The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation Blowhole

Movie review by
Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
The Penguins of Madagascar: Operation Blowhole Movie Poster Image
Crafty penguins' antics will appeal to kids and adults.
  • NR
  • 2012
  • 73 minutes

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

The show intends to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

Teamwork and relying on friends' help are strong themes, as Skipper learns that he's more likely to succeed when he's got a crew watching his back. The villain's evil plans eventually prove to be his undoing. In one scene, a boy mentions that he'll put an embarrassing photo of his teacher on the Internet. Good and evil are clearly defined.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The animals use savvy and teamwork to counteract their nemesis.

Violence & Scariness

Laser guns slice through buildings and come perilously close to the characters. Animals slap each other and slip and fall; a missile pursues a penguin but never hits its mark.

Sexy Stuff

In dance numbers, some of the characters shake their "booty," but there's nothing overtly sexual.


The penguins are part of an extensive merchandise line inspired by the Madagascar movies.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that if your kids are already fans of these scheming penguins and the rest of the Madagascar gang, they're sure to want to tune in to see what this latest adventure brings. Overall the special is age-appropriate for kids, although there's some cartoon violence (laser guns damage buildings, animals slap each other) and short-lived peril surrounding a favorite character's well-being. And many surprises pop out on screen, which might make littler kids a little jumpy. Aside from that, though, the show's wacky characters are a real crowd pleaser, and there's enough humor targeted toward adults that parents will enjoy it, too.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8, 8, and 11-year-old Written byAllie M March 11, 2017

Better than most Penguins of Madagascar

I find the Madagascar franchise to be somewhat hit-or-miss, but this one is outstanding. It starts out with the usual inane plot but culminates in a hilarious... Continue reading
Adult Written byLaleh the Ghost April 5, 2020

Silly, good music, nothing objectionable

It's silly, but there's nothing objectionable. I think they added Neil Patrick Harris's power-ballad solo to appeal to Gen-X (and presumably earl... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old January 27, 2012
Teen, 14 years old Written byMsPerryRocks October 31, 2011

Best episode EVAH!

I LUFF this episode so much! Blowhole is the best villain there is (also hinting that I have a major crush on him and plan on marrying him XD)! Well basically,... Continue reading

What's the story?

Central Park Zoo's clever resident penguins face their greatest challenge yet when their nemesis, Dr. Blowhole (voiced by Neil Patrick Harris), plots to hijack Skipper's (Tom McGrath) memory to locate his faithful friends and turn them against their leader. Deserted on an island without a clue to his identity, Skipper turns to his holographic spirit guide, Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), to find his way home, arriving just in time to thwart Blowhole's plans against his friends. But untimely interference from the lemur king, Julien (Danny Jacobs), gives Blowhole a new weapon of destruction, and the zoo crew must pull together to save themselves from the power-hungry porpoise.

Is it any good?

Part comedy, part spy thriller, and now part musical, this addition to the crafty penguins' resume ramps up the wackiness in crowd-pleasing style. There are still plenty of hilarious spoofs on spy dramas and secret agents, but this special takes unpredictability to a whole new level by throwing in show-stopping ballads and group song-and-dance numbers as well.


This is whole-family entertainment at its best. The well-rounded characterizations, sharp dialogue, and seamless union of physical gags and adult humor make it fun for both parents and kids. If you plan to tune in with your youngest tots, though, you may want to prep them for a number of startling appearances by a disembodied head from Blowhole's Segway, which can be frightening if you're not expecting it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about teamwork. Which characters in this show work as part of a team? What's their goal? How do they work together to achieve it? What qualities are important in a team leader?

  • Kids: Have you seen Madagascar? Why do you think these characters warranted their own show? Were they your favorites from the movie? Do you think the movie's writers intended them to be so popular?

  • Kids: What does the saying, "What goes around comes around" mean? Do you think that people who are mean to others eventually fall victim to meanness themselves? Have you ever seen it happen? What lessons can be found in this movie?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love cartoon fun

Themes & Topics

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