TRON Love Scene

Was this scene from TRON too “sexy” for audiences?

Disney’s TRON was a risk for the studio. It was a more “adult” film, but you might be surprised to learn that the film was almost a little more “adult” in nature. Like many films, extra scenes were shot for TRON that wound up on the cutting room floor. Some of those scenes are cut early, but with TRON, you can tell when a scene was cut by how much animation was done for it. It is a good indication of just how close the scene was to making the final cut.

In this scene TRON and YORI visit her “apartment”. It is a plain room, but not for long. With a wave of her arms, not only does the apartment transform in an amazing bit of animation, but YORI herself changes. Turning from:

yori tron sexy


tron sexy

People who worked on the film have differing opinions as to why the scene was cut (we also get one dissenting opinion). Director Steven Lisberger thought the scene was too sentimental, while star Bruce Boxleitner remarked in the anniversary DVD that it was just confusing. Bringing into question the sexuality of what up to this scene had been depicted as anthropomorphized computer programs. Visual Effects Supervisor Harrison Ellenshaw believed the scene added a lot to the film.

I tend to agree. It adds a deeper level of humanity to these programs. Something we would get more of a dose of in TRON Legacy. If it had been in the original cut of the film, it would have been something TRON fans would have been discussing for decades afterwards. Instead we get a great, but more sanitized version of the film.

Here is the entire scene in its scintillating glory. Do you think it was best left out?

For more information on TRON, check out the TRON Retroist Podcast and the TRON Diary of an Arcade Employee Podcast. (Yes, we love TRON at the Retroist.)

sexy tron

Robin Hood and Little John poster

Did you know that Disney’s Robin Hood had an Alternate Ending?

Disney’s Robin Hood is a very cute telling of the Robin Hood story. It’s one of my two favorite versions of Robin Hood – The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn being the other. I have enjoyed watching Disney’s Robin Hood for years. What I did not know until recently was that this animated movie originally had a different ending.

Just to give a little background, in both versions, a ways into the movie, all of the townspeople start singing a song that calls Prince John the phony King of England. Prince John becomes so angry at the people that he triples taxes. Friar Tuck and most of the other townspeople are imprisoned because they cannot pay Prince John’s tripled taxes. Prince John has ordered that Friar Tuck be hung for high treason against the crown. Robin Hood breaks into the castle to rescue Friar Tuck and the townspeople and to get back their money from Prince John. The people and money are rescued, but the castle catches fire and Robin has to jump into the moat to escape.

This is point where the story changes.

In the original ending, Robin is wounded in the moat. Little John takes him to the church to recover. Maid Marian is by his side and Little Sister, the mouse, is treating him.

Prince John and Sir Hiss trail Robin to the church. Prince John has a knife in his hand, ready to kill Robin. Maid Marian is frightened because Robin is unconscious and unable to defend himself. King Richard shows up just in time and saves the day.

Then Robin and Marian get married just like in the movie.

Here’s a copy of the original ending in storyboard form.


In the final version that was used in the animated movie, Robin uses a reed to breathe while swimming under water and swims to safety. Sir Hiss tells Prince John that he tried to warn him, and to look at what he did to his mother’s castle. Prince John exclaims “Mummy!,” and sucks his thumb.

Prince John

It was great to be able to see what an alternate ending might have been, but I’m glad the movie turned out the way it did. I like the version that made it into the movie because it adds a sense of comic relief and lightheartedness to a previously tense scene. I prefer where Robin is not injured and looks like a hero to the end. In the alternate version, King Richard has to rescue Robin Hood from certain death. I think that ending makes Robin look less heroic.

If you like this post and Robin Hood, check out these Robin Hood cakes on my blog Between the Pages.

water ski

Why not Water-Ski at Walt Disney World?

Walt Disney World, as everyone is told, is a magical place. During your visit you can meet Mickey Mouse, visit the famous castle and maybe catch a ride or two… oh and of course you can water-ski too.

That last part was true in 1976 when this wonderful map was produced. As you’ll see in some of the close-ups below, the Magic Kingdom was a very different place in the 70’s with as much emphasis placed on enjoying a round of golf as looping around the park on the monorail.

walt disney golf

I found this great map and lots more over at the now-defunct Imaginerding Blog. Thankfully the creator of the site has kept the Blogger-powered site available after upgrading to a full website.

magic kingdom

I wonder if the latest Magic Kingdom map reflects the era of the “selfie” that we now live in? Gone are the innocent times of simply standing back and taking a picture of Mickey with your proper camera, like the picture above!


Walt Disney World Vacation Letter from 1985

As a kid (and maybe as an adult), I had a bad Disney problem. I could never get enough of anything Disney. This thirst extended into the realm of ephemera. I would cut out Disney ads from magazines and newspapers, I would save every scrap of everything when my family visited the parks and when Disney offered to send information about their magical parks via TV commercials, I picked up the phone and called right away.

This letter is from 1985 and I am pretty sure when I called them they made me put my mother on the phone because they were just not buying me being old enough to be the decision maker in the household. Good for me, my Mother was usually game when it came to sending away for free stuff. The only downside is that I did this sort of thing so often that we were on every junk mail list in the country and even up until recently my Mother was always throwing away weird catalogs and strange offers.

In the letter above, Disney is promising the most “Star-Spangled-est” Summer ever! We didn’t make it down there that summer, but I am sure if Disney promised they were going to bathe you in the electric glow of patriotic amazing-ness, that is exactly what they did.

I checked all the commercial online and found a couple of gems from 1985, but nothing especially patriotic. Although both were memorable, including a standard “Together at Disney” commercial:

and this amazing The Cosby Family at Disney version:

Since I couldn’t find a patriotic one, here is Molly Ringwald sing the Star Spangled Banner on Yankee Doodle Mickey.


Walt Disney Mini Classics on VHS

This commercial was from around initial release of Walt Disney Mini Classic. They started with four, but would eventually release 17 titles until being phased out in 1993, when they were replaced by Disney Favorite Stories.

I worked in a video store while these were available (both selling them and renting them) and boy was there an appetite for these tapes, especially when we sold them. Their lower price made them perfect gifts for kids who would rewatch them again and again. And when they went on sale from $14.95 to $12.99 or even as low as $9.99, we would almost always sell out of them.

I held onto my original tapes and they are in a box somewhere. I find their packaging comforting, even if most of these classic were released on DVD and on YouTube. I am an especially big fan of Donald in Mathmagic land, a short we watched often in school when I was a kid. You know, ‘cuz MATH RULES!


The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper

Did you ever see something as a kid in the pre internet world and not be able to trace it or identify it, until decades later and have it feel as though a piece of a puzzle just solidly locked in within your brain? Well, that is exactly what happened to me this past weekend!
For years, and I mean YEARS, I have been unable to place a glimpse of television I caught as a little monster of 5 or 6 years old. I never saw the whole program. Just some blips. Fast forward to the present ,as I was perusing eBay, I stumbled onto a new piece of vintage goodness that ultimately led me to the television show that I would wonder over for so long. I know, I need to get a life, right? It’s trivial, but as a monster enthusiast, it means a ton.

What I saw way back then, was a glimpse of a Frankenstein monster of some type, a few kids, a carnival and bulkhead or storm cellar doors. Not much to go on, right? I puzzled over it now and then, for the last nearly forty years. If the possibility of such programming was ever brought up by me, it was always dismissed in a huff as some daydream or other silly idea. But, it was important to my piece of mind.

What I found this past weekend, was an auction for a Wonderful World of Disney paperback book titled “Frankenstein and the Whiz Kid” by Vic Crume. I don’t usually put Frankenstein and Disney in the same equation, so I wasn’t holding my breath. I read the description of the story and it got me wondering if I might be onto something. A search and some armchair sleuthing led me to the tv show. I dove right into it online. Sure enough, this was it!!


This TV movie is called “The Whiz Kid and the Carnival Caper” and it’s based on Mr. Crume’s work. The movie had everything fun about the 1970’s, like Jaclyn Smith, super child actor Kim Richards and other 70’s character actors that you would recognize. The Whiz Kid along with his sister and friend, uncover a bank heist plan that is forming among some of the new carnival workers in town. The Whiz Kid goes head over heels for Ms. Smith. They go on a “date.” Oh, we feel your pain!

The carnival(sound familiar?) has a run-down hokey monster show, and its star attraction is a life-sized dummy done up as Frankenstein’s monster!! Hey, I’m a life-sized dummy, too! I mean, cool! Anyway, that’s a huge piece of the memory puzzle. The monster breaks down during a performance and the Whiz Kid comes to the rescue. He has a robot he’s been working on in his basement… with bulkhead/ storm cellar doors!! There’s another piece of the puzzle. He puts the monster’s head on his robot and after some fairly bad malfunctioning, his remote-controlled creation is the last line of defense against the bank heist crew at the end of the show.


This program was a huge win for me, because it was entertaining and did I mention Jaclyn Smith?! She was a villain by association, with a heart of gold. It was entertaining and my kids watched it with me. Well, someone had to hold my hand during the scary parts, like the remote-controlled monster stomping around or the bank robbers trying to kidnap the Whiz Kid and his sister and friend in the sewer system under the bank. Oops! I kind of leaked a bit of the bank heist plan. Oh, I hope Jaclyn doesn’t hunt me down. Ok, where was I? We gotta wrap this up!
Finding that there is concrete evidence that this program does indeed exist is a huge relief! I feel kind of vindicated and almost compelled to spike the TV set! The only thing that didn’t truly match up is the color of the program for the pieces that I could remember. I can only attribute this to the Zenith wood console TV set we had at the time. I don’t know if the color was correct while we had it. It might have been out of adjustment from the giant antenna on the roof. Other than that, I’m so thrilled to put this mystery to rest.

If you are interested in the book, it can be found online for a reasonable price. I would suggest it as “young adult” reading. If you are interested in the program it is online and usually broken into ten minute segments. I hope you enjoy it either way!

Until next time…


Michael Jackson hanging around with Goofy at Disneyland

In this promotional shot from the early eighties we see Michael in a slick red outfit hanging out with Western Goofy at Disneyland. I have heard of how big a fan of Disney Michael Jackson was, and I have always wondered how often he went to the parks? Was it dozens of times? Hundreds?

Well, whatever the number, he looks to be having a great time with the Goofster in this shot.