TRON: Uprising



Smart fantasy series mixes strong messages with violence.

What parents need to know

Educational value

TRON: Uprising exposes viewers to the concept of a dictatorial government and the uprising of rebellion within it. The show's primary goal is to entertain, but there are positive themes of empowerment and selflessness throughout the story.

Positive messages

TRON: Uprising takes a thoughtful look at the dynamics within an oppressed society, highlighting the rebellion but also showing the actions of those who work within the system to survive. Some characters -- including the hero -- are forced to lead duplicitous lives to accomplish their goals, but their motivations are good. Loyalties are often in question.

Positive role models

Beck is unwavering in his determination to overthrow the dictatorship that controls citizens' existence, and his heroics save his friends' lives more than once. That said, becoming an effective hero requires some self-examination and changes to his impulsive nature, for which he turns to his omniscient mentor. Many characters devote themselves to the common cause, despite the danger it puts them in. Men outnumber women among the core cast, but the females can hold their own with the guys.

Violence & scariness

Many sequences feature hand-to-hand combat, weapon use (mostly light discs thrown to take down enemies), explosions, death-defying falls, etc. Some characters die, but since they're computer programs rather than people, they merely dissolve into pixels and disappear.

Sexy stuff

Some innuendo and hints at sexuality, as when male and female characters wind up entangled on the floor during a scuffle and one comments, "Maybe we should get to know each other first."

Not applicable

The series follows two feature-length TRON movies and is part of a product line that features toys, accessories, and video games.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are many violent sequences in TRON: Uprising, an  animated miniseries sequel to the 1982 film TRON and a prequel to the 2010 follow-up, TRON: Legacy. The fact that TRON: Uprising is animated and the characters are computer programs that splinter and disappear rather than dying more conventionally helps offset the impact of the combat, but it's still too much for little kids. The story's focus on citizens' response to an oppressive totalitarian government offers plenty for older kids to mull over and might spark some thoughtful conversations about world affairs. There's little other content that will raise parental eyebrows, so if your kids are intrigued by the TRON universe but aren't quite ready for the more grown-up movies, this might be a good option.

What's the story?

TRON: UPRISING is the third installment in the TRON saga, a story that fits between the plot of the 1982 movie and that of the more recent TRON: Legacy. Set in Argon City's small corner of The Grid, Uprising picks up with the influx of Clu's minions into the metropolis, led by the power-hungry General Tesler (voiced by Lance Henriksen). Unnerved by the invasion, a young program named Beck (Elijah Wood) sets out to take a stand against the regime, simultaneously drawing the ire of Tesler and gaining notice from Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), the legendary hero whom many thought dead. As Tesler exacts new terrors on the citizens as a means of drawing out the grassroots rebel, Beck secretly begins training with Tron, preparing to overthrow the dictatorial regime once and for all.

Is it any good?


TRON: Uprising marks the saga's first animated endeavor, and the CG style perfectly suits a story set within a computer grid and populated by humanoid "programs." With no disconnect between live-action and special effects (an issue with the movies), viewers can fully immerse themselves in the setting and the story, following the heroics of a flawed but determined rebel who wants nothing more than to escape the tyranny of a dictatorial ruler. What's more, Beck's transformation into a coolheaded hero has good examples of qualities like perseverance, morality, and good judgment.

For some kids, TRON: Uprising will be their first glimpse of something other than an idyllic life in the virtual world, so it's a good idea for you to watch the show, too, so you can field the questions that may arise. Although it seeks first to entertain, the series is very precise in how it presents heavy issues like rebellion and oppression, and the content is safe in the able hands of the show's two upstanding heroes. And don't let the fact that the characters are less than human fool you; there's plenty of emotion -- which guides Beck's actions and reflects his empathy for his fellow citizens -- to round out this impressive series.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about standing up for what you believe in. What issues are important enough to you that you'd rebel for them? Is it easier to take a stand when you're surrounded by others who feel the same?

  • Kids: What aspects of Beck's personality make him a good role model? Is he perfect? What qualities does Tron help him change? How does being able to change make a person stronger? Who are some of your heroes?

  • Parents, use TRON: Uprising to discuss world issues that relate to the story. How does our government system differ from what Beck and his friends experience? What responsibilities do we have to protect the rights of people in other countries? At what cost is this done?

This review of TRON: Uprising was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old June 8, 2012

Electrifying New Show

This electrifying new show from Disney XD and the creators of Once Upon a Time (a tween-and-up-friendly show that is simply magical) is filled with jaw-dropping animation, special effects, and intriguing story. It's animated, so parents, you think it's more for kids than the live-action movies, but it's still pretty heavy on the violence, disc wars, and major peril. Seeing programs being derezzed and their strong fear of being derezzed may be distressing for younger viewers. There are positive messages and role models. There is a bit of very mild sexual references, though it will go over kids' heads. There is also flirting. There is a lot of consumerism since this TV show is all part of the whole TRON series. The first TRON thing was the movie TRON. Then, in 2010, TRON: Legacy came out. TRON: Legacy was very popular with kids, having TRON Disney merchandise everywhere and it being having a lot of trailers, and a music video from Daft Punk showing before a lot of Disney kids' movies. Kids were also attracted by it by all the light cycle battles and disc wars in live action, especially in IMAX 3D. However, there is no products seen in this TV show. Overall, I recommend this for young tweens who can't watch Once Upon a Time yet (check out my review for that).
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much consumerism
Parent Written byR. Lyman January 19, 2013

Sad to never see this show again for 2nd season.

It's a shame that there's a HIGH possibility of this show's 2nd season not to be renewed, but my final words for this show are not to be forgotten: TRON LIVES! and...BECK LIVES!. Though we'll never find out whether our questions for this show will be answered such as: How did Ada die since it was mentioned that Quorra is the last ISO in the Grid? Do our favourite characters (Beck, Mara, Zed, Abel, Hopper, etc.) from this show still exist? Did Pavel get to be the REPLACEMENT FOR Tesler even if Tesler is alive? We may never know, but the uprising sure does answered our questions related to Tron: Legacy that is including missing-disk-makes-you-a-stray issue. For now, I'll just keep on hoping that may these questions be answered in the upcoming Tron movie sequel...if possible.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written byrinzler the hunter July 20, 2012

inconditional Tron fan

ok, I am a big Tron fan, 39yrs and not a parent. I really like this show, I'd say there is some violence but since the characters are not humans, it's ok with me. The story and the action is great and there is some homages to the 1982 movie in the dialogues and in some characters (mcp guards for example and when paige tells beck "you should join me...we'd make a great team) There is plot substance too. I only wonder: is this show popular enough to span another season? How many ppl watch this show actually? time will tell, I guess. For now, I am happy with it and will buy the DVD when it comes out.
What other families should know
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide