Updated On: June 6, 2020

Tron: Legacy

Art & Design

Children & Teenagers
Explain as You Go: The opening scene of Disney’s signature castle put in Tron’s dark shades and bright, pale blue defines the dominant colors of the movie. It’s an extension of the command line interface used by Sam Flynn to enter the computer universe created by his father, and a thematic reminder that computers operate on micro-switches of electricity. The movie has a well-defined color palette that accentuates the intended messages and feelings of every scene of the computer universe. As the time goes on, conflict increases and so does the increasing prevalence of the shades of orange. This climaxes in the scenes showing Clu’s army where orange dominates the screen, accentuating the meager odds faced by Sam, Quorra, and Kevin. Everything human in the movie, though, is less strict about a color palette. From the dinner table or book shelf in Kevin’s hideout to the outside world Quorra experiences for her first time, the lack of a color tells more than words could about how different the digital and physical realms are.

Motion Graphics

Children & Teenagers
Watch: To understand more about what goes into the production of computer-generated masterpieces like Tron: Legacy, watch this 15 minute video about the process DreamWorks takes to produce their movies. To see how far computer animation progressed in 28 years leading to Tron: Legacy, you can watch the original Tron (or this 2 minute preview).

Children & Teenagers
Read: Tron: Legacy is the sequel to the first computer-generated film (made in 1982), Tron. Read The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever. Synopsis: “In 1982, Walt Disney Productions was in serious trouble. Its films were no longer drawing audiences into theaters. In the era of “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Disney desperately needed to reinvent itself. Disney found its salvation in a radical new film called “Tron.” Led by a fearless first-time feature film director, the cast and crew of “Tron” turned the Disney studio upside down and forced it into the modern film age. “The Making of Tron: How Tron Changed Visual Effects and Disney Forever” traces the making of this groundbreaking computer driven film from its inception, through its setbacks and in-fighting, to its enormous influence on modern culture. “Tron” was so innovative, it would change how audiences saw movies and it would forever transform the film industry.”

Leadership & Entrepreneurism

Children & Teenagers
Teach Passively: Understanding Sam Flynn’s relationship with Encom requires basic understanding of how corporations are structured. Explain the relationship between a share holder, board of directors, and a Chief Executive Officer. If you need a refresher, here is a basic explainer video by Investopedia.

Nature Appreciation

Children & Teenagers
Create a Teachable Moment: While the movie’s high production value gives audiences a thrilling experience in a cyber universe with a sophisticated creative direction, the movie also effectively shows the comparative wonder of the natural world we’re surrounded by every day. In comparison to the more binary nature of light in the computer universe, our world has all variations of shades of all colors, more organic things, feelings, and stimulations to all senses. While the cyber universe is novel to us, it doesn’t quite match Quorra’s indescribable awe at everything she witnesses in our physical realm in the end. While movies and video games can tickle our mental taste buds, nature fuels the soul and making us whole and grounded.

Social Sciences

Philosophy

Children & Teenagers
Explain as You Go: This dialog between Clu and Kevin identifies the crux of the conflict of the story:
Clu: You… You promised that we would change the world, together. You broke your promise…
Kevin Flynn: I know. I understand that now.
Clu: I took this system to its maximum potential. I created the perfect system!
Kevin Flynn: The thing about perfection is that it’s unknowable. It’s impossible, but it’s also right in front of us all the time. You wouldn’t know that because I didn’t when I created you. I’m sorry, Clu. I’m sorry…

Values

Life Lessons

Children & Teenagers
Create a Teachable Moment: Sam’s life shows the challenge every child faces who is following in the footsteps of an extraordinarily-high achieving parent. The contrast between Sam in the beginning of the movie and at the end is so stark, it highlights the importance of the individual discovering their own personal spark, or source of motivation to ignite their unique potential.

Children & Teenagers
Create a Teachable Moment: A dominant relationship exhibited by almost every character in the movie is that of creator and creation. Every program in the computer universe is aware of who created them and their allegiance is defined by it. More importantly, though, it’s clear that Kevin and Sam would do anything for each other. Nothing is more important to each other than their familial bond. This is a natural instinct we all carry, which is why we need to prioritize our family relationships.

Children & Teenagers
Teach Passively: Technology is power. Creating Clu was euphoric for Kevin, until the threat of his life and the billions of other people on his planet were compromised by his creation. There have been several inventions in history that were ultimately used for much darker purposes than their inventors intended. Sometimes technologies can be so powerful that if they go beyond our control, they can be dangerous. While high-technology is enticing, it is also critical that we use deliberate intentions and careful planning with how we develop them.

How else might important subject matter be learned from this interest topic? Comment below! Half-baked ideas are more than welcome, too.