Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

 ●  English ● 1 hr 26 mins

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Scrawny, sullen and aloof, Napoleon Dynamite is a social misfit, who gets routinely bullied in his high school. Moreover, he has various members of his dysfunctional family to deal with on a continual basis. Then, like a breath of fresh air, Pedro shows up. The new kid in town. He's from Mexico, he has an awesome bike, and he's the only kid in school with a mustache. When Napoleon befriends Pedro, and Pedro decides to run for class president, Napoleon gets his chance to show his stuff and prove that he's got nothing to prove. Will Napoleon succeed in showcasing his talents and become instrumental in Pedro's success?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Aaron Ruell, Jon Heder

Crew: Jared Hess (Director), Munn Powell (Director of Photography), John Swihart (Music Director)

Rating: U/A (India)

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Release Dates: 27 Aug 2004 (India)

Tagline: He's out to prove he's got nothing to prove.

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Did you know? The film is based on a short film Jared Hess made in 2002 with Jon Heder. Almost everything from the short made it into the feature film. For instance, there is a scene in the feature film where Napoleon and Pedro are at a state fair appraising cows or tasting milk. In the short, there is only a line of spoken dialog that mentions the taste-testing of milk. Read More
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as Kip
as Napoleon Dynamite
as Randy
as Nathan
as Lance
as Starla
as Pedro
as Ilene
as Trisha
as Summer Wheatly
as Jock #2
as Uncle Rico
as Grandma
as Lafawnduh
as Principal Svadean
as Deb
as Don
as Cashier


First Assistant Director
Second Assistant Director


Executive Producer
Line Producer
Unit Production Manager


Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Foley Artist
Sound Re-recording Mixer
Boom Operator


Production Designer
Art Director


Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Dolby Digital
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
He's out to prove he's got nothing to prove.
It's Gonna Be a Dynamite Summer
Same planet...different flippin' world.
Crew/Equipment Visible
When Deb calls Napoleon on the pay phone, a crew member's leg is reflected in the silver part of the phone.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When Uncle Rico pulls up in front of school as Napoleon draws a Liger, a person can be seen running left out of frame. Also, the crew is reflected in the windows.

Crew/Equipment Visible
When Napoleon is watching Lyle shoot the cow and the bus drives in between them, the camera, tripod, and several members of the crew can be seen reflected in the glass on the bus door.

Crew/Equipment Visible
At the dance a boom shadow pointing upwards is visible across the students' faces when the camera pans across room.

Character Error
When Napoleon shows Pedro the picture of the woman that Deb gave him, Pedro says, "I like her bangs." However, the woman in the picture doesn't have bangs.

Revealing Mistakes
At the FFA contest none of the FFA members or judges are wearing their jackets zipped up, FFA rules require jackets to be worn zipped to the top.

Revealing Mistakes
Official dress of the National FFA organization calls for males to wear black slacks. When shown in the FFA hall, Napoleon is wearing blue jeans.

When Napoleon is waiting in the van for Uncle Rico to take him to the dance, he looks at his watch. The time and date displayed is 5:40 p.m., Thursday 7/17. (They may have forgotten to change the date on the watch -- how many school dances are in July?) After he starts running down the road, he stops to look at his watch and the time and date says 5:54 p.m., Monday, 7/21.

When Napoleon asks Pedro for his "tots", the tot by Pedro appears and disappears in between shots.

When Naploeon calls home to ask Kip to bring him his Chap Stick, the position of the nacho's, and the amount of cheese on them changes several times.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Napoleon is calling Pedro after telling Rico to leave, he dials seven numbers, but you only hear the sound for six of them.

Audio/Video Mismatch
In the opening credits, several plates are being set down onto carpet; however, all the sound effects are of plates being set onto a wood table or other hard surface.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Napoleon is in front of the class doing Sign Language to the song "The Rose", none of the signs match the words being sung except the first line. They are signing lines from later on in the song.
Both Jon Heder (Napoleon) and Efren Ramirez (Pedro), who play the lead characters in the movie, have an identical twin in real life.

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

This movie was filmed entirely in just 22 days.

Initially, Jon Heder was paid $1,000 for this movie. Of course, he renegotiated when it grossed over $40,000,000 in the United States.

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

Jon Gries (Uncle Rico) is actually a vegetarian; every time he was eating steak and wiped his mouth he was spitting the meat into the napkin.

A "Napoleon Dynamite" festival was held every year from 2004-08 in Preston, Idaho, the city where the movie was filmed. The festival had contests that included a tater-tot eating, football-throwing, look-a-likes and other types of competition based on scenes from the movie.

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.

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

Despite playing high-school students, Jon Heder and Efren Ramirez were, respectively, 27 and 31 when this movie was made.

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 permed his hair for the film.

When Kip is on the computer near the beginning of the film, all of the words he is saying were improvised by Aaron Ruell. If listened to closely, one can hear him singing a little bit right as Grandma comes in.

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.

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.

Aaron Ruell (Kip) had braces put on his teeth for this role (two dentists are thanked in the credits).

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

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.

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.

The opening title sequence was partially re shot due to some of the executives at Fox Searchlight not liking the look of the actors hands who place the food into the shot. They flew out a "hand model" to re shoot some of the shots with the director.

In a deleted scene, it is shown that Napoleon gets a scratch ticket and won $10, which originally was shown in Peluca (2003). That was what made it so he could afford the $12 suit for the dance and not even the price was implied in the movie.

The film is based on a short film Jared Hess made in 2002 with Jon Heder. Almost everything from the short made it into the feature film. For instance, there is a scene in the feature film where Napoleon and Pedro are at a state fair appraising cows or tasting milk. In the short, there is only a line of spoken dialog that mentions the taste-testing of milk.

The name "Napoleon Dynamite" is a pseudonym used by Elvis Costello for his 1986 album, "Blood and Chocolate". Executive producer Jeremy Coon has stated that the similarity is a coincidence and that the producers were unaware of Costello's usage of the name until the film was in production.

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

Jon Heder credits Tina Majorino (Deb) with helping to choreograph the dance scene. He also states that some of the dance moves were "borrowed" from Michael Jackson, Backstreet Boys, John Travolta, Soul Train (1971), as well as some of his own moves.