9 July marked a special birthday. 30 years since the greatest Disney movie was released. Controversially this is not 'Lion King', 'Toy Story', 'The Jungle Book' or even the classic 'Basil, the Great Mouse Detective'. It is 'Tron'. Yes, 'Tron'. Before you balk and throw things violently at the screen hear me out. A) Have you actually ever watched it? Like 'Robocop' if you go back to it after a long period of time it's actually better given some years to grow. I agree the visual effects aren't quite as good as these days but considering its 30 years old cut it some slack! B) If you haven't seen it then you probably don't realize the impact it has played on your life. No, really. I mean it.
'Tron' itself was supposedly inspired by the game Pong. Considering how that game relies on two horizontal lines and the dot on a screen then surely this is the best video game to movie conversion ever. If 'Tron' was a man it would poop out the 'Resident Evil' series and all other inferior movies. Luckily, 'Tron' does have an actual real life embodiment. A pillar of the internet; Jay Maynard also known as Tron Guy. This pearl of a human being gained notoriety on the internet by recreating his own 'Tron' outfit. Seeing his wonderful face and outfit could bring joy to any soul. He is a cult hit much like the movie. 91 minutes of sheer brilliance that flopped back in its day but found a home in the hearts of many who have lived by 'Tron' for all these years.
For fans, like myself, I giggle with joy when I'm the only guy who spots each and every 'Tron' reference in modern media. You have some obvious homages on youtube, such as this fine dance number. Even to subtle references you had no idea about such as in music videos or adverts. The Strokes video - 12:51 springs to mind as a video which predated 'Tron:Legacy' and paid tribute to 'Tron' and its motifs. Recently a new video has been released that really shows you how far 'Tron' has come in its 30 year life span. South Korean girl group The Wonder Girls have released a video which clearly is influenced by 'Tron'. None of the members of the famous KPOP band were even born when the movie came out. I would hazard a guess and say that they may have never seen the original 'Tron' but might have seen the most recent follow-up. 'Tron' in its 30 years has crossed oceans and its wonderful design, landscape and the sheer cultural impact make 'Tron' essential viewing.
Oddly enough many Disney animators refused to work on 'Tron' as they feared that CGI may replace them in the following years. They were right to notice the value of CGI as how many great movies have been created post-'Tron'. While you may laugh at how appalling it looks now you must bear in mind that this was ahead of its time. Or atleast I'll argue that for why it had such horrifying box office showings.
'Tron' may not have an award winning musical attached to its success; ala 'Lion King'. It may not have had characters up on stage dancing and singing to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un recently but it still deserves your attention. If you hate real life and want to live in a digital world, if you can't stand the Olympics and need something else to consume or even have a passing interest then I implore you to find and watch 'Tron'. Adore it as much as much as the crazy community out there does and if you fall in love then you know what to do next... build your very own Tron outfit.
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