Mediabistro reports that Disney is launching a Tron: Legacy tie-in e-book ipad app in January. The application is to combine an e-book with interactive features including games and videos. The article mentions other such interactive e-book apps for kids that Disney has done, such as apps for the Toy Story series and The Princess and the Frog. Yves Saada, VP of Digital Media at Disney Publishing, is quoted as saying (of the first Toy Story app):
“We wanted to show what this platform could do for a book. We created a format that was combining books, immersive navigation, videos, songs, puzzles, reading and games, while keeping the reading experience as the focal point of the product.”
The funny thing is, there’s not a lot in the article about what book is going to be included in the e-book part of this Tron e-book app. Is it going to be Tron the Junior Novel by Alice Alfonsi? Tron: The Movie Storybook, by James Ponti? Something else? (Who calls their novelization a “junior novel”, anyway? Great way to turn off kids, who prefer to think of themselves as small versions of adults, thank you very much.)
And there seem to be half a dozen other Tron: Legacy tie-in books, and it’s not clear what the differences are. Gone are the days when you just had a novelization and a storybook and that was it!
I also find myself wondering just what percentage of an “e-book app”’s content should be textual in order to be called a true e-book. There’s a lot of reading matter encapsulated in computer games like, say, Mass Effect or Mass Effect 2—in fact, they contain complete encyclopedic codices describing the universe and its technology—but we don’t call those “e-books”. Might there be a better name for this kind of interactive app?
As for Tron: Legacy, I took in the movie itself at a midnight showing early this morning, and reviewed it in my LiveJournal. In short: If you liked the original Tron, this is a worthy sequel. It doesn’t break all that much new ground, but given how the original movie helped spark the entire cyberpunk movement, how could it really break new ground while staying true to the original? I had fun.
Maybe I’ll check out the “e-book” when it comes out.