A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The show's plots and situations are so eccentric and unusual that it's almost impossible to relate them to anything resembling reality. To support these plots, morality and reason are somewhat nonexistent -- for example, brothers who fight several times an episode and a lead character who chiefly seems obsessed with obscure minutiae.
Positive Role Models
Characters frequently represent negative stereotypes played for humor. Lead characters behave in self-serving, cruel ways, all in the name of comedy.
Violence & Scariness
Occasional exaggerated animated violence for comedic effect, like wrestling, punching, etc. Some characters interact only through mocking and belittling one another.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
The show's main characters are fixated on sex and women, with frequent innuendo and attempts to encounter the opposite sex (though they're rarely successful).
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Occasional use of "damn" and "hell."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult drinking is occasionally depicted, usually as part of a specific joke or comedic situation. Several adult characters smoke casually.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Napoleon Dynamite -- an eccentric animated comedy series based on the cult fave movie -- has more gross-out humor than its big-screen predecessor. While the jokes are extremely offbeat, the content itself rarely gets past the "ew" factor. Plus, the esoteric nature of the show's stories, coupled with occasional moments of sexuality and drinking, make the series most appropriate for teens and adults.
Is It Any Good?
Although Napoleon Dynamite was inspired by the movie, it seems to take more inspiration from another Fox animated show that's since gone on to the big DVD library in the sky: King of the Hill. Like that show, Napoleon Dynamite focuses on an exceedingly eccentric cast of characters living in a unique part of the country, chronicling their victories and disappointments along the way. Unlike King of the Hill, Napoleon Dynamite is strange -- almost too strange; the humor is so quirky and disconnected from reality that it's frequently hard to decide whether you're supposed to laugh or groan with disgust.
And yet, as a half-hour dose of animated comedy, Napoleon Dynamite is more watchable (for this reviewer, anyway) than the original film was. Perhaps it's absence making the heart grow fonder or just that 22 minutes of these characters is easier to digest than 90 minutes. Whatever the case may be, there are some strong laughs to be found here; the animation seems to help bring this unusual little universe to life more effectively than live-action. There's a distance created when you're laughing at an animated character who's covered in apocalyptic zits that makes it easier to find the humor than watching real zits on a real forehead.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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