Watching "Tron" again filled me with a warm nostalgia for the three-and-a-half minute squawk of my brother's ZX Spectrum loading up on a Saturday afternoon. The impressive thing is discovering how good it still looks.
Of course it's dated somewhat. But the film has such a unique style that many of the computer animation effects still work. The lightcycle race, for instance, is still exciting. Part of this is due to the effective art design, which plays to the strengths of CGI animation of the time. Machines built from geometric shapes have glowing outlines, and look cold and electronic - just as they should.
The live-action element of the cyberworld sequences were shot in black and white and coloured later. This, together with the wonderful costumes gives the film a unique feel - half futuristic, half silent-movie - that prevents the film from dating as badly as other 1980s films. "Tron" does not look anywhere near as bad as most brat-pack films do now - and they were set in the "real world"!
This DVD package is great. The extras are extensive, the animated menus are a delight, and (most important of all) the film itself looks stunning. Best of all is the line, "Without Tron there would be no Toy Story" - said by the director of "Toy Story" himself!
"Tron" is fun and imaginative. Sure there's the odd clunky line thrown in to remind you how "new" computer language was in 1982 ("They couldn't build a circuit that could hold you"). But "Tron" works best as an update of the old black and white serials like Buck Rogers - it's just good, groundbreaking fun.