I remember the day I was introduced to The Proud Family. I played with a girl down the way from me and one day after playing outside for a number of hours, she said, “I have to go in and watch The Proud Family.” I was a Nickelodeon girl and I had never ventured over into the world of Disney Channel. I went inside with her and watched an episode and was mesmerized. I went home and found when the new episode was on and watch every episode since.
The Proud Family, for me, never felt like a “black” cartoon, much like how the Cosby Show never felt like a black show. It was just a program that happened to have an all black cast. Now, the episode that made me think it was a black show was the family reunion episode where Oscar and Trudy’s families came to town and chaos ensued. I first learned about Kwanzaa from watching The Proud Family and I love how, unlike the episode of Rugrats where Tommy’s grandpa told the kids the story of their heritage, the Prouds had no knowledge of what Kwanzaa or how to celebrate, so we got to learn as they did. There was so much heart in that episode and they dealt with homelessness in a way that felt authentic. Of course, Oscar was the skeptic and presented the typical resistance to people experiencing homelessness but he learned to do and be better…that episode.
As a person who loves puzzles and games, I loved being able to guess the voices of the main cast as well as the cameos. My favorite character was Dijonay Jones. She was who she was, loud, in your face and bold. The opposite to her best friend Penny who just whined too much to be my favorite; although, she is voiced by one of my favorite childhood actresses, Kyla Pratt. I think my favorite cameo would have to be from the greatest voice actress of all time (I said what I said) Cree Summer as Peabo. I can’t remember where Peabo came from but that episode where he told Oscar that the friction from the ash in his skin mixed with him snapping his fingers would prove catastrophic was HILARIOUS to me. Earlier in the year that shall not be named, Summer tweeted this icon moment for us to enjoy. Watch.
My favorite episode would have to be the episode where we were introduced to LPDZ on “Hip-Hop Helicopter.” I just like how Penny turned into Penné and started acting brand new. It gave us this classic…
Speaking of classics, do you remember Bobby Proud? Did you know he was voiced by the smoothest king of comedy Cedric The Entertainer? Cause for years, I did not know. Sue me. But one day, during a commercial break, this is what aired and I don’t know who’s idea it was but it has been a classic in my home for years!
He spelled dysfunctional D-I-S-F-U-N-K and then just gave up and said “tional.” SIR!!
Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is currently in the works. Some of the cast was actually on Clubhouse some time ago discussing the past, present and future of their time on the show. In addition to the entire cast reprising their roles, Keke Palmer is joining the cast as Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins, what a name, a 14 year-old activist that’s new to the crew. In light of all the Black Lives Matter protests and racial unrest in the past years (really decades but who’s counting), Maya has come at the right time. I’m interested to see how she plays with the others. We already know that she rubs Penny the wrong way, I know Lacienega is going to have some jokes, but I do wonder how she’ll handle the gross sisters. Also, BRING PEABO BACK! Cree is free and I want it.
Relive the magic that was The Proud Family right now on, where else, Disney+. If you don’t have Disney+, find a friend who loves you and make it a family night with wine and snacks.