It’s been seven years since Napoleon Dynamite was released in theaters. Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve watched it, but I’m sure if you really thought about it, there are moments from the movie that would still make you laugh. Seeing the cast today at Comic-Con, brought back memories of Rex Kwon Do, a time machine that didn’t work, a cart of caboodles and of course, a fantastic dance set to a Jamiraquai song.
Fox showcased their upcoming animated comedy series Napoleon Dynamite at Comic-Con, and I had the opportunity to speak with some of the cast from the original film and upcoming TV show, and executive producer Mike Scully, who’s probably best known for his work on The Simpsons.
From the sound of it, Simpsons fans may find something to love about this new series. Scully compared Napoleon Dynamite to the long-running Fox comedy, saying, “I think that it’s a show that, like The Simpsons, parents can watch with their kids and not feel awkward, but still be laughing together at the same things, and at different things, which is what I always thought was the great mass appeal of The Simpsons. It kind of worked on two levels, and that’s what we’re going to try to do on Napoleon too. It has a Simpsons rhythm and pace, and there’s several Simpsons writers working on Napoleon.”
According to Scully, some of the guest-voices lined up are Sam Rockwell, Jennifer Coolidge, Amy Pohler and Jemaine Clement.
One of the interesting things Scully touched on, was the advantage of this being an animated series and how it allows them to get more creative with the story. This includes an upcoming episode in which Napoleon gets a job working at a Liger breeding facility. There’s also a bed-racing story arc set to be featured. Here’s what Scully had to say about that:
“There’s an actual event in Preston, Idaho, they do every year called the Preston Bed Races, where people push each other on beds through the center of town. We wanted to capture that small town feel and we were able to do a whole episode on the Preston Bed Races. In animation, you can have a bed flip into the crowd like a car and explode, and things like that. So we’re definitely going to take liberties and make sure that when the audience is watching, they understand why it’s an animated show.
All of this talk about the story flexibility that comes with animation prompted me to wonder if this might mean Uncle Rico has a solid shot of finding a working time machine that will transport him back to ’82. Scully smiled at the question, stating, “Hell yes. That would be a very real possibility”
Deidrich Bader, who played Rex, the martial arts “expert” (“Bow to your sensei!”) says the Napoleon Dynamite film was one of the two top scripts he’s ever read. Office Space was the other. Bader seemed excited to return to the world of Napoleon Dynamite, and eager to take on numerous voice-roles in the show, one of which is a liger. As for Rex…
“Rex is running an ultimate fighting championship and he’s going to continue his relationship with Starla,” Bader said. “What’s fun for me to is I get to play a lot of different characters that go in a lot of different directions. It’s fun to see how they flesh out the different characters of Rico, and Kip and everybody.”
Finally, Tina Majorino, who plays Deb, talked briefly about her relationship with Napoleon and how distracted he is with other things:
“I think that Napoleon is just how all young boys are. They’re scatter-brained. It’s not that he’s ignoring her or taking advantage, he’s just a boy and he’s too wrapped up in ligers and what not. Deb wants to marry him.”
Fox released this video today, which features the cast of Napoleon Dynamite at Comic-Con.
Napoleon Dynamite premieres Midseason 2012 on Fox.