TRON Read-Along Record Book

This time out I have the read-along record book from one of my favorite movies as a kid, TRON.  Released in 1982, written by Steven Lisberger and Bonnie MacBird, directed by Lisberger, and starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner, Cindy Morgan, and Bernard Hughes, the film was groundbreaking in a lot of ways.  

TRON introduced many people in the audience to computer animation, using around 20 minutes of computer graphics for fan favorite scenes like the light cycles, the solar sail, and, one of my favorite vehicular baddies, the Recognizer.  Aside from the CGI, advanced rotoscoping techniques were developed to give the costumes and background elements that now-iconic electronic glow.  

TRON was released on July 8, 1982, and would go on to gross about $50 million on a $17 million budget.  A cult favorite sequel, TRON Legacy, was released in 2010 and another sequel, currently titled TRON: Ares, is slated for release in 2025..  

During its initial release, TRON generated over $70 million in merchandising revenue, including t-shirts, action figures, video games, and, yes, a read-along record book.

The record was produced by Walt Disney Records and like a lot of record books, the plot of the film is dramatized by actors taking the place of the film’s stars.  However, unlike a lot of other record books, this one doesn’t include the original synthesizer score created by synth pioneer, Wendy Carlos.  

But what the record lacks in authenticity, it makes up for in the art department.  Rather than use photos, the interior is made up of paintings that are some of the finest I’ve seen in a kid’s read-along record book.  I wish they would have credited the artist, because they did a bang up job.

If you’d like to listen to the TRON read-along record book and check out more the artwork, head over to spacemonkeyx.net, where I’ve made the record part of my podcast, When You Hear This Sound!

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