Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Review: "Tron: Uprising" Prologue/Preview

Warning: Spoilers ahead! Also, if you haven't seen Tron: Legacy or its predecessor, you may be a bit confused.

Being a fan of the original Tron and one who enjoyed its sequel Tron: Legacy, I definitely had to check out this series. Tron: Uprising takes place between the original 1982 classic and the 2010 sequel. The series will be airing on Disney XD on June 7th. At first I wasn't sure if I would bother with this series, prematurely writing it off as a spin-off just to bring in the bucks, but then I decided to see this prologue (or preview of sorts, titled "Beck's Beginning") in order to judge it. I'm glad I didn't ignore it, this series has potential and it actually attempts to tell a pretty good story for an animated television series.

Tron: Uprising tells the story of Beck, a program who is strongly against Clu's oppression of The Grid (of course, if you've seen Tron: Legacy, you'll know all of this from the start). He aspires to be the next Tron, who is thought to be dead after Clu took over. After one of Clu's henchmen kills one of Beck's close friends, Beck seeks vengeance. This 31-minute preview essentially shows what happened to Beck's home (one of many cities on The Grid) and what drove Beck to stand up against Clu. Most of it is a flashback, as Beck tells it to what appears to be another one of Clu's henchmen. It turns out, it's Tron himself, who is still alive. The preview ends where Tron plans on training the young program.

Aside from the nice set-up, this was a pretty good preview and it shows that the series is something worth looking forward to. It was nice to hear Bruce Boxleitner provide the voice of Tron. Elijah Wood provided the voice of Beck. The rest of the voice cast was top notch, with big names such as Mandy Moore and Paul Ruebens (of all people!) alongside Lance Henriksen (who voiced Kerchak in Tarzan) and well-known video game and anime voice actor Fred Tatasciore as Clu, though I wished Jeff Bridges would provide the voice of Clu.

The style is really cool. It faithfully captures the look of Tron: Legacy, even if it isn't as elaborate, it's still really nice to look at. What I didn't really care for was the actual animation, it just seemed really stiff to me and I felt that character designs were a tad bit awkward. Joseph Trapanese, who has worked with Daft Punk before, has recaptured the brilliance of their Tron: Legacy score for the series. Talented people were certainly behind this show, including Steven Lisberger himself. Sean Bailey is also one of the show's directors alongside Charlie Bean. Add to that some of talented actors and a decent script, and you've got a promising series.

In all, it was impressive. It was not perfect by any means, but good for an animated television show. I usually don't watch much TV these days, especially animated shows, but I thought the writing was not too bad. There were very flimsy moments, but overall, it did its job. The characters were interesting and I was liking the story. Hopefully we'll get a lot out of this. I hope they delve into how Tron was reprogrammed and became Rinzler, and even more. That was a big problem I had with Tron: Legacy, the story was very thin and it didn't explain much. I still really enjoyed the film (seeing in IMAX 3D on opening weekend was an experience I won't forget) and maybe this series will tie some loose ends. Like I said, this series has potential, and it looks it wasn't wasted.

You can view the whole prologue/preview here.

I'm certainly looking forward to this series. If you've seen this preview, what did you think of it? Are you anticipating this series? Or not? Sound off!

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