Tron Legacy 3D/Tron: The Original Classic - 2 Movie Collection (US Import)

Stereoscopic sci-fi sequel sets a new benchmark for 3D on BD

Tron and Tron Legacy are films that enthuse and infuriate in equal amount. Both the ‘Original Classic’ (which may be pushing it a bit) and its belated sequel are films that don’t bear thinking about too hard lest the plots fall apart like a spectacularly flimsy house of cards. Instead, both favour style over substance… and what incredible style it is. Set inside a virtual world, these films look like nothing else you’ve ever seen: a world where the style convinces you that yes, of course, things would look like this inside a computer. And that’s how it works, until one of the cast opens their mouths and delivers yet more dreadful dialogue that rips you straight out of the world it creates. But then another great action scene occurs to wash it all away.

Picture: Tron’s AVC 2.20:1 1080p encode flaunts the film’s age, filling the screen with rough-hewn live-action photography matched with crisp and vibrant (it extremely basic) CG visuals. It may not be the most attractive thing you’ll ever watch, but it’s about as accurate representation of the film you’ll ever see.

Tron Legacy is a completely different kettle of fish, in both 2D and 3D incarnations. Following in The Dark Knight’s footsteps it switches aspect ratios between 2.40:1 (35mm) and 1.78:1 for material shot using IMAX cameras. While the switching is a little annoying, there’s no denying that the 1.78:1 footage looks simply incredible - and unlike the Blu-ray of the Batman movie, there’s no over-abundance of edge enhancement in the rest of the material to compensate for the sharpness of the IMAX material.

While you have to wait until Chapter 4 until the action enters the Grid for the 3D to kick in, the MVC 2.40:1/1.78:1 1080p stereoscopic version looks every bit as good as the 2D version. It’s crisp, razor-sharp and rock solid, with no distracting crosstalk to be seen. The latter is probably because the use of 3D is carefully managed and kept within sensible levels that add weight to things and allow the odd flashy effect (such as a vertiginous drop or flying disc) without stressing the viewer’s eyes.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: It’s hardly surprising that Tron is showing its age a bit on Blu-ray with a DTS-HD MA 5.1 mix that is naturally limited by the quality and precision of the original materials. A little more surprising is just how good its sequel sounds. Mixed in 7.1-channels for its cinema release, the Blu-ray’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix is every bit the perfect compliment to its 3D visuals. It’s pure reference quality stuff that makes incredible use of the full soundstage to create a believable world out what would otherwise be people standing around covered in fancy lighting and computer effects. And just when you’ve come to terms with how well the Foley and dialogue effects are handled, that’s when Daft Punk’s phenomenal score blows your socks off.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Despite its five discs this ‘2-Movie Collection’ isn’t quite as stacked as we hoped. A barebones 3D Blu-ray of Tron Legacy (unless you count the 3D trailer for Pirates… 4 that starts it off), a DVD copy of that film and a Digital Copy of the same count for three of the discs, which leaves us with just the 2D Blu-ray versions of the films. Tron fares best with all of the goodies from the old two-disc DVD, plus a couple of new featurettes. Tron Legacy is less impressive, serving up a trailer for a forthcoming Tron cartoon, four featurettes, a music video, a suite of video clips that further build the world of Tron and a Second Screen function that syncs up a laptop or iPod with the film and provides access to mini-featurettes, production art and more.
Extras rating: 4/5

We say: This spectacular sci-fi pairing have never looked or sounded this good before.

Walt Disney Home Entertainment, All-region BD/R1 DVD (US Import), £42 approx (, On sale now