't happening, he only thinks it's happening..."

    Kevin materializes into a different reality, but he has a hard time grasping what has happened to himself. One thing that he does grasp is that this new world is very harsh, very brutal and strangely familiar. Even some of the 'people' he meets look like people he knows. He soon discovers that he and other 'programs' appropriated from other systems have been detained and enslaved by the Master Control Program who demands total loyalty. Failure to comply with the MCP's demands result in the offending program being forced to participate in gladiatorial video games that are played to the death!  It is here, in this virtual reality, that Kevin Flynn meets Tron, who is the alter ego of Alan in the real world. Quickly taking to the new cyber world (with sometimes limited success), Flynn, Tron and fellow prisoner Ram escape during a Lightcycle game and lose themselves in the system. Tron knows that his 'User' Alan wants him to fight the MCP and restore freedom to the enslaved system, and Flynn is just the man to help, as he himself is a 'User' in program's clothing. Now, with Tron and his mate Yori (the alter ego of Lori) united to fight the MCP, Flynn must use all his talents as a programmer and gamesman to travel to the heart of the Encom system and crash the Master Control Program before it and its henchman Sark (the ego of Dillinger) can stop them. It's a battle between the creator and its creation that can have only one winner, and the stakes are very high.

    This film works on quite a few levels, and these have increased over the last 20 years. For one, it is a reference showcase as to the state of sophisticated animation technique in the early 80s. This is one of those films that many for years to come will use to mark the evolution of the genre. Steamboat Willie, King Kong, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia, Dragonslayer, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Jurassic Park and Final Fantasy. This is a sample of the many films that represent  major contributions to animation. Some as pure animation, others as examples of how various forms of animation could be integrated into traditional filmmaking. Where Tron would fit into this group is in its use of computer rendering and animation to create a world on the screen. It is very appropriate that the first film to feature vast amounts of CG content would in fact take place inside a computer itself. Director Steven Lisberger had set up an animation studio and  had done some work including a studio logo that he later onsold to radio networks for use on television to promote whatever radio station he had sold it to. This animation featured a character made of light, threw glowing discs and was nicknamed 'Tron'. It was at this time that Lisberger began to conceive of the film that would become Tron. Undaunted by the overwhelming prospect of what such a production would entail, Lisberger began to storyboard the film and started to work at attracting a studio to back the project. It would not be an easy sell.

"There are no problems, only solutions."

   After several knockbacks, it was at the citadel of animation, Disney Studios where the project would get the green light. The Disney Corporation was having a hard time adjusting to the ever more sophisticated world of the 80s. It seemed that their standard fare of family-friendly animation wasn't attracting the audience it once ruled with a four fingered white glove. After several years where the studio's popularity had waned theatrically, Disney was ready to try something different. Seeing the huge attraction of video games, a modern extension of the old pinball games, the studio thought it had hit on the right formula for the youth of the time and with popular actor Jeff Bridges attached it seemed like a sure thing. In the end, Tron had mixed results. While not a financial flop, it wasn't the cash bonanza that the studio expected, and the critics were not kind either as the film was described by some as disappointing,  lacklustre and the film faced the prospect of fading into obscurity. But a loyal and enthused fan base had been created and as the television show Star Trek demonstrated, fans have long memories and vote with their feet.

    Fast forward to the advent of digital video, the world wide web, virtual reality and the ever-continuing impossible quest to perfect the art of computer animation. In a world of The Matrix and Final Fantasy, some would remember that there was once a film that had attempted to portray much the same thing as these films had: to construct on film a world fantastic, beyond our own by way of computer animation. Re-released to a limited audience on the now defunct laserdisc format, this film is now available to a thankful legion of fans on the 20th (okay, more like the 21st) anniversary of its theatrical release and Disney has pulled out all the stops. At first reluctant to embrace DVD technology, Disney now stands as a benchmark that many a film company could chose to emulate. Gone are the first tentative forays into the digital video world with some bare bones disc lacking features and sometimes 16x9 enhancement (more so in Region 1), Disney now is at the forefront of innovation in the DVD format. This disc is no exception. Packed with features and and insights into the film's production, this disc is a must for any fan of classic animation and required ownership for those out there who had survived on either the initial laserdisc edition or the first Region 1 disc (as I had) for the last 5 odd years. This disc features a myriad of extras that are more than just filler to take up room on a second disc and an excuse to charge you more. There are some very interesting interviews from around the time of the initial release of the film, and some conceptual content from storyboards through to test animations. Also included is some very early computer animation that would serve as the impetus for the creation of this film.

    This is not only one of my favourite films, but the favourite of millions worldwide. The advent of DVD saw me purchase the original Region 1 disc as one of the first discs in my collection. I was never disappointed that I got it, but I did long for a version that featured some of the behind-the-scenes material that was included in the 1995 laserdisc version of the film. Okay, so I had to wait 5 years. It was worth it. I can wholeheartedly recommend this disc for any fan of the film. 20 plus years on, it still looks great, a landmark in cinema by anyone's standard and extremely highly recommended.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    Although there are some basic flaws that are revealed when viewing this disc, these are for the most part acceptable and a very commendable transfer is offered here.

    This film is presented close to its original theatrical aspect ratio of 2.20:1 with a 2.35:1 16x9 enhanced presentation on offer. This differs from the usual aspect ratio preferred by Disney, that being 1.66:1, but is more conducive to the expansive world created and portrayed by the filmmakers.

    The level of sharpness available here is quite reasonable despite many of the intensive photographic techniques used in the production of this film. At times, there are up to 40 photographed elements that were used to compile various scenes in the film. Hence, there are some visible flaws that, due to the nature of the technology available during production, were unavoidable. It would be nitpicking to cite these as flaws as they would have been visible in the theatrical version. There is quite a bit of shadow and darkness in this feature, and the level of shadow detail and quality of image seen during some of the various dark scenes is quite good. There were times during the scenes in the Encom lab where the image seemed to slightly lack some detail in the darker areas, but this was mostly in isolated cases. Despite the many scenes with solid colour and shading, I didn't have any issues with low level noise.

     Colour use during this feature was quite important to the filmmakers and to their credit, they managed to capture a mixture of colour that served the film well. The use of colour during this film ranges from the completely natural to the fantastic and this has been captured well on the disc we have here. The colour is vibrant, exaggerated, muted, absent and completely natural depending upon the scene in question. All-in-all, this is an excellent use of colour and the disc portrays it well.

    Thankfully, MPEG artefacts are absent during this presentation. Probably the most frequent artefact present is aliasing. Perhaps unavoidable during the filming of the movie, we do get a fair amount during the film as can be seen at 26:03 on the computer racks, 30:01 on the cyber landscape, 34:11 on Sark's cruiser and 40:46 on the game grid. This is just an example as this artefact is visible during much of the film. There is quite a bit of cross colouration visible during Disc 2 on many of the drawn production photos. This annoying flaw thankfully seems confined to the still images on Disc 2 and is not a problem with the main program on Disc 1. Telecine wobble is a hard one to pick during this film. There were so many elements that were involved in the production of the film that this artefact is seemingly visible quite frequently. A prime example of this is seen at 49:48 where Ram's listless body seems to move side to side unnaturally. Due to the multitude of photographic effects used on this film, this was probably unavoidable. Rather than filming computer-generated shots directly from the source (which at the time was virtually impossible), computer generated images were filmed and committed to transparencies which were combined with live action images and hand drawn elements, of which there were much more than I envisaged. As stated before, these at times numbered over 40 and were quite frequently near 20 in number, so it is not surprising that a jittery image is visible from time to time during this film. Genuine telecine wobble looked to be visible at 10:25, but I could be wrong. Film grain is visible during much of this film, but not to a distracting extent. A continual glitch in the system, edge enhancement, seems to have been mostly debugged during most of this programme with its only major appearances being during some of the supplementary material seen on Disc 2.

    I found the English subtitles during this programme to be quite accurate and during much of the film almost word for word.

    This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change placed at a very quiet scene change, at 51:16. This is a perfect place for a change that, whilst almost unnoticeable during the film, is quite evident while listening to the audio commentary.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio available on this disc is quite good with a very commendable 5.1 remastered mix available.

    There are three audio tracks available on this disc, these being English and Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes and an English Audio Commentary in Dolby Digital 2.0. I listened to the English 5.1 mix and the audio commentary.

    Dialogue quality was very good during most of this program and at no time did I have any issue with what a particular character was saying. Also, audio sync wasn't a problem and with the exception of some obvious ADR, the movements of the character's mouths matched that of the audio coming from them. With the frequent use of multi-element animation throughout the feature, this is an area that could have presented a problem. Thankfully, it doesn't.

    Music for the film comes from electronic music pioneer Wendy Carlos. Wendy has a history of innovation in the electronic music scene with the popular album Switched On Bach (as Walter Carlos before gender reassignment in the early 70s). In a time when electronic music meant the 'Mighty Moog' synthesizer, this soundtrack was state of the art. All these years later and you can tell that the sound has dated, but this is far from being to the detriment of the film's score. As with the technology used to produce the images in the film, so it is with the production of the film's score. This film featured an electronic soundtrack that represented the pinnacle of achievement at the time of its production. 25 years since the first use of electronic music in a film's score (The Forbidden Planet in 1956 would be the first) and things had come a long way. A combination of synthesizer and traditional orchestra would be used to make a landmark and memorable score. Adding to the film's music was the popular 70s and 80s band Journey. Fronted by vocalist Steve Perry, the band contributed 2 songs to the soundtrack, these being Only Solutions, heard at Flynn's arcade and during the end titles of the film, and the instrumental song The 1990s that also can be heard during some of the scenes at Flynn's arcade. Wendy Carlos seems a bit miffed that the end finale composed for the final credits was dumped in favour of a replay of Only Solutions, but I found the inclusion of the song at this point quite apt. Carlos was also disappointed at the dropping of the score for the lightcycle sequence, but again I believe that the filmmaker's choice in having only the sound of the scene and no score was the correct one. The Pod Race as seen during The Phantom Menace didn't seem to require much score and I'd put the lightcycle sequence in the same league. Still, the musical soundtrack by Wendy works very well for this film.

    We get quite a bit of surround presence during this feature as is evidenced at 34:25 during Sark's speech and at 50:40 during the scene at the wrecked Recognizer. These are merely examples as rear effects are used frequently during the programme.

    The LFE channel gets as much (maybe even more) work during this film with much contribution from our deep sounding friend. Stand-out examples are to be  heard at 7:13 during the interrogation, 23:50 at the door ('Now That is a big door!'), 34:10 with Sark's cruiser, 43:29 with the Recognizers and 89:02 with the pipe organ during the end titles. Overall, an excellent use of the .1 channel.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    The extras included on the 2 discs that make up the program are comprehensive.

Menu

    Each disc starts with a Language Selection menu with the following languages available:

    With selection of the appropriate language, the viewer is taken to the distributor's logos, some menu animation and then the disc's Main Menu. On Disc 1, the options on offer are:     The menus on this disc are presented with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0 and are 16x9 enhanced.

Audio Commentary  -  Director Steven Lisberger, Producer Donald Kushner, Assistant Producer and Visual Effects Supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw and Visual Effects Supervisor Richard Taylor

    This is a very interesting, albeit tech-heavy (perhaps necessarily so) commentary detailing the conception, production and execution of Tron. It looks as though we have the original laserdisc commentary here. It is a must-hear for any fan of the film as it provides many an insight. Perhaps the only thing lacking is more commentary on the ideas and concepts covered by the film's story. Perhaps the filmmakers thought this was all-too-obvious to comment upon, but I would have been interested to hear more on the genesis of the original story. Also interesting would have been some input from the film's main cast. There was talk of a director and cast commentary, but this failed to eventuate which is sad really as getting the main stars in for a chat 20 years on would have been interesting. Audio for this commentary is in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Disc 2

    The start up of Disc 2 is the same as Disc 1, starting with the Language Selection Menu. After selecting the appropriate language, we are taken to the disc's Main Menu, offering us:

    Also included is a hidden DVD Credits page that can be selected by using your DVD's navigation keys to highlight a icon at the middle of the Main Menu. Once highlighted and selected, you get a 2 page list detailing those responsible for authoring the DVD. Like Disc 1's animated menus, audio is Dolby Digital 2.0. Unlike Disc 1's menus, there is no 16x9 enhancement on Disc 2.

Development

    This section is divided into the following features:

Early Development of Tron  -  2:38

    Features some interviews with the film's director Steven Lisberger and producer Don Kushner near the release of the film. Some of this early interview footage seems to have been done on a home video camera in the early 80s. As would be expected, the image quality for these portions is far from reference, but very watchable as it is the subject matter that matters in these features. 

Early Lisberger Studio Animation  - 0:31

    Some very early 80s looking footage. This is the initial 'Tron' logo that the film's director Steven Lisberger sold to rock stations to use for television promotion of the radio station.

Early Concept Art and Background Concepts  -  30 static images

    A feature that details some early drawings of the computer world of Tron. While some of the drawings are quite a ways off, some are very similar to what we see in the final version.

"Computers are People Too"  -  4:29

    Features interviews with the principal crew including the film's director about the state of the art processes that went into the making of the film.

Early Video Tests  -  0:31

    These are some early tests that were commissioned by Disney to see what the final film might (and would) look like.

Digital Imagery

    This section is dedicated to how much of the backlighting technique and computer animation was done. In this section we are offered the following:

Backlight Animation  -  1:40

    This feature shows the painstaking attention to detail that went into the production of the film. As full motion computer animation wasn't available at the time, various photographed elements had to be collated, enhanced, backlit and photographed, all by hand. Amazing work that could never be replicated today because of sheer cost.

Digital Imagery in Tron  -  3:46

    This feature shows some of the interesting computer work that went into the making of the film.

"Beyond Tron"  -  4:01

    Here we learn of the MAGI (Mathematics Application Group Inc.) company's contribution to the film.

Role of Triple I  -  0:35

    This is a short feature about how Disney was lead to believe that Tron could be made into a feature film.

Triple I Demo  -  2:16

    These are some early computer animation tests from computer animation company Triple I. These are not directly related to Tron itself, but rather an example of the state of animation at the time. Interestingly, the face of the computer animated juggler would become the face of the MCP.

Music

    This is one of the sparsely featured portions of this extras disc. An isolated soundtrack of Wendy Carlos' score would have been nice. Instead, we have 2 parts of the film where the music that was originally composed was removed.

Lightcycle Scene with Alternate Music Takes  -  2:47

    Wendy Carlos composed a score for the lightcycle battle. I always found that the lack of music during this scene actually made more of the scene, but the film's composer feels differently. Here we have the chance to see and determine what we really think.

End Credits with Original Carlos Music  -  5:16

    Carlos' score was intended to play through the entire credit sequence, but then it was decided that the Journey song Only Solutions would better round out the credits.

Making of Tron  -  Total running time  -  88:22

    This is the main feature on the extras disc and covers much of the film's production from its original concepts to the pitch to the studios to the filming and final release of the film and perhaps beyond with the possibility of a sequel (called either Tron 2.0 or Tron:  Killer App). Very interesting indeed. This feature is divided into 4 portions:

Storyboarding

    This shows how storyboards were used from the initial promotion of the film as a bankable and filmable project to how various parts of the film would look on completion. The sections on offer are:

The Storyboard Process  -  2:53

    A look at how the use of storyboards brought the film to life. It is interesting to note that viewing these storyboards makes one think of the film Gladiator with much of the gladiatorial aspect shown in these images.

Moebius Misc. Storyboarding Artwork  - 78 images over 10 pages

    A collection of artwork detailing some early concepts of what the film might have been like. Each of the images (as is the case with all the static images on this extras disc) are either viewable in a montage in small menu size or full frame size where you can advance from one image through to another.

Storyboard to Film Comparisons
Multi Angle Feature Introduction  - 0:52

    This feature lets the viewer cycle (pun unintended) through the various elements that went into the making of the famous lightcycle battle.

    These three features can be watched separately or together using the player's multi-angle feature.

Creation of Tron Main Title - Moebius Storyboards  -  0:17

    Some very early and basic storyboards of the film's main titles.

Early Storyboard Artwork  -  94 images over 11 pages

Design

    This part of the extras details how some of the characters, vehicles and the electronic world itself were created. We have on offer the following:

Introduction to Design  -  1:11

    Here the film's director talks about the original concepts for the film, the story and how it was designed.

The Programs

    These are storyboards of how the characters of the film were developed. Included are:

The Vehicles

    This covers the various vehicles that are seen in the film. This section is divided into:

Lightcycles
    Syd Mead Discusses the Lightcycle Design  -  1:53

    Syd from MAGI discusses the way that the cycles were designed to accommodate the film's budget constraints. In the end, a fantastic result was achieved.

    MAGI Animation Tests  -  0:15  (this time was derived with a stopwatch as there is no time encoding for this short feature)

    Some very early tests that mirror what we see in the final cut of the film.

    Lightcycle Designs  -  52 images over 6 pages
Recognizer
    Recognizer Designs  -  22 images over 3 pages
    Space Paranoids Video Game Letterbox  -  0:18
    Space Paranoids Video Game Fullscreen  - 
0:18

    These two videos are the ones seen while Flynn is playing the game Space Paranoids in his arcade at the start of the film. I loved the look of this game when I first saw this film and dreamed that one day arcade game would indeed look like this. I am still waiting for someone to write this game.

Tank  -  36 images over 4 pages
Sark's Cruiser  -  33 images over 4 pages
Solar Sailer  -  27 images over 3 pages
 
The Electronic World
Dillinger's Office and Flynn's Arcade  -  4 images
The Game Grid  -  23 images over 3 pages
Power Cave  -  7 images
I/O Tower Designs  -  5 images
Yori's Apartment  -  9 images
The Electronic World  -  34 images over 4 pages
Triple I Models  -  4 images

Deleted Scenes

    Three deleted scenes which are now available for viewing here.

Introduction by Director Steven Lisberger  -  2:19

    Director Steven Lisberger discusses the deleted scenes included as extras, their context within the film and why they were eventually removed from the film.

Tron and Yori's Love Scene  -  2:19

    Once Tron is reunited with his love Yori at the Solar Sailer research facility, she takes him back to her sparse apartment, which has a few surprises in store. This scene was fully finished with all backlighting, animation, musical score and sound completed before the director decided that for pacing reasons the scene had to go. Although it is really interesting to have this scene included, I can understand its deletion from the final cut. Presented in 2.20:1 without 16x9 enhancement. Audio is Dolby Digital 2.0.

Tron and Yori's Love Scene #2  -  0:45

    A shorter 'morning after' scene that is hard to judge as all audio for this scene has been lost. Presented in 2.20:1 without 16x9 enhancement.

Alternate Opening Prologue  -  1:22

    This is a text introduction to the cyber world as depicted in the film. While not included in the initial U.S. release of the film, it was used on the international prints of the film and some video releases. This is a different start that I feel is unnecessary, but interesting to read in hindsight. It is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.20:1, non 16x9 enhanced and with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Publicity

    This section offers some promotional images, posters, trailers and merchandise that was made available upon the release of the film. This feature's menu offers:

Trailers

    This menu is a bit cryptic with its options of the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 4 selectable which present the 4 trailers on offer. There is no other was of determining what trailer you have selected until you actually select it. Then you know. The theatrical trailers here are:

1  -  Theatrical Trailer (#1)  -  2:36

    At first this looks to be a teaser trailer, but in fact is the longest of the 4 available. It starts out talking about the Encom 511, the most powerful computer in the world and then segues to Flynn being 'rezed' from the real world into the computer. The image quality during this trailer is fairly ordinary with film artefacts and telecine wobble fairly common. This and all the theatrical trailers here are presented full frame and with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0

2  -  Theatrical Trailer (#2)  -  1:35

    A similar trailer to the first but much better in terms of video quality. This trailer also features some of the film's original score by Wendy Carlos.

3  -  Theatrical Trailer (#3)  -  1:03

    More original footage than the other trailers, but still very much in the vein of the first 2.

4  -  Theatrical Trailer (#4)  -  1:36

    Very similar to the third trailer with some slight variations.

Nato and Work in Progress Features

    Also included in the trailer menu are the selectable options of:

    Nato  -  5:03

    Nothing to do with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but rather the North American Theater Owners organization. This lengthy trailer was produced by the studio to promote the film not to the general public, but to the theatre owners themselves. This fascinating trailer features some alternate music, shots and sound that are not seen during the final cut of the film. Presented in 2.20:1, non 16x9 enhanced with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

    Work in Progress  -  1:20

    This is a short trailer that was produced to show the general gist of the film. It features some very raw and uncompleted shots and effects. It is presented in full frame with audio in Dolby Digital 2.0.

Production Photos  -  87 images over 10 pages

    Pictures taken during the production of the film.

Publicity and Merchandising  -  37 images over 6 pages

    Shows some movie posters, toys and film crew clothing.
 

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     This title has been made available in Region 1 twice. The first was the initial Disney disc that was made available in 1998. Obviously, the second is the 20th Anniversary Edition which is nearly the same as what we have available here.

     In comparison to the new 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition, the first Region 1 version missed out on 16x9 enhancement and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. The first version featured audio in 4.1. The original Region 1 disc did feature more chapter stops with 28 chapters available in comparison to the 20th Anniversary Collector's Edition's 19 chapters selectable.

     There is little difference between the Region 1 version and this new Region 4 disc. The Region 4 version misses out on:

     The Region 1 version misses out on:

     As you can see, there isn't really much in it. In terms of local availability and affordability along with superior PAL video resolution, this would nudge this disc just over the line to give the Region 4 disc the slimmest of wins.

Summary

 

       By the time you've read this review, you'll probably be aware of the fact that I am a real fan of this film. Growing up as a child of the 80s (yeah, one of those), this is a real trip down nostalgia lane. Does this affect my judgement in regards to the various merits of this disc? Absolutely. Does this negate the validity of my arguments as to the value of this film? Don't know, and I really don't care. The film still has its detractors, even 20 odd years on. This is one that you will really have to try on for yourself. If you are of the generation that grew up in the early to mid 80s, then you may very well have fond memories of this groundbreaking film. I would like to know what the youth of the 00s think of this one. It set the stage for all the computer animated films that came after it, and with computer animated films becoming ever more frequent and popular, it is very much worth the time to look back and see how it all started. A must buy.

     The video is quite reasonable. Although there were many elements (sometimes up to 40) photographed for just one frame of the film, the image is quite vibrant and sharp. It would be nitpicking to slam every flaw evident on this disc as what we have here is a testament to the state of the art in computer animation over 20 years ago. We were bound to see some flaws due to the limitations of the technology in 1982. This disc presents the film as it would have been seen during its original release.

     The audio is good with a clean and active Dolby Digital 5.1 mix expanding from the original 2.0 audio that was heard during its theatrical release.

     The extras are comprehensive with a full second disc of special features included.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Sean Bradford (There is no bio.)
Thursday, March 06, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDPanasonic DVD RA-61, using S-Video output
DisplayBeko TRW 325 / 32 SFT 10 76cm (32") 16x9. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to DVD player, Dolby Digital, dts and DVD-Audio.
AmplificationYamaha RX-V2090
SpeakersVAF DC-X fronts; VAF DC-6 center; VAF DC-2 rears; LFE-07subwoofer (80W X 2)

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Comments (Add)
R1 v R4 - briggsy REPLY POSTED
what about sound Bit rate R1 V R4?? - AXE REPLY POSTED