Napoleon Dynamite is a FOX cartoon that’s based on the Napoleon Dynamite movie, which was released in 2004 and became a cult classic. The animated comedy is  voiced by the film’s original actors. Napoleon Dynamite premiered on January 15, 2012.

Characters

Napoleon Dynamite is a 16-year-old boy convinced, for no apparent reason, that he is destined for greatness and blessed with unlimited “sweet abilities.” He spends his days practicing ninja moves, drawing ligers, soul dancing and bragging about his girlfriend in Oklahoma whom nobody has ever seen.

Napoleon’s brother, Kip, is an unemployed 32-year-old who lives at home and believes he would be an amazing catch for any girl who would respond to his online come-ons.

The Dynamite brothers live with Grandma, a crusty woman who can often be found four-wheeling with her lady friends at the local sand dunes.

Napoleon’s allies include Pedro, his unflappable best friend who has recently been elected class president; and Deb, an incredibly sweet girl who sees the good in Napoleon and dreams of someday being his wife.

Napoleon’s Uncle Rico lives out of an orange custom van, where he obsesses over his botched high school football career and dreams up ways to become rich and famous.

Then there’s Rex Kwan Do, a self-proclaimed martial-arts master who runs the local dojo.

Cast

Napoleon Dynamite includes the entire original cast will be playing the characters.

  • Jon Heder (Blades of Glory) as Napoleon Dynamite
  • Aaron Ruell as Kip
  • Efren Ramirez (Gamer, Eastbound and Down) as Pedro
  • Tina Majorino (Veronica Mars, True Blood) as Deb
  • Sandy Martin (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Grandma
  • Jon Gries (Lost) as Uncle Rico
  • Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show, Office Space) as Rex

 

Creators

Creators and Executive Producers (and husband and wife) Jared and Jerusha Hess studied film at Brigham Young University, where they met. While attending film school, Jared wrote and directed the short film Peluca (Slamdance Film Festival 2003). Together they co-wrote and directed the films Nacho Libre (2006) and Gentlemen Broncos (2009). Jerusha is currently directing her first feature film, Austenland.

Executive Producer Mike Scully has been an instrumental part of The Simpsons since 1993, becoming showrunner from 1997-2001, and co-writing and co-producing The Simpsons Movie. He has also been a writer/producer on critically acclaimed series such as Everybody Loves Raymond and Parks and Recreation.

My Two Cents

I confess, I have never seen Napoleon Dynamite, the movie (don’t start), so when I watched the cartoon the characters and stories were completely new to me. Plus, because of my recent falling out with FOX (see Allen Gregory), I was wary of Napoleon and his goofy world.

I really enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite. I didn’t bust a gut or laugh continuously, like I do with Archer, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are silly, but endearing; the storylines were simple but clever; the animation style was just enough of Family Guy and The Simpsons, as promised, to have a very appealing look.

My biggest criticism is that I would like more Napoleon in my Napoleon Dynamite. Perhaps other viewers have other favorite characters, but every time Napoleon and his paralyzed arms and throaty, deep voice were part of the story, I perked up, paid more attention. I could see that Jon Heder and his character form the solid trunk of the tree and everything else branches away from there.