Napoleon Dynamite became a surprise cult classic upon its release in 2004, with Jon Heder's title character charming audiences with his goofy appearance and short persona; made from a modest budget of an estimated $400,000 it went on to gross over $46 million worldwide, albeit most of that success coming in the States.
It had been previously reported that US network Fox were to bring back the character in an animated TV series, something which eventually came to fruition this week as the first episode aired on January 15th, again starring Heder as the voice of Napoleon. Although receiving a large audience however, it can't be too hopeful of its future with a slew of damning critical reviews all ultimately posing the same question - why bring it back eight years on?
"With a look recalling the glories of King of the Hill, but no discernible point of view or comic fuse of its own, Dynamite is a dud," admonished TV Guide, with many others following suit, The Hollywood Reporter saying "Animating [the movie] doesn't actually make it better (or even funny), even if you bring back the original cast to do the voice work," and Slant Magazine really drove the knife in, suggesting "The characters are readymade jokes unto themselves, and the plots unfolding around them seem like little more than scenes found on the film's cutting room floor." Brought in as a mid-season replacement for fellow animated sitcom 'Allen Gregory,' it's not looking likely at this early stage that 'Napoleon Dynamite' will fare much better.