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TV Review: Fox's 'Napoleon Dynamite'

Fox debuts its newest animated series, NapoleonDynamite — based on the 2004 movie — on Jan. 15 at 8:30 p.m. ET. The following are reviews from around the web, compiled by B&C.

“The animation 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.” — Curt Wagner,Chicago Tribune

“The writing is a big problem. It’s just not funny, and that may be because audiences could see the real Jon Heder’s expressionless face as he delivered the preposterous dialogue in an unwavering monotone. A two-dimensional Heder isn’t as entertaining.” — David Wiegand, San Francisco Chronicle

“Despite the participation of the movie’s creators and the voices of the original cast, [Sunday’s] vulgarized premiere removes much of what made the film special and leaves just another second-rate Fox cartoon. But the second episode is a sweeter, funnier improvement. We’ll have to wait and see which represents the show’s actual direction.” — Robert Bianco, USA Today

“Unlike NBC’s The Firm, this film-turned-series isn’t, mercifully, a sequel or even a pre-quel; it exists in a sort of parallel universe to the film — Kip is still chatting up women on the Internet, including, in the first episode, one Misty (yes, that is Amy Poehler) who then falls for Napoleon but only after he is rage-enhanced via a dose of toxic zit cream.” — Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times

“Despite flashes of the original charm, this series will disappoint some fans of the original. The movie was funny because it was plausible; this cartoon is largely not funny because it is implausible. In spots, it’s been turned into an antic Saturday morning cartoon. A shame.” — Verne Gay, Newsday