What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that while Napoleon Dynamite celebrates nerds and misfits, some may feel it fuels mockery and ridicule; others will simply find it funny. The comic action includes slapstick pratfalls and exaggerated bullying by school tough guys. The language is never obscene; characters rely instead on insults ("idiot," "sicko," "retarded") and disguised swearing ("frickin’," "flippin'," "crap"). And there is mild sexual innuendo, along with some kissing and embracing. Napoleon Dynamite became a box office bonanza, cultural phenomenon, and spawned an animated series.
What's the story?
NAPOLEON DYNAMITE (Jon Heder) just can't catch a break. Life seems so unfair. Women only like men who've got skills, and to Napoleon that means numbchuck skills, computer hacking skills, or maybe some really sweet dance moves. But those endless arms and legs don't seem to want to cooperate well. Then there's Napoleon's uncle and his schemes to make a lot of money and go back in time to that crucial turning point in a high school football game, his best friend Pedro's (Efren Ramirez) campaign for class president against alpha girl Summer (Haylie Duff), and what happens when his older brother's online girlfriend shows up.
Is it any good?
What's great about this satisfyingly humorous movie is that it keeps us laughing with Napoleon, not at him. And that's thanks to Napoleon Dynamite's deliriously specific detail, superb use of the Idaho setting, affection for its characters, unexpected developments, and most of all its genuine sweetness. He may be clueless, but he has a great heart, and we know he will be fine, not just for a satisfyingly happy ending for the movie but beyond.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about adolescence in different times and places. How is life for the teens in Napoleon Dynamite like or not like your own experiences of adolescence?
Why do you think Napoleon Dynamite caught on so well even though it's so quirky?
If you've seen the animated series of Napoleon Dynamite, how do you think it compares with the movie?
|Theatrical release date:||June 11, 2004|
|DVD/Streaming release date:||December 21, 2004|
|Cast:||Efren Ramirez, John Gries, Jon Heder|
|Topics:||Friendship, High school, Misfits and underdogs|
|Character strengths:||Compassion, Empathy|
|Run time:||82 minutes|
|MPAA explanation:||thematic elements and language|