"Napoleon Dynamite" was released in 2004 and was directed by Jared Hess. The movie was created based on a short-film that Hess has produced as an assignment at Brigham Young University in 2002. The short film, which Hess titled "Peluca," was just nine minutes long and stars Jon Heder as the main character. The title of the film comes from the spanish word for wig because Jon Heder, known in the film as Seth, purchases a wig with two friends Pedro and Giel during the film.
Two years after "Peluca" was created, the short film was adapted into the well know comedy "Napoleon Dynamite" in 2004. Jeremy Coon, Chris Wyatt, Sean C. Covel and Jory Weitz all produced this film, and Hess and his Wife wrote the screenplay for it. The film features the star from "Peluca," Jon Hess, along with Jon Gries, Efren Ramierez and Haylie Duff. Jon Heder, who plays Napoleon Dynamite, was only paid $1,000 for his role in the movie, but due to the success of the movie produced on a $400,000 budget that made $46.1 million in box office sales, he was able to negotiate to a higher pay. The film was first released on January 17, 2004 at Sundance Film Festival by Fox Searchlight Pictures in the US, and later internationally by Paramount Pictures on June 11 of the same year.
The 95 minute comedy based on a college assignment was, and still is, widely popular. The story is of Napoleon Dynamite, an incredibly awkward and badly dressed 16 year old high school student from Idaho. Napoleon also has older brother Kip, who spends most of his time at home online chatting with his girlfriend LaFawnduh, or watching television. The two boys live with their grandmother who is away for most of the story quad riding in the sand dunes with her boyfriend.
One day at school, Napoleon meets a new student from Mexico named Pedro, and is instructed by a school official to show him where his locker is. Once the outcast of Preston High, Napoleon is able to give Pedro advice, and the two quickly become friends. Later, Pedro takes an interest in one of the girls at their school, Deb, and asks her to the upcoming school dance. The three, Napoleon, Deb and Pedro become great friends. Napoleon also decided to find himself a date, and asks the best friend of the most popular girl in school, Trisha, by drawing her a portrait based off her yearbook picture.
Napoleon and his gang navigate through high school while Kip and the Uncle Rico, who came to stay with them after their grandmother took a spill at the dunes, become business partners. The two go from house to house trying to sell different items such as tupperware trying to get rich. Kip wants this money to finally meet the internet love of his life LaFawnduh, and the two eventually meet up. Toward the end of the movie, Pedro decided to run for class president of the high school and wanted to defeat Preston High's most popular princess, Summer Wheatley. With the help of his friends, he campaigns for president, yet during the school assembly, stumbles giving his speech. Super hero Napoleon steps in and does a dance for Pedro's talent portion of the competition, and was given a standing ovation by the student body.
The story is incredibly creative and relatable, as well as can make just about anyone alive laugh.The actors and actresses chosen to plays roles in the film fit the characters perfectly, and the setting in Preston, Idaho set the scene for this awkward boy's time in high school. It is a perfect example of victory for the underdog and high school life in a small town. The vision of the director's college assignment was taken to new heights and became a huge hit. Personally, I love this movie because it is extremely funny and well put together, and is unlike many other modern comedies. This movie is hilarious with the use of any profanity or inappropriate scenes, making it a great movie for all ages.