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We might not have asked for a Napoleon Dynamite animated follow-up to the 2004 live-action film, but we’re getting one. And those of us who still, on occasion, find ourselves randomly quoting the original film may end up appreciating the opportunity to see the characters reunited on television in animated form.
Fox released a featurette for the upcoming series, which offers a look at the premiere, as well as a glimpse behind the scenes. This includes seeing Jon Heder at the microphone as he returns to the role of Napoleon (in voice, anyway). One of the creators of the series, Jared Hess, sums up the series as "the misadventures of a really awkward Idaho teenager, and his even stranger friends and family," which could probably be used to describe the film as well.
In addition to Hess and Heder, also featured in the video below are co-creator Jerusha Hess and executive producer Mike Scully, as well as well as voice-stars Efren Ramirez (“Pedro”), and Tina Majorino (“Deb”).
As expressed somewhat in the video above, one of the interesting things about the idea of a Napoleon Dynamite animated series, or any animated series when you think about it, is the creative flexibility the writers have with what they can do with the characters and the story. When you factor in ligers, time machines, and the potential for some excellent Rex Kwan Do stunts, there are definitely places the writers can go with Napoleon Dynamite. Plus, the original cast was able to return to lend their voices to the project, giving it a bit more authenticity. And since it’s a cartoon, the fact that all of them have aged by eight years or so won’t make a difference.
Whether or not the series is funny and relevant remains to be seen, but the potential is definitely there. We’ll find out how well it works when the series premieres (Sunday, January 15 8:30/7:30c on Fox).