The 2000s TV show “The Proud Family” is back with an epic revival that is sure to hit you with a warm feeling of nostalgia. “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” premiered on February 23 on Disney+, and new episodes are released weekly. The reboot follows the adventures of the same Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt) that we know and love as she begins to mature into a young woman. The show displays the same passion for family, friendship and Black culture as seen in the original. Recently, I have not been the biggest fan of reboots of older television shows because they don’t give the original show justice. However, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” did not disappoint and made sure to adhere to the original aspects of the show that fans love while also adding a modern flare. Honestly, I believe that this reboot was needed because there are very few cartoons that center mainly around Black characters in an authentic and wholesome way. This type of representation is important for younger generations to enjoy as well.
Growing up, I remember watching “The Proud Family” on Disney Channel and finding a sense of comfort in seeing Black characters on screen that I can relate to – even if they were cartoons. The reboot does an even greater job at making sure that Blackness is represented in all forms by introducing new characters and revamping some of the older characters. The show introduced four new characters to the cast: a young Black social activist named Maya (voiced by Keke Palmer), her brother Francis ‘KG’ (voiced by A Boogie wit da Hoodie) and their parents Randall and Barry (voiced by Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto respectively). Maya and KG were adopted by Randall and Barry, a gay interracial couple. The reboot also gave a new look and a more prominent role to the character Michael (voiced by E.J. Johnson) who is now a part of Penny’s close group of friends. The various personalities and backgrounds of these new characters show a form of Blackness that is often not portrayed or celebrated on TV. This dynamic allowed the writers to address serious issues and topics such as homophobia, loyalty and acceptance.
Although I do enjoy “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” thus far, I did notice some discrepancies regarding the timeline between the original show and the reboot. In the reboot, Penny and her friends are supposed to be older; however, it seems that they are the same age as they were in the original show. At the start of “The Proud Family,” Penny is fourteen and turns sixteen in “The Proud Family Movie.” However, in the reboot, Penny is still fourteen but has a more mature appearance. It would have been better if they made Penny an older teenager in high school so the age difference and the maturity is more clear. Regardless, “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” is still an amazing show that makes you laugh and highlights Black culture unapologetically.