On April 5, 2011, Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment released TRON: Legacy on Blu-ray in not one or two but seven different sets. Amazingly, that doesn't include the various permutations of the packaging, the extras, and other accoutrements that fans can find at the TRON soundtrack website. In an effort to try and just get a grasp on the amount of material that is available to potential consumers and collectors, we've compiled as much of it as we could find, and will try to decipher the difference in these various volumes as you're deciding how much time and money you care to dedicate to TRON.
The marquee set for the film is the five-disc set featuring Identity Disc Collectible Packaging, which includes a Blu-ray of the film in 3D, a Blu-ray in 2D which also features the film's bonus content, a standard-definition 2D DVD that includes a handful of the HD extras, a digital copy of the film, and a Blu-ray copy of the original TRON that includes all of the extra features from that film's previous release. Before we even get to the presentation and bonus content, check out this image of the packaging, which actually lights up:
While that set alone would probably be enough for any person who's a fan of TRON down to his or her ones and zeroes, the special features are truly special, starting with WDSHE's new "Second Screen" technology. While Blu-rays for other films previously allowed fans to experience interactive commentaries that included interview segments with filmmakers, storyboards and other goodies, Second Screen offers unprecedented access to behind-the-scenes materials via the iPad or personal computer to augment the viewing experience and offer fans an inside look at the film that they can control. Using a numerical counter that runs during the film, viewers synchronize their iPads or personal computers to the footage on screen and go inside each sequence, looking at animatic versions of vehicles, concept artwork for characters, and the intermediate steps between raw footage and finished special effects, showing viewers everything that went into putting each scene or sequence together.
Although much of the content available via Second Screen is exclusive to that experience, the rest of the Blu-ray and DVD bonus content offers fascinating, in depth material that certainly won't leave audiences lacking for material. The centerpiece for fans will undoubtedly be "The Next Day: Flynn Lives Revealed," which is a short-film coda to the events of TRON: Legacy and a sort of encapsulation of some of the viral marketing that Disney created to get fans interested in the film leading up to its release late last year. At the end of the clip, there's an arcade "High Score" screen that allows fans to access a series of Easter Eggs; typing "ALL" will play all of them in sequence, and that material includes more viral footage (including the 2010 ENCOM presentation at Wondercon, which in a shameless plug, I'm actually visible), vintage commercials, and extra vignettes.
Additionally, there are several featurettes about the making of the film, including "Launching the Legacy," "Visualizing TRON," and "Installing the Cast," as well as a preview of the upcoming "TRON: Uprising" animated series, which is set to premiere this summer. Other than a music video of the Daft Punk track "Derezzed," the coolest or most fan-friendly of the extras is probably "Disc Roars," which chronicles Joe Kosinski's use of the audio from attendees at Comic-Con 2010 to provide a sonic backdrop for the Disc Wars sequence in the film.
If none of these extras are of much interest and your focus is on just the film itself, however, rest assured that the presentation of TRON: Legacy is absolutely gorgeous in any format, although the high-definition 3D Blu-ray offers easily the sharpest and most gorgeous transfer of all of these formats. (Unfortunately, watching it in 3D will require a 3D enabled television and Blu-ray player.) But even in 2D, the movie's visual construction is so meticulous and gorgeous that it's positively sumptuous, even on the small screen. In fact, even the DVD and digital copy offer solid presentation of the film, although I'd argue that the film's spectacle demands more scope than the size offered by a smartphone screen.
The additional packages available include a five-disc version that comes in a standard plastic case rather than the Identity Disc; a four-disc version that excludes the original TRON and comes in a standard plastic case; a two-disc Blu-ray that does not come with a 3D version of the film; a standard-definition DVD; and two versions of the original TRON, one in high-definition and one in SD that repackage the film to match the artwork of TRON: Legacy.
Meanwhile, if you visit TronSoundtrack.com, there are even more options for fans, especially for those interested in collecting all of the permutations of the film's incredible music. On April 5, Disney released TRON: Legacy Reconfigured, a compilation of 15 remixes of the tracks from Daft Punk's score to TRON: Legacy. Although this CD is commercially available everywhere, the soundtrack website is offering it as part of several limited-edition packages that also include lots of other exclusives. The biggest offer on the site is for the "Ultimate Remix" package, which includes Reconfigured, TRON: Betrayal, a 128-page graphic novel, the 5-Disc 2-Movie collection, a digital download of Reconfigured, a "collector's digital EP" that includes seven unreleased tracks and alternate takes from Daft Punk's score, and an exclusive 27" x 39" glow in the dark poster of Daft Punk is the costumes of their characters from the film. Check out an image of the poster below:
Much like with the various DVD and Blu-ray versions of the films, the soundtrack site offers multiple packages that include different sets, including versions with just physical and digital copies of the original score, or ones that include less tricked-out DVD sets, and optional poster purchases. But the site is also one of the only places that currently offers pre-orders for copies of the forthcoming vinyl LP of the TRON: Legacy soundtrack, which it should be noted includes almost all of the extra tracks from that collector's digital EP.
Suffice it to say that there is more than one way to watch, listen and experience TRON: Legacy on the small screen. But while so many options might normally be a studio's attempt to get fans or collectors to buy a film multiple times in multiple versions, it seems like you can almost literally tailor your appetites to exactly what you want, and not buy anything you don't want. That said, as formats like home 3D become more prominent, it might be good to consider purchasing bigger sets in anticipation for the day you have the actual equipment to watch the film in its best/ clearest format (and with such a few titles currently available, this is absolutely one of the best-looking). But in any degree of dimensionality, at any definition, looks great on home video, and offers enough extra content to keep you occupied until they decide to reboot it again, 28 years from in another 28 years.