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3-2-1 Penguins! facts for kids

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3-2-1 Penguins!
3-2-1 Penguins!.gif
Created by
  • Jeff Parker
  • Nathan Carlson
  • Phil Lollar
Developed by Mike Nawrocki
Phil Vischer
Ron Smith
Written by Mitch Schauer
Kirby Atkins
Tim Hodge
Broose Johnson
Mike Nawrocki
Phil Vischer
Ron Smith
Jeff Parker
Phil Lollar
Nathan Carlson
Directed by Tod Carter
Tom Bancroft
Tim Hodge
Ron Smith
Starring see Characters
Theme music composer Kurt Heinecke
Mike Nawrocki
Opening theme "3-2-1 Penguins! Theme Song"
Ending theme "Fly"
Composer(s) Kurt Heinecke
Adam Frick
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 6 (direct-to-video)
21 (TV series)
27 (total) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Phil Vischer
Tim Hodge
Producer(s) Jon Gadsby
J. Chris Wall
Joe Barrouao
Sean Roche
David Pitts
Steven Lynette
Editor(s) John Wahba
Running time 30 minutes (video)
22 minutes (television)
Production company(s) Big Idea Entertainment
Dan Krech Productions (2002-2003)
UTV Software Communications (2007-2008)
Original network Direct-to-Video
Original release November 14, 2000 (2000-11-14) – November 13, 2008 (2008-11-13)
Related shows VeggieTales, Larryboy: The Cartoon Adventures

3-2-1 Penguins! is an American-Canadian sci-fi computer-animated Christian children's television series, initially launched on November 14, 2000 as a direct-to-video episode by Big Idea Entertainment with videos released between 2000 and 2003. The direct-to-video series held the top spot on the Soundscan kid video sales charts for its first 18 weeks of release, was the #1 seller on Christian Booksellers Association's video list in 2001, and had sold 1.5 million videos as of February 2009.

The 3-2-1 Penguins television series appeared on the Qubo blocks on NBC, Ion Television and Telemundo as well as the Qubo channel. It ran for three seasons with the first season consisting entirely of television broadcasts of the six original home videos. 3-2-1 Penguins continued in reruns until 2014. The series was a top-ranked show on NBC's Qubo Saturday morning kids block in 2008.


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 video, 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 show's 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 alien vacuums who similarly have trouble taking turns.



  • Zidgel (voiced by Ron Wells (2000–03) and John Payne (2006–2008)): The Rockhopper's captain and a king who appears to be a cross between James T. Kirk and Ted Baxter.
  • Midgel (voiced by Greg Mills (2000–2003) and Paul Dobson (2006–2008)): The Rockhopper's engineer and pilot. Midgel sometimes shouts "Banzai!" and pulls out a Bonsai tree to trim a branch before driving the ship.
  • Fidgel (voiced by Page H. Hearn (2000–2003) and Lee Tockar (2006–2008)): The doctor/scientist of the Rockhopper's crew. Many of his inventions are odd, but can also be useful such as the crew's object resizer gun, the Gleezle. From photos in the first episode, we see that Fidgel physically resembles Jason's and Michelle's grandpa, Grandmum's deceased husband.
  • Kevin (voiced by Ron Smith (2000–2003) and Michael Donovan (2006–2008)): 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.
  • Jason Conrad (voiced by Mark Marten (2000–2003) and Quinn Lord (2006–2008)): A 7-year-old twin brother of Michelle who goes on adventures with the penguins.
  • Michelle Conrad: A 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 is voiced by Melissa Peterson (2000–2003) and Claire Corlett (2006–2008).
  • Grandmum (voiced by Pamela Thomas (2000), Annie Walker-Bright (2001), Kymberly Mellen (2001–2003), and Ellen Kennedy (2006–2008)): Jason and Michelle's blue-haired British grandmother who often gives them advice from "The Good Book".


  • Baron von Cavitus (voiced by Garry Chalk): 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.
  • Admiral Strap (voiced by Dale Wilson): 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.
  • Sol (voiced by Garry Chalk): A wise old bartender at the Comic Lounge and friend of Jason, Michelle and the penguins, whom he also advises.


Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired Network
1 18 November 14, 2000 (2000-11-14) July 1, 2003 (2003-07-01) Direct-to-video
September 6, 2006 (2006-09-06) November 17, 2006 (2006-11-17) Qubo
Special December 2, 2006 (2006-12-02)
2 13 October 6, 2007 (2007-10-06) April 12, 2008 (2008-04-12)
3 7 October 2, 2008 (2008-10-02) November 13, 2008 (2008-11-13)

Season 1 (2000–03)

The first season was only released on direct-to-video from November 14, 2000 to July 1, 2003, before broadcasting on Qubo from September 9, 2006 to December 2, 2006.

No. Title Original release date
Qubo air date Qubo broadcasting order
1 "Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn" November 14, 2000 (2000-11-14) September 9, 2006 S01E01
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-fashioned Electrolux canister vacuum cleaners) and even the planet itself, are incapable of waiting their turns.
2 "The Cheating Scales of Bullamanka" July 17, 2001 (2001-07-17) September 16, 2006 S01E02
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 against the Lizard King in a LARP version of Squid Tac Toad. After finding out that the Lizard King also wins by cheating, she learns the importance of playing fairly.
Music Video: "Fair and Square".
3 "The Amazing Carnival of Complaining" November 16, 2001 (2001-11-16) November 17, 2006 S01E06
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.
Music Video: "The Shinin' Star Swing".
4 "Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt" September 21, 2002 (2002-09-21) October 21, 2006 S01E04
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.
Music Video: "Space Surfin' Superstar".
5 "The Doom Funnel Rescue" December 21, 2002 (2002-12-21) October 28, 2006 S01E05
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.
Music Video: "Spaceship Driving Man".
6 "Moon Menace on Planet Tell-a-Lie" July 1, 2003 (2003-07-01) September 23, 2006 S01E03
Jason and the penguins are called on to save the planet of 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.
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.

Special (2006)

No. Title Original air date Qubo broadcasting order
7 "Songs From Cosmic Cafe" December 2, 2006 (2006-12-02) S01E07

Features three music videos from the remaining three videos which consist of:

Season 2 (2007–08)

After airing the original videos as season, Big Idea released new stories that were first aired on television (without releasing them first on video) for Season 2 and 3.

No. in
Title Original air date
8 1 "I Scream, You Scream" October 6, 2007 (2007-10-06)
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 Defreeze ship. Cavitus tries to thwart the penguins by getting them angry at each other and accusing them of 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 (2007-10-20)
The Penguins visit a small planet divided by a picket fence round the equator and populated by two factions of sheep, each of whom wants 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.
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Save the Planets.
10 3 "Lazy Daze" November 3, 2007 (2007-11-03)
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.
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Blast in Space.
11 4 "More Is More" December 1, 2007 (2007-12-01)
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.
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Save the Planets.
12 5 "Give and Let Give" December 15, 2007 (2007-12-15)
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 drought-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?
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Save the Planets.
13 6 "Practical Hoax" January 5, 2008 (2008-01-05)
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 (2008-01-19)
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 song she sings to calm herself down when she's feeling scared. 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 (2008-02-02)
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?
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Blast in Space.
16 9 "Wiki Tiki" February 16, 2008 (2008-02-16)
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?
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Blast in Space.
17 10 "Invasion of the Body Swappers" March 1, 2008 (2008-03-01)
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 (2008-03-15)
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 (2008-03-29)
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 (2008-04-12)
Jason is feeling put down 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)

No. in
Title Original air date
21 1 "12 Angry Hens" October 2, 2008 (2008-10-02)
22 2 "Kennel Club Blues" October 9, 2008 (2008-10-09)
23 3 "Oh, Mercy!" October 16, 2008 (2008-10-16)
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.
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge!.
24 4 "Promises, Promises, Promises" October 23, 2008 (2008-10-23)
25 5 "Do Unto Brothers" October 30, 2008 (2008-10-30)
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge!.
26 6 "Between an Asteroid and a Hard Place" November 6, 2008 (2008-11-06)
Note: This episode is included in the DVD compilation Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge!.
27 7 "In the Big House" November 13, 2008 (2008-11-13)


After originally being released exclusively on direct-to-home videos, 3-2-1 Penguins first aired on the Qubo blocks on NBC, Ion Television, and Telemundo, as well as on the Qubo channel with the airing of the original videos. This was soon followed with new episodes that debuted on television. The show has since aired on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and its children's block Smile of a Child on Saturdays until 2018. It also airs on DreamWorks Channel in select countries.

Home media

The first six videos were released in direct-to-video format from November 14, 2000 to July 1, 2003 prior to debuting on the Qubo television block.

The first DVD compilation of the TV series Save the Planets! was released on September 1, 2008, including three episodes from the second season "The Green-eyed Monster", "More is More" and "Give and Let Give". The second DVD compilation Blast in Space! was released on February 1, 2009, including three episodes from the second season "Wiki Tiki", "Lazy Daze" and "Compassion Crashin'". The third compilation Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge! was released on October 20, 2009, including three episodes from the third and final season "Do Unto Brothers", "Oh, Mercy!" and "Between an Asteroid and a Hard Place".

The first video, "Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn", was released as a bonus episode in the two VeggieTales DVD re-issues of Lyle the Kindly Viking Special Edition and Where's God When I'm S-Scared? 15th Anniversary Collector's Edition. The fourth video, "Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt", was also released in the re-issue of King George and the Ducky Special Edition.

On September 18, 2012, a 2-disc complete DVD set contained thirteen episodes from the first two seasons.

3-2-1 Penguins! home video releases
Season Title Episodes Release date
1 Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn November 14, 2000
The Cheating Scales of Bullamanka July 17, 2001
The Amazing Carnival of Complaining November 16, 2001
Runaway Pride at Lightstation Kilowatt September 21, 2002
The Doom Funnel Rescue December 21, 2002
Moon Menace on Planet Tell-a-Lie July 1, 2003
2 Save the Planets 3 ("The Green-eyed Monster" • "More Is More" • "Give and Let Give") September 1, 2008
Blast in Space 3 ("Lazy Daze" • "Compassion Crashin'" • "Wiki Tiki") February 1, 2009
3 Escape from Planet Hold-A-Grudge! 3 ("Oh, Mercy!" • "Do Unto Brothers" • "Between an Asteroid and a Hard Place") October 20, 2009
Complete series box set 26 August 8, 2016
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