A Disney Reboot: Proud Family


Camilla S. & Kaitlyn M.

Disney has released yet another reboot that has lived up to the expectations.

Lilah P. and Daniella W.

The Proud Family is back, and they are louder and prouder! The Proud Family is a Disney cartoon from 2001.  The Prouds are one of the first African American families that has been on Disney. The show ran for five years and is returning after an excruciating seventeen year hiatus.

The show follows protagonist Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt) around on her many adventures throughout her teenage life. She argues with her parents, Oscar (voiced by Tommy Davidson) and Trudy Proud (voiced by Paula Jai Parker) many times throughout each episode. Penny also faces school bullies and various troubles with friends. 

Penny’s best friend Dijonay Jones (played by Karen Malina White) never fails to stick by her, though Dijonay’s ego often interferes with their friendship. Zoey Howzer (voiced by Soliel Moon Frye) is Penny’s most loyal friend. She has the biggest heart out of all the girls, yet she seems insecure and timid. Despite her bashfulness, Penny is often able to give Zoey some helpful advice. 

Although Penny has many friends, she also has a few enemies. One of them is LaCienega Boulevardez (voiced by Alisa Reyes). LaCienega is always criticizing Penny’s appearance, which makes Penny doubt herself. LaCienega is extremely narcissistic. However, when she is around Penny’s parents, she is droolingly nice to Penny to make her parents think she is a good friend. Eventually, as the series progresses, the two girls develop more of a love-hate relationship. 

In the first episode of the original series, Penny tries out for the cheer squad. She almost makes it, until LaCienega is introduced and gets in her way. Luckily for Penny, her friend Dijonay is the cheer captain and decides who becomes part of the team. But then it is revealed that Dijonay is also LaCienega’s friend. It is decided that the two must have a cheer-off to compete for the spot. At first, Penny tries to befriend LaCienega, but then it becomes clear that LaCienega is no friend but rather an enemy. 

To kick off the start of the 2022 Proud Family season, the characters get struck by what they call, “the light,” otherwise known as puberty. The characters go through multiple changes including pimples and growth spurts. The new episode follows a similar plot as the gang meets another character, an activist named Maya (voiced by Keke Palmer). Penny tries to befriend her, while others clearly don’t like her. Though Penny works her best to get Maya to like her, it backfires once Maya asks Penny to help her free a panda from the zoo. It is unclear if Maya ever actually got the Panda out of the zoo after hearing Penny’s dissent. Viewers can infer that Penny earns Maya’s respect once the two are seen hanging out with Penny’s friend group in the second episode.

Even though Proud Family: Louder and Prouder has a nostalgic feeling, there are significant changes that make it feel almost too modernized. For example the animation is significantly different in comparison to the first seasons. Animation technology has improved a lot since its inception, but it takes a while to get used to the difference. Besides the animation, the theme song has also changed. Originally, it was performed by Destiny’s Child featuring Solange, and had a soulful, R&B feel. The newest rendition is sung by Joyce Wrice, who performed the song with more of a pop-like flair.

The Proud Family has made a strong comeback after 17 years. Though it has its flaws, it is a show that people of all ages can enjoy. It teaches audiences about black history and accepting our uniquenesses. Even though a lot has changed since 2001, The Proud Family is still as enjoyable as ever.