Monday, November 15, 2010

Disney needs to chill out about "TRON: Legacy" already.

Once upon a time, back in 1982, Disney released a film entitled "TRON". At the time, the film was the most extensive and advanced blending of human actors and animated elements to date. Most significantly, it used quite a bit of computer-rendered animation. This was a first in the early 80's. With acclaimed sci-fi illustrator Moebius on board, the film looked like nothing else Disney had ever done before.

And the world was not ready. "TRON" was, initially, a box office failure. Thanks to the poor returns on it and it's fellow oddball Disney sci-fi film, "The Black Hole", Disney waited for a very long time before tackling anything outside of hand-drawn animation.

However, the games spun-off from "TRON" were significant hits. Furthermore, the film was vindicated on VHS, becoming a well-loved cult favorite. Seen today, it is a little dry (this review reflects my initial opinion), but it's place in the history of cinema animation is undeniably important and it still does not look like anything else in the Disney Animated Canon.

As is their wont, Disney teased fans with the promise of a sequel starting around the late 1990's. Flash-forward to the present, where that sequel is finally arriving. Perhaps you are aware of it?

Oh Disney. This is a beautiful example of one of the reasons why I love and hate you like I love and hate myself.

"Tron: Legacy" isn't officially being released until mid-December, but Disney's hype machine has been going on about it for THREE YEARS! Three years! For those keeping count, that's three San Diego Comicons in a row!

If I have any vegetarian readers, I apologize in advance for this analogy. Usually, upon finding a cash cow, Disney will milk her to exhaustion, then sell off the good meat, then sell off the... okay meat, then sell the leathers, then sell the iffy meat, then sell the bones, then sell whatever else until only the grisly stain on the floor is left. And then they'll sell that. The difference here is that usually they will wait until something they've released becomes a cash cow (examples include "The Little Mermaid", "High School Musical", "Cars", ect.) Here, they seem to be plotting the fate of an unborn calf.

Because this year brought an epic "TRON" marketing orgy. Disney World kind of got stiffed, receiving only the "TRON"-orails (sadly, they debuted the week after my trip there this year). Disneyland on the other hand, has what is essentially a new "land" superimposed over an existing one for a nightly event, and an encore to the well-loved "World of Color" nightly show. And after the movie premiers, we're getting an animated spinoff. And, of course, third and possibly fourth "TRON" films. And a theme park ride. And some other stuff.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am actually very curious to see if Disney can make a good sequel to "TRON" twenty-eight years after the fact. However, this movie damn well better not be an expensive bomb or Disney will have some extremely rotten egg on their face. (And couldn't they spare a little of this marketing frenzy for "Tangled"? *sigh*)

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Art of the Day! Enough about computer art (note: No, Trish does not hate computer art). Here is something done entirely by hand:

10.9.20 - Plein Air Painting Finished!

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