REVIEW: Napoleon Dynamite (FOX – Sunday, 8:30 p.m.)

The series is based on the 2004 film Napoleon Dynamite. It follows the adventures of Napoleon Dynamite, and his family and friends, as they navigate small-town life in rural Preston, Idaho. The original cast from the film, Jon Heder, Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino, Sandy Martin, Jon Gries and Diedrich Bader, voice their characters in the series, in addition to the series introducing several new characters.

Napoleon Dynamite is a 16-year-old boy convinced that he is blessed with unlimited “sweet skills.” His hobbies include practicing his ninja moves, dancing, drawing, and bragging about his “girlfriend in Oklahoma.” Napoleon’s brother, Kip, is an unemployed 32-year-old who lives at home, and continually attempts to meet girls online. The two live with their grandmother, who is often found four-wheeling with her friends at the local sand dunes. Napoleon’s friends include Pedro, who has recently been elected class president, and Deb, a girl who sees the good in Napoleon and dreams of someday becoming his girlfriend. Napoleon’s uncle, Rico, lives in an orange van, where he obsesses over his failed high school football career and dreams up ways to become rich and famous.

Guest voices in the debut season include Amy Poehler as Misty, Jennifer Coolidge as Elizabeth Moser, Sam Rockwell as Justive and Jemaine Clement as Dr. Jeff Henry – FOX

65 out of 100

About three or four times we’ve made a point to rip Napoleon Dynamite as a concept that is eight years too late and wasn’t very funny when it was popular to begin with. As usual, we were correct. Napoleon Dynamite is exactly what we thought it would be; a rehash of old jokes that are a little too deadpan for our own good.

Surprisingly enough, though, the show isn’t horrible. Although at times it does seem like one big montage of deleted scenes from the original film, it’s really not just an animated version of its live-action counterpart. If it was, it would be truly awful but what Napoleon Dynamite does is take the well-known themes of the film, amplify and exaggerate them to create ridiculous, albeit endearing, stories that are the mainstay of FOX’s ‘Animation Domination’ block.

The supporting characters at times are way over-the-top, which is a bit tiresome and induces long stretches of eyeball rolling, but overall, the show is rather charming for what it is and appropriate for pretty much anyone over the age of ten, which is a dramatic shift from the usual ‘A.D.’ fare on FOX.

Is Napoleon Dynamite a groundbreaking or fantastic animated show? No, but it’s certainly better than Bob’s Burgers and the most awful piece of animated crap on television in years, Allen Gregory. In fact, we’ve had to reflect a couple of times about this endorsement because we weren’t sure if the show was actually as decent as we thought it was or if it was a case that anything would be better after the recent animated offerings that we’ve had to suffer through. Upon further review, we’ve decided that this is not the case.

Napoleon Dynamite is a keeper and has a very high potential for improvement and unlike every other animated show in recent years on FOX, we actually don’t want to see it canceled.

You can watch full episodes of Napoleon Dynamite, here.

2 comments on “REVIEW: Napoleon Dynamite (FOX – Sunday, 8:30 p.m.)

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