TRON: LEGACY Is The Rare Disney Film To Support Piracy, End Up In Playboy

Neon boobies and heroes who pirate operating systems - Disney gets edgy with TRON LEGACY.

It’s not very often that a Disney film gets a pictorial in Playboy. I still can’t figure out how ‘official’ the Playboy “Game On” Tron-inspired feature is, but considering how very, very Tron the shoot is and how insanely litigious and protective Disney is, I have to imagine there was at least an implicit wink and a nod from the Mouse House.

You can click here to see the rest of the photos and a behind the scenes video of two Playmates getting body painted in Tron outfits and then leaving snail trails all over a light cycle. It’s obviously NSFW.

OK, so that’s weird Tron Legacy thing number one. Weird thing number two: How odd is it that Tron Legacy‘s hero is an open source crusader who engages in piracy of corporate material? In the opening of Legacy young Sam Flynn breaks into Encom HQ and puts the company’s new operating system - Encom OS 12 - online. The joke here is that the company is touting this as their most secure and pirate-proofed release of all time.

The larger irony is that before I saw Tron Legacy on a huge, real IMAX screen in 3D I had to leave my iPhone behind - just in case I took a picture of a blurry corner of the giant screen. No company does security as tightly as Disney does, and yet their latest hero is giving speeches about how information wants to be free. I have a long record of hating piracy, but it’s hard to deny the humor when Tron Legacy invariably ends up on Bit Torrent.

I find incongruities like these to be fascinating; I don’t doubt that Tron creator Steve Lisberger probably has a techno utopian view on information freedom, but I wonder if Joseph Kosinski or the screenwriters share that view. Or if Flynn’s speech is in the film just to be hip and now, and to make the big corporation the enemy (the big corporation as the enemy in big corporation funded movies remains one of my favorite movie hypocrisies, and it’s been going on for decades upon decades). It’s clear that Disney - who has done more than anyone else to ruin the original intention of copyright law in order to eternally protect their characters - disagrees vehemently. Disney essentially is Encom.

But such is the way of all morals in movies. How many films have you seen about a guy who works too hard who learns the value of spending time with his family and learns to relax? They’re all made by guys who work 18 hour days and spend six months at a time away from their families. I’m sure Encom makes video games where big corporations are the bad guys as well.