Tonight: The Return of Napoleon Dynamite

Responding to no detected public demand, the entire cast of “Napoleon Dynamite” (Fox, 8:30 p.m.) has been reunited, not for a sequel to the 2004 cult classic but an animated series to fit into the Fox animation Sunday night.

As such, its awkward silences and rural absurdities plays like a revival of “King of the Hill” than anything like “The Simpsons” or “Family Guy”

There’s something about Jon Heder’s voice that is 70 percent of his Napoleon Dynamite character.  And it’s the same with his larger than you remembered cast.

It’s actually kind of funny in turns, as long as it doesn’t follow the natural inclination of animated shows to accelerate to out-of-this-world situations.

“For me, you know,” says creator Jared Hess, “the movie was kind of a live action cartoon anyway, and the transition into animation just kind of made a lot of sense to us, and it just kind of opened up what we were able to do with the character and the stories.”

For example, he told critics at press tour, “Napoleon in the movie talks about ligers. We wouldn’t be able to really work with those creatures in real life, but in animated form.”

“They’re a little too majestic,” says Heder.

Presenting it in animation, says executive producer Mike Scully, who put some time at “The Simpsons” “allowed us to really expand the whole world of the town of Preston, Idaho, too, to add more characters to it, to populate it, and to do things that you can do in animation, you know, flashbacks and dream sequences and thought bubbles and fantasies and that kind of stuff. But we’re really trying to keep the tone of the film and the small town life in Preston, Idaho, intact also.”

“The question that we had always, been getting asked since the film came out is: ‘When’s there going to be a “Napoleon 2”?’ ” says Hess. “People just have such a love for the characters and the world, that the fans of the show wanted to see these characters do more things.

“And I’m just relieved now that I’ve got an answer that, yes, you’re going to see more of this world and those characters,” he says. “ And for a lot of people, it just it makes perfect sense to them that how this would translate into an animated show and so it’s real exciting.”

Heder says he had no hesitation returning to the character. “I was absolutely excited to come back and do it, because I love the world. I love the characters.’

This entry was posted in What's On TV. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.