Monday, October 18, 2010

Movie Monday: Napoleon Dynamite

Napoleon Dynamite, 2004. Starring Jon Heder , Jon Gries, AAron Ruell, Efren Ramirez, Tina Majorino (Director: Jared Hess)

Preston, Idaho's most curious resident, Napoleon Dynamite, lives with his grandma and his 32-year-old brother (who cruises chat rooms for ladies) and works to help his best friend, Pedro, snatch the Student Body President title from mean teen Summer Wheatley.


Trivia, Scenes, & Clips!

Every dish shown during the opening credits is eaten by a character later in the movie. The dishes presented in the opening credits were the work of the three people who present them.

Due to the film's surprise success at festivals and in its limited release, Fox Searchlight re-edited the film to add a 5-minute epilogue at the end. This epilogue, which was filmed after the initial theatrical run, features a surprise "wedding scene", which cost about half of what the entire feature cost to make.

Features one of the longest credited cast lists in movie history; all 181 student extras' names are listed in the closing credits.

The movie was edited in producer Jeremy Coon's apartment using a $6,000 Macintosh with Final Cut Pro.

Behind-the-scenes at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Fox Searchlight engaged in a bidding war with Warner Independent Pictures over the distribution rights to this movie, until Fox Searchlight put in a last-minute bid of over $3 million, and won. They would later join forces with Paramount Pictures and MTV Films to distribute the film, a mere 17 days before its release.

The "liger" is a real animal, created when a male lion mates with a female tiger. It does not, however, have "skills in magic", as Napoleon claims.

Shot in 22 days.

Jon Heder's big dance scene was the last scene scheduled and film ran out while shooting it. The sequence was edited together from less than 10 minutes of his dancing.

The scene of the farmer shooting the cow in front of the school bus full of children is a true anecdote from the director's childhood.

Two houses were used for the filming of Napoleon's house: one for outdoor shots, and one for indoor shots.

Deb's photo studio is actually the basement of the interior version of Napoleon Dynamite's house.

Idaho unanimously passed a bill praising Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess for making the film, citing amongst their reasons that the Preston High School administration and staff, particularly the cafeteria staff, have enjoyed notoriety and worldwide attention. Tater tots figuring prominently in the film has promoted Idaho's most famous export.

In real life, the llama belongs to director/co-writer Jared Hess's mother, and its name is Dolly

Uncle Rico's girlfriend who rides up to him on her bicycle at the end of the film, is Aaron Ruell's wife

Jon Heder was paid $1,000 to play Napoleon Dynamite. The movie grossed over $40,000,000 in the United States.

Jon Heder drew all of the "drawings" in the movie except the unicorn.

Jon Heder permed his hair for the film.

Despite playing High School students Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez were, respectively, 27 and 31 when this movie was made

An animated series based off of the movie was announced in April of 2010. It is being developed by 20th Century Fox.

A "Napoleon Dynamite" festival was held every year in Preston, Idaho, the city where the movie was filmed from 2004-2008. The festival had events that included a tater tot eating contest, a football throwing contest, look-a-like contests and other type of festival events based off of scenes from the movie.

The film is based off of a short film 'Jared Hess' made in 2002 with Jon Heder. Almost everything from the short film made it into the feature film. For instance, there is a scene where Napoleon and Pedro are at a state fair drinking milk in the feature film. In the short film there is a line of dialog spoken mentioning taste testing milk.

In the original short, Napoleon's name was Seth.