More than 12 years after their Napoleon Dynamite took the box office by storm, the stars of the hit indie comedy are reuniting in an unconventional way. The fast food chain Burger King brought back Jon Heder (Napoleon) and Efren Ramirez (Pedro) for a new commercial, promoting the return of their Cheesy Tots. The ad puts a new twist on the now-infamous tots scene from the original comedy.
Burger King‘s Cheesy Tots were once a staple of the fast food chain’s menu, before they were discontinued in 2009, just five years after director Jared Hess‘ Napoleon Dynamite hit theaters. The fast food recently resurrected another previously-discontinued menu item, the Chicken Fries, and now fans can enjoy the Cheesy Tots along with the Chicken Fries. Here’s what Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, had to say in a statement.
“Fans have been craving the return of cheesy tots for some time now. So we wanted to give loyalists a holiday surprise after we heard so many of their requests. Now they’ll be able to warm up to these cozy cheese and potato bites this holiday season.”
Napoleon Dynamite was both shot and set in Jared Hess’ hometown of Preston, Idaho, which the director wrote with his wife Jerusha Hess while they were both undergraduate students at Brigham Young University. BYU students Jon Heder and Aaron Ruell both made their feature film debuts as brothers Napoleon and Kip, with the rest of the cast rounded out by more experienced actors such as Efren Ramirez as Pedro, Jon Gries as Uncle Rico, Tina Majorino as Deb, Diedrich Bader as Rex, Sandy Martin as Grandma and Haylie Duff as Summer Wheatley. The comedy only cost $400,000 to produce, but it made $44.5 million during its theatrical run which spanned 35 weeks through 2004 and the early weeks of 2005. Here’s the official synopsis for Napoleon Dynamite below, which was released after it sold to Paramount and MTV Films at the Sundance Film Festival.
From Preston, Idaho comes Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder), a new kind of hero complete with a tight red ‘fro, some choice moon boots, and skills that can’t be topped. Napoleon spends his days drawing mythical beasts, duking it out with his 32-year-old brother Kip (Aaron Ruell) and avoiding his Uncle Rico (Jon Gries), a door-to-door salesman who’s mentally stuck in 1982 — the year his football team “almost won state.” But when two new friends are brought into his life — Deb (Tina Majorino), the artisan behind the “boondoggle key chain,” and Pedro (Efren Ramirez) with his sweet bike and talent with the chicks — Napoleon finds goals outside of being a star milk-tasting judge. Together the trio launches a campaign to elect Pedro for class president and make the student body’s wildest dreams come true. But if Pedro is to beat stuck-up Summer (Haylie Duff), Napoleon will have to unleash his secret weapon…
While Napoleon Dynamite never did spawn a theatrical sequel, several of the main cast members, including Jon Heder, Efren Ramirez, Aaron Ruell, Tina Majorino and Jon Gries, did return to reprise their roles in an animated series in 2012. The series was rather short-lived, though, spanning just six episodes before it was canceled. Take a look at the new Burger King ad celebrating the return of their Cheesy Tots, along with the original “tots” scene from Napoleon Dynamite.