In case you haven’t heard, the wait is OVER – the new Proud Family Reboot, promised by Disney+ has arrived!! The first two episodes of The Proud Family: Louder & Prouder were released last week, and new episodes will be released on Wednesdays. This series has been long-awaited because it draws upon the original Proud Family series released over 20 years ago (!!!) in 2001. As a huge supporter of the original show, I was among the first viewers, eager to see how they did with the new show, and they did NOT disappoint!
There are nostalgic easter eggs all throughout the show, brilliantly capturing an audience that spans several generations, of lovers and supporters of the series. It’s one of those cartoons that millennials will love, and can watch with friends, parents, nieces, nephews, or completely solo. We’re not going to address the theme song in detail, but it certainly doesn’t hold a candle to the original masterpiece by Solange & Destiny’s Child. Other than that, let’s get into some of our favorite characters to see what gems have stayed exactly the same, and where Disney decided to spruce things up.
Penny Proud & The Gang: What’s New?
So let’s start with the crew – Sticky is gone! Off to Japan with his Dad, but that doesn’t stop Dijonay from being any less boy-crazy this time around. In place of Sticky are his two cousins, Maya and KG, and their white adoptive dad – okay diversity?! Despite some initial tension between Maya (voiced by Keke Palmer) and Penny, the two find some common ground and Maya becomes fast friends with her and the rest of the girls.
In the words of the characters, the “Gross Sisters are meaner and ashier than ever.” And to be 1000% honest, every song that has come from the Gross Sister so far on the reboot has been a BOP! It’s super cute that instead of being the traditional neighborhood bullies, they’ve now added an entrepreneurial spirit to the notorious sisters. With the help of their “cousin” Snoop Dogg, they’re creating music, managing other artists, and still finding time to finesse folks for money.
The school nerd is more than that, he’s a Krypto expert, and into all things tech. And instead of being the awkward and uncoordinated water boy, Penny’s friend Michael is somewhat of a star athlete now! He’s got a new, vibrant outfit and hairdo, and is a self-proclaimed fashionisto and stylist for himself and his peers. And can’t forget to mention, he’s a self-taught cosmetologist too honey! We love a well-rounded creative, and it’s great that they amplified Michael’s presence in the friend group. I hope to see the continued support of his unique journey and perspective throughout the show, as there are an abundance of adolescents that can identify with his character.
Penny & The Family: How Have Things Changed?
Now, of course the star of the show is our girl Penny Proud; for black girls and women especially, Penny is notably one of the most relatable tv characters we had back when Proud Family originally aired. Penny’s a curious and rebellious soul, with a supportive, loving, and hilarious black family alongside her. This time around, Penny is her same old antagonistic self; somehow mastering the fine line between ambitious/adventurous and that know-it-all nature that gets her into deep, deeeep trouble. Trudy Proud is still the breadwinner, and Oscar is still the same inventive, loud, and overbearing father he’s always been. He’s still impossibly resilient, and yet, somewhat problematic, being that unfortunately some of that old school misogyny, that’s often sprinkled throughout older black sitcoms, slipped through the cracks a bit.
We see the writers put new-age twists on the cast and content matter of the show, while still paying homage to the original series. It’ll be interesting to see if they tackle more of the hardcore topics with the new show, as the tone so far is very light-hearted. There’s newness in the music and the celebrity cameos; and it’s been fun to see them highlight new-age topics like influencers, inclusion of students and peers from all different backgrounds, “Holla-gram” which is their version of Instagram, and so much more. Audience members have been raving about Louder & Prouder, as they should! I’ve been so tickled by the new show, and watching each week has been nothing short of heartwarming.
Representation is important, and when a series like this comes back along, the least we can do is support with a watch. If you haven’t seen any of the new episodes, I highly recommend taking the 25 mins to watch one; whether you use to watch the old series or not, you’re likely to appreciate what they’ve done with this new one. Stay tuned for the new episodes they’ll be rolling out each week! And if you’ve seen the new show, weigh in with your thoughts below – the GROWN Team would love to hear from you!
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As a life-long media lover, GROWN Editor in Chief, Naomi Brooks has garnered years of experience across mediums: Digital & Print Publications, Social Media, Communications, and Television. As a proud Spelman graduate, she leads our writing team, feel free to send any pitches or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org