The Penguins of Madagascar: Blowhole Returns rating: 6+

Unlike the Madagascar movies which focus on the mammal characters, the Penguins of Madagascar series is from the perspective of the 4 penguins who reside at the New York Zoo. It features the penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico and, of course, the lemur king, King Julian. In this three part TV series, Dr. Blowhole, the evil porpoise, wants to take over the world, so he kidnaps King Julian to lure the penguins into a trap. The penguins must rescue the king before they all die. In the second part, Dr. Blowhole cleans Skipper’s memory with a “mind-jacker” and steals his memories to locate Rico, Private and Kowalski. He chases them around Manhattan, blasting them with his Diabologizer, which is really King Julian’s MP3 player which has turned gigantic and evil.

The Penguins of Madagascar TV series is a favorite in our house. The writing is fabulous: witty and subtle or a pie in the face. King Lemur is my favorite character. He is shameless. What is not discussed in many sources is that it is also a musical. In this trifecta, the Diabologizer can be wooed away from its keeper by being serenaded. First, Dr. B rocks a “power ballad” to gain control. Then King Julian tries a dance mix. Skipper must find his “inner song” to gain final control over the Diabologizer. Commonsense media gives this show a 6+. King Julian can be rude and shakes his booty any chance he gets. Otherwise, it is fun for the whole family.