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3-2-1 Penguins! is a sci-fi series of Christian computer-animated cartoons launched on November 14, 2000. 3-2-1 Penguins was originally produced direct-to-video similar to the other Big Idea, Inc. series, VeggieTales and seven videos were released between 2000 and 2003.[1] The direct-to-video series held the top spot on the Soundscan kid video sales charts for its first 18 weeks of release.[2] and has sold 1.5 million videos to date[3] and was the #1 seller on Christian Booksellers Association's video list in 2001.[4] 3-2-1 Penguins appeared on NBC, Ion Television, Telemundo and Qubo and ran for three original seasons (with the first season consisting of television broadcasts of the home videos) and continued in reruns until 2012. The series was the No. 1 or No. 2 ranked show on NBC's qubo Saturday morning kids block in 2008.[5]

Today, the show airs on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) and its children's block Smile of a Child on Saturdays.

Video format

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.[6] 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 aliens who similarly have trouble taking turns.[7]

Main characters

Zidgel was voiced by Ron Wells (2000–03) and John Payne (2006–08).

  • Midgel: The Rockhopper's engineer and pilot. Midgel sometimes shouts "Banzai!" and pulls out a Bonsai tree to trim a branch before driving the ship.[8]

Midgel was voiced by Greg Mills (2000–03) and Paul Dobson (2006–08).

  • 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.[8] 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 (2000–03) and Lee Tockar (2006–08).

  • Kevin: While Kevin has no specific job on the ship, other than cleaning, he is always ready to help when needed by the others.[8] He also sometimes answers questions or solves problems without being aware of it.

Kevin was voiced by Ron Smith (2000–03) and Michael Donovan (2006–08).

  • Jason Conrad: 7-year-old twin brother of Michelle who goes on adventures with the penguins.[8]

Jason was voiced by Mark Marten (2000–03) and Quinn Lord (2006–08).

  • Michelle Conrad: 7-year-old twin sister of Jason who also goes with the penguins on some of their adventures.[8] She is 5 minutes older than Jason and always wears pigtails in her hair. Michelle was voiced by Melissa Peterson (2000–03) and Claire Corlett (2006–08).
  • 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 (2000–01), Annie Walker-Bright (2002–03), Kymberly Mellen (2006–07), and Ellen Kennedy (2007–08).

Recurring characters

  • 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.

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.

Episodes

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Season 1 (2006)

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Season 2 (2007-2008)

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Season 3 (2008)

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DVD compilations

DVD Release Date Summary
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.[9]
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.[10]
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.[11]

References

  1. Template:Cite journal
  2. Craig von Buseck. 3-2-1 Penguins: Good Message – Mainly For The Kids. Christian Broadcasting Network, Video Review. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011. Retrieved on July 9, 2011.
  3. Latest '3-2-1 Penguins!' to take off.
  4. John Gaffney (2001, April). Veggie tales: Success no matter how you slice it. Video Business, 21(17), 31.
  5. Kate Calder (2008, July). Onward Christian Prodcos. KidScreen, 16.
  6. CHILD'S PLAY, MOIRA McCORMICK, Billboard, 6 November 2000
  7. Gustafson, Donna (2002-10-03). 3 2 1 Penguins—Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn – Movie Reviews for Parents. Parentpreviews.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-18.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Qubo.com. Qubo.com. Retrieved on 2012-07-18.
  9. 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 on 2012-07-18.
  10. 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 on 2012-07-18.
  11. 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 on 2012-07-18.

External links

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