Thursday, January 19, 2012

New Napoleon Is Dynamite!


After seeing it, I thought the movie Napoleon Dynamite would work as a TV series. I, for one, wanted more of these characters. But a sequel seemed beyond the limits of what could be done. What on earth would constitute a good enough plotline to sustain a film? But a series? That’s an open invitation to explore many avenues of comedy without striving or requiring it to be so big. The mundane and quirky lives of these strange people can be showcased in perfectly sized vignettes. After all, the movie had been not much more than that to begin with, right?

Someone else thought so, too, and I am glad of it. For it DOES work. Very well. And they had the excellent idea of doing it in animation.

Buttercup had been skeptical at first, but given that it’s Napoleon Dynamite and has all the original cast voicing their characters, she’d been willing to give it a try. (She’d also laughed at the ads.) She wound up cracking up just as much as me. She now whole-heartedly agrees - it’s a marvelous TV show.

I’m not sure what it is about this wacky world. Much of it doesn’t seem as if it should be funny at all. It just IS. And I’m happy to say that whatever worked in the movie is still carrying the mojo for the cartoon. Plus, there's the added bonus of having the freedom to be THAT much wackier to [moon]boot. Instead of needing Jon Heder to pilot a jet ski and daringly make a sweet jump, Napoleon and friends can now just do it. Tina the Llama can be helping Napoleon with his exercises. Aaron Ruell doesn’t have to master the Fushigi Magic Gravity Ball... but his cartoon Kip self certainly can with no trouble. To great hilarity. And I must say that it’s a sheer delight to have Grandma be around. She’s just as I pictured her in daily life. (She’d been gone most of the movie.)

Water skiing, too!

Also, the opening sequence is just right.  It's funny AND shows us all the main characters in a way that's not forced.  And I adore the way Napoleon runs.  How did they get that calm-psycho quality of Heder into a drawing?   Not sure, but I'm sure it's there.

Hooray for everyone involved. I applaud. I wipe tears of laughter from my eyes and look forward to more episodes of this SWEET show.

Viva Cartoon Dynamite!

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