Disney and NAE to Offer ‘TRON: Legacy’-Inspired Experience on National Mall in October

The Walt Disney Studios collaborated with the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to co-create a highly interactive exhibit at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, which will take place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., October 23-24, 2010, from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. each day. The hands-on experience blends themes from the upcoming major motion picture “TRON: Legacy” with the NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering.

Visitors to the Disney-NAE exhibit will be able to:

  • View and photograph real props from the film including the SHIVA laser
  • View and photograph a lifelike replica of Sam Flynn’s Lightcycle
  • Watch video clips from the upcoming theatrical release
  • See a live demonstration of motion capture technology used as part of the “TRON: Legacy” special effects
  • See a live presentation by Lanny Smoot, an Imagineer from Walt Disney Imagineering Research & Development, explaining “The Top 10 Reasons You Might Be an Engineer.” Smoot developed the interactive 3-D light painting exhibit that kids and families will be able to experience at the exhibit and will also talk about that.
  • Learn how to create their own light paintings at home
  • Try hands-on engineering activities including: Scan and examine images in 3D, Operate on a computer-generated replica of a real brain, Paint 3D light images in the “TRON” digital grid, on an image starring YOU, which will be available to download for free after the exhibit

“We recognize that science and engineering can lead to interesting career possibilities and advancements in the entertainment industry,” said Sean Bailey, President, Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production. “Filmmakers and creative teams are consistently looking to the latest technology to help tell rich stories in the most modern way and we’re pleased to be a part of this exciting festival.”

“Engineering is woven into the very fabric of ‘TRON: Legacy.’ The story is rich with themes about technology and its evolving relationship with humanity in an increasingly digital world,” said “TRON: Legacy” co-producer Justin Springer. “The line between science and art is blurring more than ever. And some of the most talented artists in modern filmmaking are engineers, mathematicians, architects and computer programmers.”

The NAE’s Grand Challenges for Engineering (www.engineeringchallenges.org) are the outcome of an international committee of some of the most accomplished engineers and scientists. They identified 14 potentially “game-changing” objectives that would help people and the planet thrive in the 21st century. Some of these objectives include “Enhance Virtual Reality,” “Engineer Better Medicines,” “Advance Personalized Learning,” “Engineer the Tools of Scientific Discovery,” and “Reverse Engineer the Brain.”

“Walt Disney used to say, ‘if you dream it, you can do it,’” said NAE President Charles M. Vest. “Indeed, at a critical time for our nation, we need to reconnect what we do with what we dream. We need a country with more people dreaming about what’s possible and more young people—no, all people—inspired to imagine a better world and help make it a reality. That’s what our Grand Challenges for Engineering are all about.”

The NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering are motivating students and engineers across the country to turn dreams into reality and, as the Disney-NAE exhibit shows, the fantastic digital grid of “TRON: Legacy” may be closer to reality than one might think.

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