Spawning a franchise of video games, merchandise, and sequels, “Tron (1982)” became a cultural phenomenon despite its lackluster box office performance. The original science fiction story was conceived by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird and was directed by Lisberger and became an integral part of Disney’s future. Even Pixar and future Disney animated movies owe their success and beautiful visuals to Lisberger’s “Tron.”
“Tron” streaming sets viewers up to conveniently dive deep into the cult film of 1982. Watch “Tron” online and see the story of the visually striking titular world. Headlined by Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, and David Warner, it is an unusual Disney movie with plenty of fascinating history and the potential for a continued successful future.
Not only did “Tron” help lead to future Disney projects, but it has also served as an important influence across multiple mediums.
Want to jump into a movie that helped change the landscape of animated films? Here’s how to stream “Tron (1982)” right now:
How to Stream ‘Tron (1982)’ – Exclusively on Disney+
Tron is one of the cult-classic Disney movies that will be streaming exclusively on Disney’s new subscription streaming service, Disney+.
You can sign up for a 7-day free trial of Disney+ HERE, which will allow you to stream Tron and hundreds of other movies and shows on your computer, phone, tablet, smart TV or streaming device. If you extend past the free trial, the service costs $6.99/month. You may also opt for this discount bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ for $12.99/month.
- 1. Sign up for Disney+ here
- 2. Go to Disneyplus.com or download the Disney+ app on your device
- 3. Log in using your information
- 4. Search for “Tron”
- 5. Tap on Tron
- 6. Tap the Play Button
- 7. Enjoy!
Disney+ also boasts a vast library of Disney-owned movies and series — plus several new original series coming soon. The service includes unlimited downloads so you can watch offline whenever and wherever you want. The list of compatible devices and smart TVs includes iPads, Apple TV, Amazon devices, Amazon Fire TV, Android, Chromecast, Roku, PS4, and Xbox One.
‘Tron (1982)’: Overview
Release Date: July 9, 1982
Creators: Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird
Director: Steven Lisberger
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan
After being sucked into a digital landscape, a famed video-game developer and hacker joins forces with a security program and fights for his escape in gladiatorial games.
How Long Is ‘Tron (1982)’?
Tron has a runtime of 96 minutes.
Kevin Flynn learns there is a whole nother world for him to explore after being abducted into a digital environment. After realizing that his work is being stolen by Ed Dillinger, an executive at his company, Fynn attempts to hack into the system and retrieve what’s his. Instead, he’s sucked into a digital world where he must face off against Dillinger’s computerized counterpart, Sark, in order to escape. Joining Flynn for his fight for survival across a series of cruel gladiatorial games is Tron, a high-tech security program working against Dillinger. Along with his own escape, Flynn finds himself trying to liberate programs trapped under Dillinger’s computerized tyranny.
‘Tron (1982)’ Cast
Most of “Tron’s” key players filled in for more than one character in this science fiction adventure. Portraying a human character and an integral part of the computerized world, “Tron’s” primary cast listed below worked to separate their digital counterparts from their human ones so that both could have memorable screentime.
Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn / Clu (Codified Likeness Utility)
Computer engineer and video-game developer at ENCOM, Flynn finds himself thrust into the company’s mainframe while trying to recover his stolen works. Jeff Bridges also plays Codified Likeness Utility (Clu), a hacking program Flynn uses to try to retrieve his stolen data trapped within the Master Control Program. To prepare for the role, Bridges became adept at arcade cabinets brought in for the cast to play.
Bruce Boxleitner as Alan Bradley / Tron
Flynn’s work partner and programmer at ENCOM, Alan Bradley is responsible for developing the Tron program, a security measure that protects against the Master Control Program. Boxleitner also portrays Tron and lends his vocals to the self-governing protective measure. Alan Bradley is a spin on Rockwell Automation’s line of Factory Automation Equipment.
David Warner as Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program
Playing three different roles, David Warner depicts the villainous Senior Executive Vice President of ENCOM, Ed Dillinger, who’s responsible for stealing Kevin Flynn’s work; the Master Control Program artificial intelligence that’s hiding Dillinger’s theft; and Sark, the MCP’s second-in-command. Before David Warner stepped in for Dillinger, Peter O’Toole was approached to play the villainous character and Sark.
Cindy Morgan as Dr. Lora Bains / Yori
Dr. Lora Bains works alongside Alan Bradley and is the assistant to Dr. Gibbs when it came to a digitization experiment performed by Dr. Walter Gibbs. Cindy Morgan also portrayed Yori, an input/output program that assists Tron. Before Morgan was chosen for the roles of Bains and Yori, Debbie Harry was screen-tested for the role.
‘Tron (1982)’ Songs and Soundtrack
Released alongside the movie, the “Tron” soundtrack was a mix of synth-pop and arena rock, brought to life by electronic means and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Produced and composed by Wendy Carlos, who also worked on the score to “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shining,” the soundtrack features 19 instrumental tracks. Two additional songs by Journey, “Only Solutions” and “1990’s Theme” were also available on the soundtrack.
The soundtrack was well-received, though Carlos wasn’t happy with the original orchestral performances. She replaced some of the London Philharmonic’s work in favor of digital synthesizers.
‘Tron (1982)’ at the Box Office
Regardless of its cultural significance and modern popularity, “Tron (1982)” only brought in approximately $33 on a $17 million budget. That includes the $4.7 million take from opening weekend in the United States.
Disney considered the movie a financial disappointment despite it becoming the highest-grossing live-action film of the studio’s previous five years. “Tron’s” continued success with merchandise helped garner a bigger return for Disney.
‘Tron (1982)’ Reviews – What the Critics Said
Upon its release, “Tron” was an immediate success with many reviewers. Though there has been some criticism in regard to the core story, the visuals and sound design stole the show. “Tron” received many accolades for its use of technology and the acting talents of Jeff Bridges, Cindy Morgan, and David Warner.
Where ‘Tron (1982)’ Fits in the Disney Movie Pantheon
So many Disney movies become culturally significant and “Tron (1982)” joined the ranks of these vital pieces of cinematic history as its reach extended to and played in homes across the world. In 2010, the movie proved its lasting popularity by making The Boston Globe’s list of the top 20 cult films, landing in the 13t spot, and has been immortalized by the American Film Institute as one of the Top 10 Science Fiction Films.
“Tron’s” influence can be seen in things like the music video for Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc,” which features an ENCOM hat, and the subtle inspiration in the music video for “From Paris to Berlin” by Danish pop/dance group Infernal. According to John Lasseter, former Pixar Animation Studios head, “Tron (1982)” is the only reason “Toy Story” exists today. The movie’s groundbreaking visuals helped him realize the potential for CGI in animated films.
“Tron” went on to earn several nominations at the 55th Academy Awards, including Best Costume Design and Best Sound. Fourteen years later, it received the Academy Award for Technical Achievement. After another 14 years, it finally received a sequel that saw the return of Jeff Bridges’ as Flynn.
‘Tron (1982)’ Trailer
‘Tron (1982)’ Trivia: 5 Fast Facts
A movie as iconic and classic as “Tron (1982),” there are bound to be factoids and bits of trivia that may make the viewing experience a bit better. Get sucked into the following five facts about Disney’s popular sci-fi adventure into the world of computer programming.
1. “Tron” was a Stop in a Square Enix RPG Adventure
The collaboration between Disney and Square Enix, “Kingdom Hearts,” features a “Tron” level in “Kingdom Hearts II.” The only returning actor is Bruce Boxleitner, who reprises his role as Tron in the video game world.
2. “Tron” was Perceived as a Threat to a Thriving Industry
Disney’s animators were less-than-pleased with the release of “Tron.” Fearing that the new computer-generated appearance would take work away from them, many traditional animators refused to work on the film. Letters were sent to Steven Lisberger expressing concern over how the movie would affect
3. It Was Passed Up for a Most-Deserving Award
Despite nominations for Best Costume Design and Best Sound at the 55th Academy Awards, “Tron” was not nominated for Best Visual Effects. It wasn’t because the movie didn’t astound viewers, but because the Academy felt the movie was “cheating” by using computers to generate the digital world.
4. Filming was Met with a Radioactive Surprise
“Tron” is the first and only film to be filmed at the Lawrence Livermore Lab. The laboratory works to improve the United States’ security through the use of science and technology. It’s believed that Cindy Morgan stepped into a radioactive spill and had to undergo decontamination.
4. It was Influenced by Disney’s “No-Guns” Policy
The characters in “Tron” used discs as their weapon of choice. While they seemed to fit into the universe, the decision to use the flying discs was made to fall in line with Disney’s “No-Guns Policy.” Lisberger feared that kids would emulate what they saw during the movie.
Disclaimer: Heavy Inc. has affiliate relationships with various streaming content providers and may receive a commission if you sign up for a service via a link on this page.