ChapStick, Lamas, and Tater Tots are just a few of the items that can be seen in Napoleon Dynamite a cult movie shot for just $ 400,000 and $ 44.5 million was. In 2002, the film student of Brigham Young University, Jared Hess, with his classmate Jon Heder, filmed a black and white short film, Peluca . The film was inducted into the Slamdance Film Festival, giving Hess the courage to turn him into a feature film. Hess used his real-life education in Preston, Idaho – he had six brothers and lamas who belonged to his mother – to form the basis of the film, about a teenage teenager named Napoleon (Heder), who his friend Pedro (Efren Ramirez) to Running encouraged For class president.
In 2004, the indie film ran at Sundance and was quickly bought by Fox Searchlight and Paramount and released less than six months later. The film is still so popular that Pedro and Napoleon in 201
. 1 Deb is based on Jerusha Hess.
Jared Hess & # 39; s Mrs. Jerusha co-wrote the film and founded Deb on her own life. "Her mother made her a dress when she went to a middle school dance and she said," I had not really developed yet, so my mother overcompensated and made some very big, fluffy shoulders, "Jared said Rolling Stone . "A guy dancing with her patted her sleeves and actually said:" I like your sleeves … they're really big. "
Tina Majorino, who played the fictional deb, had not previously made a comedy because people thought of her as a dramatic actress. "The fact that Jared would even let me in to read really appealed to me," she said to Rolling Stone . "Even if I did not get the part, I just wanted to see what it's like to play for a comedy I've never done before.
2. Napoleon's famous dance scene was the result of an additional film stand.
At the end of filming Peluca Hess had one minute of footage left and knew that Heder liked to dance.Heder wore moon boots – something Hess always wore them – so they drove to the end of a dirt road They made the car Radio and Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat" were playing. "I just told him to start dancing and I realized, like that we have to finish the film, "said Hess t alt Rolling Stone ." Do not expect such things. They are only part of the creative process. "
Heder told HuffPost that he was inspired by Michael Jackson and danced in front of a mirror for the end of the film. However, when it was time to film the dance for the feature film, Heder felt the "pressure" to deliver. "I thought," Oh, crap! "This is not just a stupid little scene," he told PDX Monthly . "This is the moment when everything comes and he makes the sacrifice for his friend, that's the whole theme of the film, it all comes down to it, Napoleon was this loser, this must be the moment he lands a victory." Instead of hiring a choreographer, the filmmakers urged him to "figure it out." They filmed the scene three times with three different songs, including Jamiroquai's "Little L" and "Little L." Canned Heat. "
3 ] Napoleon Dynamite Fans still flock to Preston, Idaho to view the film's locations.
In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune The Rhonda Gregerson, Preston Citizen's Sales Manager said, "Every summer at least 50 groups of fans come to the office to learn more about the movie." Pedro's house and other filming locations stopover before heading to Yellowstone National Park. " If Si If you talk to many people in Preston, you'll find lots of people who are a little tired of it, "Gregerson said. "I still think it's great that there's still so much interest in the city after the movie."
In addition to the film locations, the city hosted a Napoleon Dynamite festival. In 2005, the festival counted about 6,000 participants and held a Tater Tot-Esswettbewerb, a moon-boot dance competition, Boondoggle key fobs and a tetherball tournament sold. The festival was last held in 2008.
. 4 Idaho adopted a resolution honoring the filmmakers.
In 2005, the legislature of Idaho wrote a resolution praising Jared and Jerusha Hess and the city of Preston. HCR029 appreciates the use of Tater Tots to "promote Idaho's most famous export." It praises cycling and skateboarding to promote "better air quality," saying that Kip and LaFawnduh's relationship "pays tribute to e-commerce and Idaho's technology-driven industry." The resolution goes on to say that "no to this concurrent resolution votes are Freakin 'idiots ". Napoleon would be proud.
. 5 Napoleon was a different kind of nerd. Sure, he was awkward, but Napoleon was not as smart as other movie nerds. "He's not a genius," Heder told HuffPost. "Maybe he gets good grades, but he's not outstanding, he's just socially awkward, he does not know how much he's an outcast, and that gives him that confidence, he sometimes tries to be cool, but mostly he just does it and does it. "
6. The title sequence contained several different handsets.
Eight months before the release of the movie, Fox Searchlight Hess made a title turn that made it clear that the movie was in 2004 instead of the '80s or' 90s The pupil badge of Napoleon provides information about the events of the 2004-2005 school year, with Heder's hands moving the objects into and out of the frame, but Fox did not like his hanging nails. "A few weeks later, they released a hand-held model had great hands but was five or six shades darker than Jon Heder, "Hess said of Art of the Title." If you look, there are three different types of hands – our producers are also in there. "
7. Napoleon Dynamite has messed up the Netflix algorithms.
Starting in 2006, Cinematch, the algorithm software recommended by Netflix, hosted a contest called The Netflix Prize. Anyone who could make Cinematch's predictions at least 10 percent more accurate would win $ 1 million. The computer scientist Len Bertoni had problems predicting whether the people would like Napoleon Dynamite . Bertoni said The New York Times the film "polarize" and the Netflix ratings are either one or five stars. If he could predict exactly whether people like the movie, Bertoni said, he would have come much closer to winning the award. That did not happen to him.
The contest finally ended in 2009, when Netflix presented the grand prize to BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos, which scored an improvement of 10.06 percent over Cinematch's score.
. 8 Napoleon accidentally got a bad perm.
Heder had his hair curled the night before shooting began – but something went wrong. Heder called Jared and said, "Yes, I have the perm, but it's a bit different than before," Hess told Rolling Stone . "He showed up the night before the shoot and looked like Shirley Temple! The curls were huge! "They did not have much time to fix the filth, so Hess hired Jerusha and her cousin to let him in. It worked, but Jon was not allowed to wash his hair for the next three weeks." So he had that stinking " Do in the Idaho heat for three weeks, "said Jared. "We shot near dairy farms and there were tons of flies; they all flew in and out of his hair. "
. 9 LaFawnduh's real family starred in the movie.
Shondrella Avery played LaFawnduh, the African-American friend of Kip, Napoleon's older brother (played by Aaron Ruell). Before filming, Hess called Avery and said, "Do you remember that there were no blacks in Preston, Idaho? Do you think your family might want to play in the movie? "And so it happened," Avery said Los Angeles Weekly . Their real family turns up in the end when LaFawnduh and Kip marry.
10th A short-lived cartoon acted as a sequel.
In 2012, Fox sent six episodes of Napoleon Dynamite to the animated series before breaking them off. All original actors returned to voices to their characters. The only difference between the movie and the series is that Kip is not married. Heder told Rolling Stone that the episodes are as close to a sequel as the fans expect. "If you sit down and look at them from back to back, you have a sequel," he said. "Because you have the same characters and actors."
This story was updated for 2019.