iPad owners who pick up a copy of today's Blu-Ray release of "Tron: Legacy" will get a little extra with their purchase. The Mouse House is including its recently unveiled Second Screen feature with the disc, letting fans watch bonus features alongside the film.
First rolled out with the Blu-Ray release of Bambi, Second Screen meshes wonderfully with this special effects-infused sequel, offering viewers a blend of concept art, select filmmaker commentary and concept and storyboard images.
The Second Screen feature can be used on the PC as well as the iPad, but it's something that's really made for portable screens, which are lighter than laptops and won't get burdensome during a two-hour viewing experience. Syncing with the film, the app shows behind the scenes video, comments and more specific to what's happening at that point in the movie.
Among the highlights with the Tron: Legacy Second Screen are details that likely breezed by most fans in theaters (like the 'recognizer' night light in young Sam's room – which happens to be the first thing he sees when he enters the Grid) and some interesting behind the scenes setups. The only risk is that the amount of information included in the app occasionally threatens to overshadow the film.
Given the growing number of people using a PC or tablet as they watch programming at home, Second Screen is a very forward-thinking approach by Disney. It gives fans a chance to learn about areas of interest as they watch without having to stop the film and dig up relevant extras or commentary. Further, it lets the user decide how intrusive it will be on the viewing experience.
Disney's not alone in exploring new digital boundaries, of course. Warner Bros. has been experimenting with Facebook and iOS distribution of films recently, mixing extras with films such as "The Dark Knight" and "Inception". And Android distribution is on the rise at other studios. Second Screen is different, though, in that it's a free accessory meant to enhance the viewing experience.
To date, Disney has not announced other films on which it plans to include Second Screen, but the company says there will be more this year.