|Created by||Jeff Parker
|Developed by||Mike Nawrocki
|Written by||Mitch Schauer
|Directed by||Tod Carter
|Theme music composer||Kurt Heinecke
|Opening theme||"3-2-1 Penguins! Theme Song"|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||19|
|Executive producer(s)||Phil Vischer
|Producer(s)||Jon Gadsby (2000-2001)
J. Chris Wall
|Running time||22-30 minutes (video)
66 minutes (television)
|Production company(s)||Big Idea, Inc.
Brain Freeze Entertainment
Lyrick Studios (2000-2001)
|Original run||November 14, 2000 – July 1, 2003 (video series);
September 9, 2006 – November 13, 2008 (TV series)
3-2-1 Penguins! is a scifi series of Christian computer-animated cartoons launched on November 14, 2000. It was first released on video until 2003, when it was broadcast on television. The direct-to-video series by Big Idea, Inc. and Lyrick Studios, the same producers of the long-running VeggieTales series, held the top spot on the Soundscan kid video sales charts for its first 18 weeks of release. and has sold 1.5 million videos to date. It was the #1 seller on Christian Booksellers Association's video list in 2001 and the #2 (and occasionally #1) ranked show on NBC's qubo Saturday morning kids block in 2008. Along with VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins has generated millions of dollars in revenue for Big Idea After the release of six direct-to-video episodes by Big Idea from 2000–2003, 3-2-1 Penguins appeared on NBC, Ion Television, Telemundo and Qubo from 2006–2012.
Twins Jason and Michelle are spending summer with their British Grandmum in The Poconos region of Pennsylvania. Grandmum has a collection of kitschy ceramic figurines, the most prized of which is four penguins in a rocket ship (a honeymoon gift from her deceased husband). In the first show, the twins accidentally drop the ship, but instead of breaking it flies into the air and reveals the four penguins are actually the crew of a real spaceship. One of the twins is then pulled into the ship, using the crew's Galeezle (shrinking) device, and taken on a galactic adventure. The adventure that ensues then ties into whatever moral dilemma that Jason and Michelle had struggled with in the shows opening scene. For example, in the debut episode, Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn, the twins are struggling with taking turns playing a new video game and looking through their Granddad's telescope before Jason is transported to a whole planet of aliens who similarly have trouble taking turns.
- Zidgel: The Rockhopper's captain who appears to be a cross between heroic James T. Kirk and vain Ted Baxter. He is always concerned about his appearance, especially his hair. Zidgel also should wear glasses, but his vanity doesn't allow it.
Zidgel was voiced by Ron Wells (2000-2003) and John Payne (2006-2008).
- Midgel: The Rockhopper's engineer and pilot who is short and speaks with an Australian accent. Midgel sometimes says "Banzai!" and pulls out a Bonsai Tree to trim a branch before driving the ship.
Midgel was voiced by Greg Mills (2000-2003) and Paul Dobson (2006-2008).
- Fidgel: The doctor/scientist of the Rockhopper's crew. Many of his inventions are odd, such as the Gileezle which is the crew's object resizer gun, but can also be useful. From photos in the first episode, we see that Fidgel physically resembles Jason's and Michelle's grandpa, Grandmum's deceased husband.
Fidgel was voiced by Page H. Hearn (2000-2003) and Lee Tockar (2006-2008).
- Kevin: While Kevin has no specific job on the ship, other than cleaning, he is always ready to help when needed by the others. He also sometimes answers questions or solves problems without being aware of it.
Kevin was voiced by Ron Smith (2000-2003) and Michael Donovan (2006-2008).
- Jason Conrad: 7-year-old twin brother of Michelle who goes on adventures with the penguins.
Jason was voiced by Mark Marten (2000-2003) and Quinn Lord (2006-2008).
- Michelle Conrad: 7-year-old twin sister of Jason who also goes with the penguins on some of their adventures. She is 5 minutes older than Jason and always wears pigtails in her hair.
Michelle was voiced by Melissa Peterson (2000-2003) and Claire Corlett (2006-2008).
- Grandmum: Jason and Michelle's blue-haired British grandmother who often gives them advice from The Good Book, especially from Proverbs.
Grandmum was voiced by Pamela Thomas (2000-2001), Annie Walker-Bright (2002-2003), Kymberly Mellen (2006-2007), and Ellen Kennedy (2007-2008).
- Baron von Cavitus: Originally known as Bert Bertman, he was a classmate of Fidgel's back when they were students at the Academy. He is the inventor of the Galeezle (the device which allows Jason and Michelle to be shrunken to Penguin size). Having been made fun of because of being a hamster he went bad and tried to take over the Academy and name himself Honorary Dean of Evil. Some time later he built himself a robot suit and attempted to take over the galaxy. He is defeated when the penguins teased at him when they destroyed his robot suit and caused him to retreat defeating him thus foiling his plans.
Cavitus/Bert was voiced by Garry Chalk.
- Admiral Strap: The Penguin's commanding officer. As strict and militaristic as he seems, he has a soft spot for Michelle. In the original six videos, Admiral Strap is not seen and communicates to the penguins via fax machine. In the later shows, he interacts via speakerphone with the Penguins in order to give them their missions.
Strap was voiced by Dale Wilson.
- Sol: A wise old bartender at the Comic Lounge and friend of Jason, Michelle and the penguins, whom he also advises.
Sol was voiced by Garry Chalk.
Season 1 (2006)
|Title||Original air date|
|1||1||"Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn"||September 9, 2006|
Michelle and Jason are arguing about taking turns looking out of a telescope. After discovering a toy spaceship, Jason is pulled into the now-flying ship with the penguins, where he learns that he and they are called upon to help an alien planet in danger of burning up in its sun. It turns out that the indigenous people, (who resemble old style Electrolux canister vacuum cleaners) and even the planet itself, are incapable of waiting their turns.Note: This title was released to VHS November 14, 2000.
|2||2||"The Cheating Scales of Bullamanka"||September 16, 2006|
Michelle beats Jason in a game of 'Squid Tac Toad' by cheating. Michelle learns that the penguins are real when she is then taken to the planet of Bullamanka to play the Lizard King in a LARP version of Squid Tac Toad. After finding out that the Lizard also wins by cheating, she learns the importance of playing fairly.Note: This title was released to VHS and DVD July 17, 2001. Includes the music video: "Fair and Square".
|3||3||"Moon Menace on Planet Tell-a-Lie"||September 23, 2006|
Jason and the penguins are called on to save planet Tell-a-Lie before its giant moon flattens the planet. But with its people telling only lies, figuring out the truth about what is causing their moon to plummet towards the planet isn't easy. Its theme is telling the truth.Note: This title was released to VHS and DVD July 1, 2003. Includes the music video: "The Legend of Galaxy Gus". The song is about a village invaded by an outlaw named Hancho Villa and the heroic Galaxy Gus must stop him.
|4||4||"Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt"||October 21, 2006|
Michelle joins the Penguins on a mission to restore the signal beacon at Lightstation Kilowatt before the F.S.S Emperor's Pride crashes into a giant cosmic reef. Its theme is overcoming pride.Note: This title was released to VHS and DVD September 21, 2002. Includes the music video: "Space Surfin' Superstar".
|5||5||"The Doom Funnel Rescue"||October 28, 2006|
Jason and the penguins, along with Kevin's robot friend, B.I.N.G., are called on to save a peaceful colony in the Doublewide Constellation which is being threatened by a huge space tornado. Its theme is helping others.Note: This title was released to VHS and DVD December 21, 2002. Includes the music video: "Spaceship Driving Man".
|6||6||"The Amazing Carnival of Complaining"||November 17, 2006|
Jason and the crew go on a leisure trip to a carnival, but are confronted by carnival barker Uncle Blobb and his diabolical interplanetary real estate scheme as he attempts to turn them into "Seeds of Discontent." Its theme is not complaining about the things we don't have.Note: This title was released to VHS and DVD November 13, 2001. Includes the music video: "The Shinin' Star Swing".
|7||7||"Songs From Cosmic Cafe"||December 2, 2006|
|Features 3 music videos from the videos which consist of "The Legend of Galaxy Gus" from the episode Moon Menace on Planet Tell-A-Lie, Spaceship Drivin Man from the episode "Doom Funnel Rescue", and Space Surfin' Superstar from the episode "Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt.|
Season 2 (2007)
|Title||Original air date|
|8||1||"I Scream, You Scream"||October 6, 2007|
|After returning from a mission, the penguins are unable to bring Jason and Michelle back to Grandmum's house as the galeezel is broken. Until it's fixed the kids have to join the penguins as they battle Cavitus, who's plotting to steal the Space-T-Freeze ship. Cavitus tries to thwart the penguins by getting them angry at each other and accusing them for things they didn't do. Soon everyone learns the importance of knowing all the facts before jumping to conclusions.|
|9||2||"The Green-eyed Monster"||October 20, 2007|
|A lesson in envy/jealousy The Penguins visit a small planet divided by a picket fence round the equator and populated by two factions of sheep, each of whom want to conquer the other side. Michelle also has her eyes on Jason's room, which she believes to be bigger than hers. The pervasiveness of Envy causes green-eyed Monsters to appear and eat holes in everything they see. It's only when contentment rules that peace is restored.|
|10||3||"Lazy Daze"||November 3, 2007|
|The kids and Penguin Crew decide to take an undeserved break from their work and have a picnic on Rigel-13. Jason only too gladly sets aside his duties for play. By the time they arrive at Rigel-13, Jason is a full-on sluggard. No sooner do they set out their picnic baskets, than they are set upon by giant 20 foot tall ants! Escape seems impossible, but diligence is the way to a rich soul.|
|11||4||"More Is More"||December 1, 2007|
|The Penguins are sent to Planet Gutt to investigate a problem in their gravitational field. What looks like a simple matter turns out to be an enormous problem. The entire planet has become addicted to the breakfast cereal, Sugar Frosted Black Holes. It causes insatiable appetites for everything. The planet has become lopsided and is in danger of being thrown off course. The Penguins must convince these over-indulgers that moderation is the key, and gluttony only leads to ruin.|
|12||5||"Give and Let Give"||December 15, 2007|
|Michelle refuses to share cupcakes with her brother, as the crew heads up a mission to a planet of Garden Gnomes and Plastic Flamingos who are feuding over water rights on their draught stricken world. Michelle sees that stinginess hurts all parties involved, when the dam on the planet is set to burst and destroy everything. Will they overcome their squabbling and share so that everyone has enough?|
|13||6||"Practical Hoax"||January 5, 2008|
|Jason and Midgel set off a series of practical jokes on board the ship, none of which turn out to be very funny to their victims. Then the crew is asked to act as substitute teachers at the Academy. Jason and Midgel help out and see what it's like to be at the wrong end of a practical joke. Cavitus infiltrates the school in an attempt to defeat the Penguins. Naturally everything comes to a head, and Penguins learn a lesson that a joke isn't funny when it hurts somebody.|
|14||7||"Comedy of Errors"||January 19, 2008|
|Jason takes the stage as a stand-up comedian to take the place of the broken Ventril-o-matic at the Comet Lounge. Trouble is, he gets his material by making fun of his friends. Michelle is especially heartbroken when he reveals a lullaby she sings to herself to get to sleep. Jason comes to a crossroad and has to decide whether to continue this new career path or make amends with his friends.|
|15||8||"Compassion Crashin'"||February 2, 2008|
|Michelle is feeling down and lonely. Jason and the Penguin Crew try to cheer her up, but only succeed in making her feel worse because nobody listens to her; they simply try and put on a happy face in front of her gloom. When they crash land on an asteroid, Michelle is made Queen of the strange tribe that lives there. Will she use her power to force all to listen, or will the crew finally learn the importance of compassion on their own?|
|16||9||"Wiki Tiki"||February 16, 2008|
|The Penguins are called to the island planet of Wiki Tiki, which is in danger of being engulfed by a large volcano. But they are in a hurry to get back to the Comet Lounge for Sol's Aurora Borealis Punch! They set to work too quickly without doing enough research. All of their patchwork efforts fail. Will the impatient crew finally realize they need to slow down, or will their haste leave the planet doomed?|
|17||10||"Invasion of the Body Swappers"||March 1, 2008|
|Michelle is troubled, feeling like she isn't pretty. As she wrestles with her outward appearance, she and Jason join the Penguin crew as they head to the MISO GUAPO beauty products convention where Zidgel is supposed to deliver a speech. Through a bizarre Galeezel accident, Zidgel and Kevin switch bodies, and mayhem ensues.|
|18||11||"Git Along Little Doggies"||March 15, 2008|
|Jason & Michelle help the Penguins crew with a cattle drive on Planet Roo-Tin Toot-Tin. Seems most of the herd has come up missing. But the trail boss, Wild Bill Quasar, is one ornery critter. He has nary a kind word for anybody. The crew learns that a kind word turns away wrath while helping to retrieve Wild Bill's cattle.|
|19||12||"Wise Guys"||March 29, 2008|
|Jason gets a time machine. But he doesn't want to listen to the advice from his elders on how to make it work. Because of a glitch, they crash land on a planet populated by three old Penguins, who just like to dole out unsolicited advice. Then they all realize that Jason's time machine did work, and these old penguins are Midgel, Fidgel and Zidgel in future form. Plus, the old guys (because of their experience) are the only ones who know how to repair the ship and the time machine. It's a lesson in listening to your elders.|
|20||13||"Hogs and Kisses"||April 12, 2008|
|Jason is feeling put upon by everyone. It seems he is being criticized at every turn, so he runs away to be confronted by Cavitus and the Lizard King.|
Season 3 (2008)
|Title||Original air date|
|21||1||"12 Angry Hens"||October 2, 2008|
|22||2||"Kennel Club Blues"||October 9, 2008|
|23||3||"Oh, Mercy!"||October 16, 2008|
|Zidgel and Jason deliver a crown jewel to the Gator king of Mercy Falls, but Zidgel accidentally breaks it while opening the box. As a result, he gets thrown in prison.|
|24||4||"Promises, Promises, Promises"||October 23, 2008|
|25||5||"Do Unto Brothers"||October 30, 2008|
|26||6||"Between an Asteroid and a Hard Place"||November 6, 2008|
|27||7||"In the Big Place"||November 13, 2008|
|Save The Planets!||September 1, 2008||Includes three stories. The first, "The Green-Eyed Monster", features the penguins attempts to restore peace between two groups of sheep. Its theme is jealousy. The second, "More is More", features the penguins trying to save the planet Gutt as the citizens' overeating threatens to throw their planet off course. Its theme is gluttony. The third, "Give and Let Give", features Jason and the penguins teach feuding lawn ornaments to get along. Its theme is sharing.|
|Blast In Space!||February 1, 2009||Includes three stories. The first, "Wiki Tiki", features the penguins attempt to save the island planet of Wiki Tiki from a volcano. Its theme is patience. The second, "Lazy Daze", features Jason and the penguins' struggle against giant ants who have overrun their picnic. Its theme is laziness. The third, "Compassion Crashin'", features Michelle, Jason and the penguins after they crashland on an asteroid and the aliens make Michelle queen. Its theme is compassion.|
|Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge!||October 20, 2009||Includes three stories. In the first, "Do Unto Brothers", the Penguins are captured by the evil Cavitus and Jason and Michelle jet to the rescue, but fall into the trap of a Jelly Worm Hole. Its theme is teamwork. In the second, "Oh, Mercy!", Zidgel is thrown into prison after smashing the Crown Jewel of the Gator King of Mercy-Falls. Its theme is forgiveness. In the third, "Between an Asteroid and a Hard Place", The Rockhopper is zapped by a Glue-Ray gun and is trapped on an asteroid with Cavitus and his hideous minions. Its theme is kindness.|
- Tubbs, Sharon (November 2, 2000). "In the beginning, there were veggies: Now there are penguins. The Christian video shelf just got bigger.". St. Petersburg Times (online) (St. Petersburg, Florida). Retrieved July 9, 2011.
- Craig von Buseck. "3-2-1 Penguins: Good Message - Mainly For The Kids". Christian Broadcasting Network, Video Review. Virginia Beach, VA. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
- "Latest ‘3-2-1 Penguins!’ to take off".
- John Gaffney (2001, April). Veggie tales: Success no matter how you slice it. Video Business, 21(17), 31.
- Kate Calder (2008, July). Onward Christian Prodcos. KidScreen, 16.
- Steven Rea (26 December 2002). Christian Cinema, Video Flourish despite Challenges. Knight Ridder Tribune Business News, 1
- CHILD'S PLAY, MOIRA McCORMICK, Billboard, 6 November 2000
- Gustafson, Donna (2002-10-03). "3 2 1 Penguins—Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn - Movie Reviews for Parents". Parentpreviews.com. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "Qubo.com". Qubo.com. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins! - Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn". Rotten Tomatoes. 2006-05-25. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- TVGuide.com - 3-2-1 Penguins! Episodes
- Children's Books That Nurture the Spirit: Choosing and Using the Best, Louise Margaret Granahan; Wood Lake Publishing Inc., 2003
- "3-2-1 PENGUINS! THE CHEATING SCALES OF BULLAMANKA - Christian Movie Review". Movieguide.org. 1999-11-29. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins: Good Message…Mainly For The Kids: Craig von Buseck". CBN.com. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins! - The Cheating Scales of Bullamanka". Rotten Tomatoes.
- "3-2-1 Penguins! - Moon Menace on Planet Tell-a-Lie". Rotten Tomatoes. 2003-07-01. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins! "Runaway Pride At Lightstation Kilowatt" DVD Review". Jesusfreakhideout.com. 2002-09-21. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins: 7 - Save The Planets - Christian Movie/Film DVD | Find Christian Movies on CFDb: Largest list of Christian Flims". Christianfilmdatabase.com. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins: 8 - Blast in Space - Christian Movie/Film DVD | Find Christian Movies on CFDb: Largest list of Christian Flims". Christianfilmdatabase.com. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2012-07-18.
- "3-2-1 Penguins: 9 - Escape From Planet Hold-A-Grudge - Christian Movie/Film DVD | Find Christian Movies on CFDb: Largest list of Christian Flims". Christianfilmdatabase.com. 2010-10-03. Retrieved 2012-07-18.