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Trivia / TRON

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  • Ability over Appearance: Jeff Bridges wasn't the original or intended choice for Flynn. According to Lisberger, Flynn was originally envisioned as a thinner, more stereotypical "nerdy" type of guy as one might imagine a computer programmer to look as opposed to Bridges, who is a large, athletic, classically handsome man, but he just brought so much energy to the role that they just had to cast him. Then the Nerds Are Sexy trope was born.
  • Acting for Two:
    • Dillinger, Sark and the MCP are all played by David Warner.
    • All programs have the same actor as their Users: Flynn and Clu, Alan and Tron, Lora and Yori...note 
    • Even the PA announcements in the laser bay were done by the same person voicing the announcements inside the Game Grid.
  • Black Sheep Hit: It was a product of the Disney Dark Age note  where the studio was throwing anything it could at the proverbial wall and hoping it stuck. A live-action soft sci-fi film with heavy-duty religious themes and an astonishing amount of graphic violence isn't a typical Disney flick (at least not until The New '10s), and it's one of the only products of the Disney Dark Age that made a lasting impression on pop culture.
  • Completely Different Title:
    • Taiwan: Electronic World Contest
  • Defictionalization:
    • The "Light Cycle" game became a popular arcade game pretty quickly, which is somewhat recursive considering that it itself was based on one of the first arcade games.
    • Inverted with the TRON arcade game (whose cabinet is briefly seen) which was released just shortly before the movie (and spawned both a sequel and a few home games). The movie received not one, but two arcade games: TRON and Discs of TRON. Discs was originally supposed to be part of the former, but was cut for time. Interestingly, the "Grid Bugs" appear in the game TRON, but only receive a comment in the movie TRON!
    • Eventually played straight with Space Paranoids, which was released as an online game in 2009.
  • Deleted Scene: The "love" scene between Tron and Yori, including Yori getting a new outfit before they head for the I/O Tower. Described in detail in the novel.
  • Doing It for the Art: Stephen Lisberger said he originally had the solar sailer's wings be opaque, since making them translucent would cost an arm and a leg. He was finally convinced, and was happy that he was, stating that the sailer was far more beautiful, delicate and butterfly-like with translucent wings.
  • Dueling Dubs: There are two Japanese dubs for the film. The first dub premiered in 1987 as part of Fuji TV's "Golden Screen Theater" programming block. Eighteen years later, a new dub was recorded by Disney for a home video release; it was eventually carried over to the Disney+ streaming service.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Tron's Death Glare during the disc duel near the beginning. Lisberger was pissing Boxleitner off, challenging his acting, while Frisbees were being whipped at him. The final take had Tron catching the Frisbee behind his head and whipping it back - while glaring at his "opponent". He was actually glaring at Lisberger as a Take That!.note 
  • Fandom Life Cycle: Was a Stage 2 (cult thing) for decades until in the mid-2000s, Kingdom Hearts II led to Stage X (Newbie Boom) and the momentum continued with even the long-awaited sequel. Then one decade later, Disney's treatment of the franchise led to 6a (cooldown) by cancelling the third movie and overall neglecting TRON.
  • The Foreign Subtitle:
    • Brazil: TRON: An Electronic Odyssey
    • Hungary: TRON, or the Rebellion of the Computer
  • Inspiration for the Work: The inspiration for Tron occurred in 1976 when Steven Lisberger, then an animator of drawings with his own studio, looked at a sample reel from a computer firm called MAGI (who would work on the film itself, handing the iconic Light Cycle scene, Clu's tank, the Recognizer chase and shots of the Master Control Program with Information International Inc.) and saw Pong for the first time. He was immediately fascinated by video games, and wanted to do a film incorporating them.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: By the time of TRON: Legacy's release in 2010, the film was hard to find on either DVD or Netflix. Seemed weird, as studios normally use sequels to put some films back in the market - it was averted only when Legacy hit shelves in 2011, bringing TRON on both DVD and Blu-Ray. It also became available as a launch title on Disney+.
  • Production Posse: A retroactive example: This film would be the first time Disney would partner up with Taiwanese company Wang Film Productions, then known as Cuckoo's Nest, who were responsible for most of the film's optical effects.
  • Referenced by...: The music video "Abiura di me" from Italian singer Caparezza takes place in a TRON-like world, complete with light cycles and a Huge Holographic Head of Caparezza himself as Final Boss (just like the MCP).
  • Role Reprise: In the second Japanese dub, Hiroshi Tsuchida (Tron), Tetsuo Kanao (Sark) and Ikuya Sawaki (Master Control Program) reprise their roles from Kingdom Hearts II.
  • Sequel Gap: Twenty-one years between the film and Sequel in Another Medium, TRON 2.0. Another seven years between that and TRON: Legacy
  • Show Accuracy/Toy Accuracy: The original toyline and its 2002 re-release zig-zag it. On the one hand, the sculpts of Tron, Flynn, and Sark are spot on and the Light Cycles are outstandingly accurate with only a couple of minor inaccuracies. On the other hand, accessories are pure white plastic with no paint, and the Tron Lines are painted on as solid colors against translucent plastic, making them inverted compared to the characters they represent. Also, the circuit patterns and the sculpt of the "warrior" (one of Sark's guards) are only sort of ballparked.
  • Talking to Himself: David Warner plays Dillinger, Sark, and the MCP. The MCP is shown to interact with the other two on numerous separate occasions.
  • Technology Marches On: Sort of — the film is based in an '80s supercomputer, and the angular look was a deliberate aesthetic choice to make TRON look like a 16-bit world.
  • Those Two Actors:
  • Throw It In: When the prints came back from Taiwan, there were often errors in the frames that looked like flashes of light, in part due to the cels being shipped back before the ink dried. Since it would cost way too much to have it done over, Lisberger had a "Eureka!" Moment and realized, of course the computer world would have electric glitches. So, basically, he added a sound effect and it became atmosphere.
  • Trope Namer: Tron Lines.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The film was conceived as a fully animated movie but due to limited technology and financial reasons, the film became live-action with ground-breaking special the time. Although they tried to bring that idea back to Disney with an adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are only for that idea to be scrapped as well.
    • Lisberger asked Peter O'Toole to play Dillinger... however, he really wanted to play Tron and went so far as to go jumping up and down on beds and furniture just to prove he was still nimble enough for such a physically demanding job.
    • On the DVD's "Making of" documentary, they explain that O'Toole bowed out after finding out that the majority of the film would be shot in front of blue-screen (or black, whatever) instead of on sets and locations. Technically, any scenes in the electronic world that had actors in them were filmed on sets. They were just all black with backlit animation added in post-production.
    • The first band offered to score rock songs for the movie's soundtrack was Supertramp.
    • Debbie Harry of Blondie was among the actresses who were screen-tested for the role of Lora/Yori.
  • The Wiki Rule: The TRON Wiki.
  • Word of God: All of the programs retain their User's personality. For example, Cindy Morgan was told that Yori retains some vague memory of her user (Lora) having a romance with Flynn at one time.