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TV review: Animated 'Napoleon' isn't dynamite

SHOW PATROL

January 11, 2012|By Curt Wagner | RedEye

I didn't see "Napoleon Dynamite" when it hit theaters almost eight years ago and became something of a cult phenom.

That's probably a good thing: If the first two episodes of the new animated series (7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox; 1 star) based on it are any indication, I would not have sat through it.

I understand from friends who loved the movie that it was a sweet, gentle look at a group of misfits. The humor of the movie came out of its honest portrayals. Maybe that's the problem with the animated version: Everything feels like a put-on; nothing seems plausible.

In "Thundercone," awkward 16-year-old Napoleon (Jon Heder) suffers a zit outbreak after his 32-year-old loser brother, Kip (Aaron Ruell), tosses a chicken skin onto Napoleon's forehead. When Napoleon rubs Rack-U-Tane on his face, it causes "lust and unbridled rage" that leads him to join a fight club.

In "Scantronica Love," a scantron machine matches Napoleon's girlfriend Deb (Tina Majorino) with bully Don Moser (co-producer Jared Hess). Napoleon has to act fast to stop her from getting "engaged to get engaged to get engaged..." You get the idea.

The animaton is cool and it's probably fun for fans to have the original cast doing all the voices. Would be nice if it was funny, too.

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