The big question surrounding the premiere of Fox's Napoleon Dynamite animated series is... why? Why is a cartoon based on Jared Hess's no-budget comedy arriving on TV a full eight years after the live-action version became a surprise box-office hit? Certainly, the last attempt to translate a popular, Sundance-approved indie flick to animation (Kevin Smith's short-lived Clerks cartoon) didn't work out all that well, although that show's failure had as much to do with behind-the-scenes problems between the creators and the network as it did with low ratings. In contrast, Fox seems to have left Hess and his original Dynamite team (including his wife and co-writer, Jerusha Hess, and much of the movie's cast, from star Jon Heder and his sidekick Efren Ramirez to love interest Tina Majorino and popular girl Haylie Duff) pretty much alone to recapture the odd, offbeat sensibility that made the movie such a success.
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