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Napoleon Dynamite Title Sequence Analysis
Homework: Assignment

ND Titles

What I love about this title sequence is how it immediately establishes the visual aesthetic and awkward comedic tone that continues throughout the film, while also hinting at key moments in the film, the setting, and character attributes. This sequence stood out to me when I first saw it and is one of the first that came to my mind after watching through the lesson. The music also sets the tone perfectly while also hinting at the nature of the film centering around school experiences. The first still establishes the the vintage feel and color palette with the rug, while hinting at the quirky nature of the film with the peculiarly styled plate. This frame also is a nod to the tater tots scene later in the film. Jon Heder's introduction card is the first instance of the sequence that incorporates names into production design, and also hints at the bizarre outlandish nature of his character. The next card with his school photo identifies the main character to the audience, as well as location and time period. Almost any of the food styled frames could have been chosen, but the other two co-star frames are meals the character actually consumes later in the film, the background of Ramirez's even hinting at the tile of a school lunchroom. The production designer's title being incorporated into the actual production design of chapstick is a fun tongue in cheek joke, and also hints at the importance of chapstick in a scene early on in the film. The DP's title being a poorly drawn sketch is funny due to the nature of his job, but also offers more insight into the main character and hints foreshadows the importance of his drawings and fascination with fantasy. The titles are almost entirely centered, establishing a kind of low budget, indie, Wes Anderson sort of feel. The softness of the footage and simplicity of the idea also helps establish the low budget, indie vibe.


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