On my way through southern Idaho headed to Utah, I mentioned to my wife that Preston, Idaho was the location where the movie Napoleon Dynamite was filmed. We both seemed interested in taking a detour off the main highway (Interstate 15) to veer towards this small Idaho rural community to see if we could discover where Napoleon, Pedro, Uncle Rico, Kip, and Deb might have impacted the world through their small but significantly meaningful victories in life. We turned off the highway somewhere south of Pocatello onto a country road that passed a couple pioneer historical and geological markers including Red Rock Pass and Bear River Massacre. Our family visited these sites before reaching Preston wherein I searched the Internet and found a cool site with details on where to find the Napoleon Dynamite filming locations.
I must thank this website for guiding us over the next hour as we toured Preston and found these Napoleon Dynamite filming locations in some unexpected places. For example, Napoleon Dynamite’s house is isolated away from the main town on a country road. As we followed the instructions to find the house combined with our GPS mapping application on a cell phone, we still questioned if we were going the right direction in this unknown town. Soon we found the house and cautiously stopped the car and approached it. To our amusement, there was a sign and a donation jar on the front lawn. We started laughing and eagerly contributed money into the money pail. We triggered our cameras and started taking pictures including one of me.
Soon we moved on to find Pedro’s house downtown. We easily found the address and snagged a few pictures with the homeowner’s dog staring. Afterwards, we turned towards the nearby high school. Preston High School appears the same as it did in the movie over 10 years earlier. You can see me sitting in front of the school as if had once been a cast member.
We once again headed outside of the downtown into the countryside, even further out than for Napoleon Dynamite’s house, to find Trisha’s house (aka, Trisha Jenner) for whom Napoleon Dynamite delivered a sketch portrait to Trisha’s mom, hoping to woo Trisha to the prom (remember Uncle Rico was there?).
Along the way, we were driving slowly and a passerby inquired what we were doing. My wife explained and the man laughed. We already felt uncomfortable snooping around, so for someone to inquire as to what we were doing wasn’t unexpected. Besides, the movie craze has worn off and they likely don’t have many Napoleon Dynamite tourists in Preston anymore.
Eager to get to our destination in Utah and still wanting to stop by the LDS Temple in Logan, we decided to pass by the other filming locations except for a visit to Summer Wheatly’s house on the way out of town. This location is where Pedro left the cake on the door hoping to get her to go to the dance with him.
There seems to be mixed appreciation for the movie Napoleon Dynamite as some individuals either” really liked it” while others “didn’t get it.” But for those who enjoyed the movie Napoleon Dynamite (even though it has been over 10 years since the movie came out), you still might want to take a tour of Preston, Idaho to see the filming locations.