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Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite

4.0 121
Director: Jared Hess, Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell

Cast: Jared Hess, Jon Heder, Jon Gries, Aaron Ruell


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The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set in the small Idaho town of Preston. Jon Heder stars in the titular role, a carrot-topped oddball with a decidedly eccentric family that includes his llama-loving, dune-buggy enthusiast grandmother. The story centers on the local


The directorial debut of filmmaker Jared Hess, who also co-wrote the screenplay, Napoleon Dynamite is a quirky, offbeat comedy set in the small Idaho town of Preston. Jon Heder stars in the titular role, a carrot-topped oddball with a decidedly eccentric family that includes his llama-loving, dune-buggy enthusiast grandmother. The story centers on the local high school's race for class president. Using some nontraditional means, Napoleon is determined to help his pal Pedro (Efrem Ramirez) run a winning campaign and defeat popular girl Summer (Haylie Duff). Also starring The Drew Carey Show's Diedrich Bader, Napoleon Dynamite premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Bill Pearis
Oddballs and underdogs are common fodder for comedies, but audiences had never seen a hero quite like the title character of this quirky indie hit from first-time filmmaker Jared Hess. Another newcomer, Jon Heder, delivers a truly unforgettable performance as Napoleon, a social outcast with a wild 'fro who lives in a state of constant exasperation at a world that just doesn’t understand him; his protracted sighs are consistently amusing. Napoleon lives with his freewheeling grandma and his even nerdier older brother, Kip (Aaron Ruel), in the rural town of Preston, Idaho. He endures constant torture from bullies at his high school, and he gets no sympathy at home from Kip, who spends most days "chatting online with hot babes." When his grandmother takes ill, Napoleon's uncle Rico (John Gries) is sent to take care of the boys but spends most of his time hatching get-rich schemes and reliving his '80s salad days. The film itself, though set today, seems to be stuck culturally in the Reagan years. Life takes a turn when Napoleon meets two fellow outsiders: desperately shy Deb (Tina Majorino), and transfer student Pedro (Efren Ramirez). Spearheading Pedro's bid for student body president against snobby cheerleader Summer Wheatley (Haylie Duff, sister of Hilary) may be just the thing to give Napoleon the self-confidence he needs. What Napoleon Dynamite may lack in narrative, it more than makes up for with little moments of hilarity: an action figure dangled out of a school bus on a string; Kip decked out in gangsta rap attire; Napoleon's triumphant solo dance number. But the biggest laughs come from the highly quotable dialogue, which eschews profanity in favor of "gosh" and "darn." The deliberately flat line readings only add to the film's quirky charm. If all this sounds a little too ironic -- à la Todd Solondz -- it isn't. Hess likes his misfit characters and injects the film with a healthy dose of heart. Napoleon Dynamite gets funnier every time you see it, and repeated viewings are almost a given.
All Movie Guide - Jason Gibner
Napoleon Dynamite shows the hilariously terrifying high-school life of a social outcast with equal parts of raw, firsthand-experienced truth and oddball surrealism. At times, it makes the viewer wonder just what time period or what world the film is actually set in. Much like the work of director Todd Solondz, this debut film from first-time director Jared Hess tricks the audience into laughing at the main character's awkward situations and nerdish dialog about ninjas and dragons one minute, and then shows the harsh reality of the world he is forced to inhabit. Napoleon's (Jon Heder) world is populated with characters who are just as over-the-top peculiar as he is, which, along with its obvious love of early '80s fashion, distances the audience from the film. Perhaps the director intended to not let the audience connect with any of the characters. Perhaps while watching the film, we are to experience exactly what Napoleon feels, as he never opens up to anyone around him and we see all of his missed opportunities pass by. While the film does often seem unfocused, its flaws do not fully weigh it down. It is easy to root for Napoleon during his quest for some kind of emotional connection. Even though the payoff in the film's ending is surprisingly warm and good hearted, it's hard to not wish there was just a little more to grab on to.
Washington Post - Stephen Hunter
Jon Heder in the magnificent Napoleon Dynamite, is one of the most winning movie creations in years.
Washington Post - Desson Thomson
I laughed. And I laughed primarily over Heder's hilarious performance. You ain't seen nothing till you've seen Napoleon attack that tether ball.
Dallas Observer
It's charming. It's hilarious. It is perhaps the most beautifully crafted, lovingly rendered portrait of extreme geekitude ever to grace the screen. It's Napoleon Dynamite. Melissa Levine

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound, Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

cc DVD Special features Director/Co-writer, Producer and Actor Commentary "Peluca" original short film with optional Director/Writer, Producer and Actor Commentary The Wedding of the Century Deleted scenes still gallery Blu-ray Special features Outtakes, deleted scenes, and Audio Commentary by Co-Writer/Director Jared Hess, Producer Jeremy Coon and star Jon Heder "Peluca" original short film Cast Commentary by Aaron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Jon Gries and Tina Majorino The Wedding of the Century On location: Napoleon Dynamite World premiere-Jared Hess documentary Napoleon sightings MTV on-air promo spots Still gallery Audition clips

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Jon Heder Napoleon Dynamite
Jon Gries Uncle Rico
Aaron Ruell Kip
Efren Ramirez Pedro
Tina Majorino Deb
Diedrich Bader Rex
Haylie Duff Summer Wheatly
Trevor Snarr Don
Shondrella Avery LaFawnduh
Carmen Brady Starla
Emily Kennard Trisha
Ellen Dubin Ilene
Brian Petersen Lance
Sandy Martin Grandma

Technical Credits
Jared Hess Director,Screenwriter
Jeremy Coon Editor,Executive Producer
Sean Covel Producer
Matt Davis Sound/Sound Designer
Jerusha Hess Costumes/Costume Designer,Screenwriter
Curt Jenson Art Director
Cory Lorenzen Production Designer
Munn Powell Cinematographer
Tim Skousen Asst. Director
John Swihart Score Composer
Jory Weitz Casting,Executive Producer
Chris Wyatt Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1, Side A -- Napoleon Dynamite:
1. Chapter 1 [:27]
2. Chapter 2 [:21]
3. Chapter 3 [:11]
4. Main Titles [2:41]
5. Current Events [4:37]
6. New Kid [1:15]
7. Home Life [1:34]
8. Glamour Shots By Deb [:35]
9. Rex Kwon Do [1:03]
10. Happy Hands [3:00]
11. Uncle Rico [3:54]
12. Date Cake [1:18]
13. Business Partners [5:18]
14. Napopeon The Artist [1:46]
15. Chicken Farmer [2:32]
16. School Dance [3:33]
17. Pedro For President [2:55]
18. Lafawnduh [:47]
19. Wildest Dreams [4:46]
20. Candidate Speeches [2:52]
21. Napoleon Rocks Out [7:29]
22. Happy Endings [:23]
23. End Titles/A Wedding [8:27]
Disc #1, Side B -- Napoleon Dynamte:
1. Main Titles [2:41]
2. Current Events [4:37]
3. New Kid [1:15]
4. Home Life [1:34]
5. Glamour Shots [:35]
6. Rex Kwon Do [1:03]
7. Happy Hands [3:00]
8. Uncle Rico [3:54]
9. Date Cake [1:18]
10. Business Partners [5:18]
11. Napoleon The Artist [1:46]
12. Chicken Farmer [2:32]
13. School Dance [3:33]
14. Pedro For President [2:55]
15. Lafawnduh [:47]
16. Wildest Dreams [4:46]
17. Candidate Speeches [2:52]
18. Napoleon Rocks Out [7:29]
19. Happy Endings [:23]
20. End Titles/A Wedding [8:27]


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Napoleon Dynamite 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 121 reviews.
Qdaba11 More than 1 year ago
Never gets old, sill stand the test of time, no doubt
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just saw this film in Toronto - what a Friggin' Gem. It's probably the best comedy film ever made. I am still laughing out loud. It captured the a fringe of student that everyone always recognized or was a part of. My favorite aspect of this film was the self confidence it displayed. It didn't poke fun of nerds as a self-concious, would-be, mean spirited high school student would. The angle it used was truly refreshing and understated. Must see. I never buy DVDs retail, this will be the first.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This move is sooo funny. It is like no matter how bad your day is going or how bored you are, when you watch this movie it makes your day. I so loved the lama and Pedro was my favorite person!!! There is like no really plot, which makes it funny. And it is like you know someone who acts just like Napoleon!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie will have a cult following, no doubt. I would not be shocked if you see t-shirts being made, quotes constantly cited, or actors asked to fill roles in more movies. This is nothing short of rolling on the floor laughing...
Guest More than 1 year ago
The movie was plotless and pointless and less funny than a plotless and pointless episode of 'Seinfeld'. It only held my interest because I had the same big fro and the same Dorky Getalife attitude as Napolean when I was in High School. Its too bad that Preston is probably too small to have a chapter of the Society for Creative Ananchronism. It would have been good to see Napolean break dance in some Chainmail.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I Really Loved this Film,Alot!!! I had just Felt that the Film was Speaking to Me & I Could Definitely Relate to the Main Characters!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i feel this movie was good and also just a tad bit pointless. i say it's a good movie because it is inspiring to all the people in the world like napoleon dynamite. it also is very funny and you will never get tired of watching it over and over again. it is pointless because there really isn't any plot at all. other than that, i feel this is a movie to see if you want to relax and just laugh! so, it's a great movie to see.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was so funny!! The ppl who didn't like this movie have no sense of humor and probably thought Napoleon was cool or something. Or maybe it reminded them of themselves. You should rly watch this movie!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Soo funny, me and my freinds were laghing about it for weeks after seeing it. So dont be such an idiot and buy this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alright, I'll admit that it did have some funny parts but mainly, this movie was painful. It left alot of empty holes to the story. Was Napoleon retarded or just slow? Did this movie take place in the 80's? If so, why did Kip have a computer? Why was Pedro running for President? The big climax in this movie was the dance scene. Stupid, stupid, stupid!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this was the greatest and funniest movie i've ever seen....i am counting the days until i will own it...YAY!!!!!! Everyone should see at at least once....you're a fool if you don't love it!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Dang, this was one Sweet movie.:) Jon Heder as Napolean is perfection. The entire film is genius. Everybody knows someone who is like Napolean. I think that is part of what makes this movie so great. Another part is the fact that they can go almost two hours without saying a (bad) curse word. I watched this movie with no idea how it was going to play out. I rented it for the bike-jump scene, that to me was enough to spend my four bucks to rent it. The whole movie looks like something out of the seventies, except for uncle rico, and you will see what I mean if you get the movie. Hopefully I will be buying this movie soon.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A thousand thank-yous to the team that brought this movie into the world. If you like funky off-beat comedies or if you like movies about nerds, this is the one for you!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow. I have never seen a more hilarious movie in my entire life. I thought it looked cool, so I went to go see it...oh man. I was hoarse from laughing after the movie. The dance scene is sad, but by far the funniest part is when Napoleon goes up to Deb and says, 'Are you drinking 1% milk cause you think you're FAT?!' Holy hell I was rollin. BOTTOM LINE: Buy this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie really made me laugh. I love all the dysfunctional characters, how they interact, and how they are all social misfits. Brilliant!! Pedro is the man!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My kids absolutely loved this movie (as did I) there are few movies with no profanity or sex that the whole family can enjoy, this movie gives you just that! I think Napoleon Dynamite is going to be a cult classic like Rocky Horror Picture Show.....It is one of a kind!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 52-year-old dad to a senior in high school who brought home a friend's copy of Napoleon Dynamite, and asked my wife and me to watch it. The first viewing made me almost physically ill. I had been a nerd in High School, and bullied a lot, like Napoleon. Since there is not a large amount of plot in this film, it was easy to insert my own memories of high school into the film. That reflexive identification kept me from clearly seeing what was actually portrayed in the movie. I didn't understand that at the time. All I knew was I felt very uneasy as I saw my own discomfort re-lived on the screen. I was angry that all those rotten experiences had been dredged up and I didn't want to see it again. Lucky for me, my daughter had this DVD on for days. Every time I'd walk by the TV, I catch a scene of Napoleon and Pedro, or maybe Kip, and laugh at the absurdly deadpan delivery. After seeing these bits and pieces often enough, and hearing my daughter quoting some of the funnier (seemingly) throw-away lines ("I caught you a delicious bass...")I started to get the joke. Please watch this a few times, and give some space between the screenings. I think most of you will start to see the great joy of life that the director and the entire cast put into this movie. Now when I watch it, I can't help but laugh at Kip and his hot Internet babe LaFawnda, Pedro's family member "enforcers" and on and on... Napoleon’s dance is brilliant. Give this movie a chance, it grows on you like those family members who drive you nuts, but you know they are trying to be the best people they can be. Once you get to know their lives, and their troubles, their minor achievements become major accomplishments, and like this movie, a cause for celebration
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who doesn't like this movie obviously doesn't understand its true meaning. Its not meant to have a plot, because lets face it our lives are pretty much plotless. Teens try to be enerything they're not, with sad consequences. ND, if you really look at it, is an incredibly depressing movie. It shows life (or perhaps a lack there of) in middle America. They aren't rich and do not live in a good community. The pricipal thinks Pedro can't speak english and Summer even makes a racist joke. If you knew anything about the area that the movie takes place you know that its all farms and all nazi skinheads up there. Not a great place to grow up. There is no mention of Napoleon's parents...he represents every kid who isnt considered 'normal', or 'cool', he represents broken homes and just being who you are. Napoleon is who is is, may not be happy with it, but the few people who love him really do love him.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie may be dumb"oh wait, it is!" but it is a true classic. it is so funny! the humor may be dry, but it is told in a nerd's point of view."sorry,no offence!"anyway if you love good,clean,laughs, the I highly recommend this movie. Enjoy!! :"
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is the funniest movie ever. No, it may not have a plot, or good acting or anything that would win it an oscar, but who said you need all that to be funny. Just appreciate the movie for what it is. Just stupid humor that will crack you up from beginning until the end. There is a lot of hype around this movie, so don't expect more than dumb humor.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Number 1 anyone who doesn't like Napoleon Dynamite is a sap! This movie is the BOMB! I bought the soundtrack and i can't stop playing it! It's the best movie on earth! So yes if you didn't like it you're a dry, old, crusty-critter! (this is said from the bottom of my heart)
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's simple. There are two groups. One group gets this movie and one doesn't. The Napoleon/Pedro/Deb's and the Summer/Ron types. If you were a popular, prep, jock (Nothing wrong with that) You won't get this movie. Your school years came from a different perspective then the other group. But, if you ever felt a little outside the main cliques, ever spent way to much time outside practicing made-up martial arts moves, ever felt wrong in your own skin, you will totally get this movie. It's freakin' AWESOME! ESPECIALLY if you were ever a teen in the 80's.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was the most incredibly boring piece of crap I've ever seen. Someone said that it's not supposed to have a plot it's just supposed to be about real life. This is the real life of an idiot, which is not funny, as you might think. Movies need plots. Most people's lives are not interesting, so why make movies about them. These kids seemed like they should be in special ed (no offense to anyone who is actually disabled). This has no plot. I didn't want to see it. I only saw it to tell my friends, who loved it, that I despised it with every fiber of my being. I have nothing against independent or different films. I love Little Miss Sunshine, but this movie was an absolute disgrace. This just shows what society is coming to. People fawn all over this, but criticize REAL movies. DON'T WATCH THIS!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
From start to finish one of the friggin' funniest shows ever made. The character that Jared Hess and friends created has got to be one of the funniest since Monty Python died out. We follow the dol-drum life of high school kid Napoleon as he entangles himself in situations most of us would have no trouble avoiding. But it is really the character and his funny little phrases that keep the audience peeing their pants from the start. I saw the original short film they made at Brigham Young University and was exstatic to see that yet another great idea was given a chance to succeed in our "only big dumb HOLLYWOOD movies can ever be successful" age, and it was well worth the risk. By far one of the best low budget films of all time!!! SO, MAKE ANOTHER ALREADY GUYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am a 48 year old who watched this with my 10 year old daughter. I loved it and have watched it over and over. I even repeat the lines. It is really nice to see the geek not only win, but stay true to himself in winning. I hope that a sequel is in the works.