Okay, I am just going to throw this out there, so don't derezz the messenger: I think if T:L had been made a LOT More like T:U, it would have been an overwhelmingly better movie. I have only watched one...single...episode of T:U, (no cable, internet or satellite at home) but I have to get it off my chest that even though it's a prequel, it seems to be showing up T:L in more ways than I can successfully point out.
The sheer size of the Tron universe in T:U is staggering in size,with many more cities on the Grid than in T:L, and each one is a beautiful, vast feast for the eyes. What'd we get in T:L...? Tron City. That's it. And at that, going by The End of Line Club being at the top of a mile-high tower in Tron City, we can extrapolate pretty easily that Tron City is about a mile across, and seems to be the only city in the then-Tron universe. Sure there are other levels to it, but one is a utility level so big deal, and they probably have the same footprint as the surface level. I doubt a city that size could even *be* well populated enough for various political factions to develop and fight each other. But the cities in T:L seem to be many, and absolutely sprawling in their design.
The vehicles are way cooler in T:U. Come on, admit it. There are plenty of vehicles that fly in T:U. But in T:L......? Clu's ship and the Recognizers. (snore). I wouldn't say the rather ugly looking solar sailer really qualifies as a "flying" vehicle. And even the lightcycles are cooler looking, faster, are used extensively off Grid and on, and are instantly materialized and dematerialized as needed. There is also the treaded Grid Cycle
in T:U which explains how an Outlander would get around in the, well, outlands. Not that anything about the Outlanders or where they live or why is even remotely explained in T:L.
The characters in T:U engage in a LOT of combat, much of it hand-to-hand. T:L gave us only really one hand-to-hand scene (in the EOL club) and the way it was shot was a choppy, hard-to-follow disaster, one of the movie's weakest points. In T:L there is also a lot of amazing, high-concept vehicle-vs.-vehicle combat.
Conceptually they just seem to have taken it a lot father than T:L did. Why does a prequel cartoon have to rival-and in may ways, show up- a high-budget Disney live action/CG flick? Seems like T:L was a step backwards by comparison. Even the plot is better in T:U, probably because they didn't hire a couple of f*cking HACKS whose best known script work was writing for Lost. Yeah they were very enthusiastic about doing the script. Hey, I'm enthusiastic about going to a NASCAR race. It doesn't mean I'm capable of handling anything on the streets that's faster than my '94 Mazda Protege hatchback. The dialogue in T:L is weak, and the plot is close to being razor thin. Plus I didn't exactly need close to 20+ minutes of it after Sam is reunited with his father. Coulda used many more twists too. ("I met your friend! He's incredible!" in the middle of a deadly fight scene? *I puke into my mouth a little*) And the ending from when Sam and Quorra are zapped back out to the end credits was just pathetic, tying up no loose ends at all and not really leaving much meat to chew on as to what's next, if there even is a next. At the end we have no idea what is left behind in the Tron universe, and what is that thing that Sam puts around his neck? His father? The whole Tron universe?
Much of T:L may look like a cartoon but really it's CQ that is meant to look like a drawn cartoon (fair enough), so how much harder could it have been for them to go just a little farther with those designs and make them photorealistic enough to be used in T:L in the first place? It can't have been that much more of a colossal effort. Which brings up the question as to whether T:L may have been rushed.
One more thing..I don't mean to get all self righteous about this, but programs, I have easily garnered this much just from one...single...episode. So I can't wait to see the others!