'Napoleon Dynamite' visits campus

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Jon Heder talks to students about his upcoming animated series based on his movie "Napoleon Dynamite" on Wednesday night. Photo by Lindsay Weaver.

Jon Heder talks to students about his upcoming animated series based on his movie "Napoleon Dynamite" on Wednesday night. Photo by Lindsay Weaver.

The star of the 2004 movie “Napoleon Dynamite,” Jon Heder, came to campus Wednesday to promote his new animated series “Napoleon Dynamite.”

Participants were treated to a screening of an episode entitled “The Bed Races” that followed main characters Napoleon, Uncle Rico, Grandma and Kip in a competition to see who could run the fastest while pushing a bed.

TCU was one of two universities Heder said he would visit and seemed to be very excited to interact with students.

“It’s part of a big press tour I’m doing,” Heder said. “I did a lot of college tours years ago when the movie first came out.”

The “Napoleon Dynamite” series is based off the film, “Napoleon Dynamite,” and tries to pick up where the film left off almost eight years ago.

Heder even said the series could be considered a sequel to the movie. Viewers could expect to re-live the movie’s experience by following the same characters on quirky adventures in Preston, a small, rural community in Idaho.

“It’s essentially the movie, ‘Simpsonized.’ You have kind of similar plots and just kind of weird things happening in this weird town,” Heder said.

Creators Jared and Jerusha Hess brought back all of the original cast to do the character’s voices. But unfortunately, Trevor Snarr, who plays another main character named Don, was not able to participate in the project. Heder said Hess was trying to recapture the audience that made the film a cultural phenomenon.

“There are so many people who loved ‘Napoleon’ ... So we’re hoping to grab that and get that same audience,” Heder said.

Heder said he credited “Napoleon Dynamite” for jump-starting his career, and jokes that everyone now calls him Napoleon.

“It’s how I started my career, I mean, it’s the whole reason why I’m here. It affected my life greatly,” Heder said. “The fame thing was weird, but I’ve never gotten used to that.”

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