When I heard that Disney was making a sequel to TRON, I honestly didn’t care at all. Don’t get me wrong, I loved TRON when it came out in the 80’s but the movie was very much a product of the time at which it was made and it is hard for me to imagine a sequel landing in 2011 would have anything approaching the same impact. The original movie was groundbreaking, but CGI visuals are now so commonplace that the ability of CGI alone to impact and impress is somewhat reduced. Even the announcement that Jeff Bridges was definitely reprising his original role (and maybe even Bruce Boxleitner as well) didn’t sell me. When was the last time Disney did something groundbreaking anyway? I can’t remember. So why am I suddenly excited about yet another Disney sequel. Two words. Daft Punk.
It was recently announced that Daft Punk will be scoring this entire movie. While the French robotic duo are known to participate in some avant-garde movie making, this project marks their first major motion picture score.
Not known to attach themselves to mediocre projects, Daft Punk’s earlier video efforts include a fantastic anime project with legendary animator Leiji Matsumoto called Interstella 5555: The 5tory of the 5ecret 5tar 5ystem which was the visual realization of their Discovery album and featured no dialog and minimal sound effects. Their foray into film work continued and they wrote and directed a 74 minute film Electroma. Stark and stunning, called “inaccessible” by Thomas Bangalter himself, this movie was anything but ordinary and some of it’s visuals were entirely unique, totally memorable and extremely emotional, a great accomplishment considering the complete lack of dialog and the fact that the two main characters were robots without any facial expressions or animated facial lights. In a world where everything has been done before, Daft Punk seems to find the new idea or the new approach.
In any movie, but especially in films with a heavy CGI/effects component, the audio score is critical for setting the mood and overall tone of the film. In rare instances, the score can be such a strong contributor that it deserves a starring credit along with the main actors. I am hoping that Disney will give Daft a long leash and very little input on this project and that it will serve as another excellent example of this possibility. I can tell you that for me personally, Daft Punk’s involvement makes this a project that I cannot wait to see, and judging from the hubbub around the nets, I am far from alone in my excitement.