“The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder”

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder

The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder tells the story of Penny Proud, a 14-year-old Black woman who navigates the 2020s together with her bold mother, overprotective dad, loving grandmother, troublesome siblings, and constant faculty mates.

The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder is a coming-of-age comedy sequence and animated sitcom by Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar which started airing on February 23 of this 12 months. It’s a revival of The Proud Household, an all-ages animated sequence that aired on the Disney Channel from 2001 to 2005, and marked the primary authentic animated sequence on the Disney Channel.

As a warning, this suggestion discusses spoilers for the primary 4 episodes of The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
Oscar dressed up as Prince and Trudy in a flashback in episode 2

The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder facilities on Penny Proud (Kyla Pratt), a 14-year-old teenage woman who lives within the city of Smithville together with her mother Trudy (Paula Jai Parker), dad Oscar (Tommy Davidson), paternal grandmother Sugar Mama (Jo Marie Payton), her pet canine Puff (audio results supplied by Carlos Alazraqui), and her two youthful siblings BeBe (Aiden Dodson) and CeCe (Bresha Webb).

The present additionally options Penny’s enthusiastic however egocentric and untrustworthy finest pal, Dijonay Jones (Karen Malina White), who likes to gossip. Her antics have usually gotten Penny in hassle. Each hang around with Zoey Howzer (Soleil Moon Frye), a sensible however timid, shy, and type white woman, and an Afro-Latine woman, LaCienega Boulevardez (Alisa Reyes) who is gorgeous, common, and a very good scholar. Though she is nice mates with Dijonay, she is the frenemy of Penny. LaCienega is ready to persuade her dad and mom, Felix (Carlos Mencia) and Sundown (Maria Canals-Barrera) that she is a candy and upstanding woman when she is definitely snobbish, smug, and egocentric.

Different supporting characters embody Oscar’s older brother Bobby Proud (Cedric the Entertainer), a particularly rich Black businessman named Wizard Kelly (Aries Spears), Felix’s father Papi (Alvaro Gutierrez) who Suga Mama has a crush on, the physician for the Proud household named Dr. Payne (Kevin Michael Richardson), and the 9-year-old neighbor of the Proud household, Peabo (Cree Summer season). There’s additionally the flamboyant gender non-conforming pal of Penny named Michael Collins (EJ Johnson) and former bullies Nubia, Olei, and Gina, who’re named the Gross Sisters (voiced by Raquel Lee) who develop into fascinated about hip hop, begin a rap group, and carry out.

New characters on this revival sequence embody Penny’s boyfriend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Brown (Asante Blackk), and the Leibowitz-Jenkins household. The latter is headed by Randall (Billy Porter) and Barry (Zachary Quinto). They’ve two youngsters, a 14-year-old adopted woman named Maya Leibowitz-Jenkins (voiced by Keke Palmer) and her twin brother, Francis “KG” Leibowitz-Jenkins (“A Boogie” Dubose), who’s adjusting to life in Smithville.

Aside from the brand new characters, there may be one departure: Sticky Webb. Voiced by Orlando Brown within the authentic sequence, he solely seems within the first episode when he moved to Japan the place his father is getting a brand new job. Though some followers could have been disenchanted in the truth that The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder destroys the dynamic between Dijonay and Sticky, as she regularly had a crush on him, it permits for the brand new characters, Kareem, Randall, Barry, Maya, and KG to develop into extra built-in into the story. Actually, KG turns into a rebound of types for Dijonay, who treats him like she handled Sticky.

The opening music of the sequence is similar to the unique, besides this theme music is sung by Joyce Wrice slightly than Solange Knowles and Future’s Little one in The Proud Household. This has, understandably, irked some followers, however has additionally, sadly, led the creators of this sequence to obtain loss of life threats, serving yet one more instance of individuals taking issues too far. Whereas the brand new music shouldn’t be my favourite opening, for an animated sequence it’s undoubtedly catchy and hearkens again to the unique.

In comparison with the unique sequence, the animation is smoother and cleaner, the characters are extra expressive, and the episodes are longer. Whereas episodes in The Proud Household had been 20-22 minutes lengthy, on this sequence, they vary from 27 to half-hour. That is partly as a result of the sequence is airing solely on Disney+ and doesn’t have to accommodate commercials.

Even so, this revival sequence has among the identical dynamics as the unique. Oscar is what makes the sequence an animated sitcom. Typically disciplined by his mom, Suga Mama, his head is proven flying into outer area, thrown into the air comedically, whereas performing immature, infantile, and even hyperactive. By all of it, he’s nonetheless a well-meaning father to Penny, working a enterprise that creates revolting snacks however in some way manages to remain in enterprise regardless of all of it.

The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder options among the identical themes as the unique. Wizard Kelly remains to be a enterprise mogul who runs for mayor, Bobby remains to be his ebullient self, even tricking out Trudy’s pet ambulance, and Trudy tells Oscar to drag his weight.

Alternatively, Oscar is afraid to see Penny develop up and tries to carry her again, however later listens and realizes that he ought to give her some independence. Even so, he occurs to embarrass her when he tries to recruit Kareem for his basketball group in an try to get again at Wizard Kelly. He could be candy and useful at different instances, telling Penny about Prince and exhibiting her learn how to play a vinyl disk. In one other episode, he’s proven as being a gullible idiot as he buys a poisonous waste dump as the longer term residence of his Snackland amusement park, one thing which his household ridicules him for, leaving him to sink into the poisonous sludge.

In a touch at the truth that the sequence is a revival, Penny and her mates magically develop into youngsters in a single day. Moreover, scenes from the unique sequence are used when characters have flashbacks to previous occasions, an ingenious strategy to tie the 2 sequence collectively.

On this sequence, Penny stays righteous and thinks that everybody is her pal, however admits that Maya is correct when she calls her “superficial.” Each later develop into higher mates by the present’s fourth episode. Sadly, it seems that this sequence is both disregarding or placing apart the wild adventure-comedy movie, The Proud Household Film, with a plot that looks as if an episode of Kim Potential and even Completely Spies! which capped the unique run of The Proud Household, as Penny is 16-years-old within the sequence.

In what I anticipate shall be a ten or 12 episode order, this revival sequence has an opportunity to buck what could be described as colorist themes within the authentic sequence. Some argued that Dijonay’s character in that sequence indicated that even when animated, the “dark skin girl is designated as the ghetto one” whereas others went so far as to name for the cancellation of the revival sequence for selling racist and colorist caricatures of Black ladies who’ve darker pores and skin, primarily citing Dijonay as the most important exemplar of this problem. This revival sequence appears to trace that this shall be countered. Already, Dijonay’s yellow hair was revealed as a wig, and Maya, who has pores and skin as darkish as Dijonay, is a powerful, passionate woman who stands up for causes. Even so, the blue-black-skinned Gross Sisters are nonetheless proven as “ashy” and have a variety of angle.

There are different hints that this revival sequence shall be completely different. Farquhar has said that the present will painting greater than a singular “view of Blackness or a Black family” whereas Smith mentioned it’s blazing a path in animation, with parts of the Western, sci-fi, and horror genres. I’m considerably assured that this sequence will tackle this extra and in a optimistic means, in a break from the previous, even when these on on-line boards for Black ladies, like Lipstick Alley, are extra skeptical of the sequence. In that means, the sequence can extra of a “portal for viewers to get an idea of what the world is like or what the world thinks of them,” as one critic of the unique sequence wrote in 2018.

Latine characters have a key position on this present, much like different Disney sequence like Kim Potential, The Owl Home, and the unique sequence. LaCienega is a part of an Afro-Latine household, which remains to be uncommon in tv sequence, animated and never. Even so, there may be the persevering with joke that Suga Mama doesn’t perceive what Papi is saying as he’s talking Spanish. Hopefully, in future episodes, she learns Spanish and this drained joke shouldn’t be used anymore, to allow them to have a extra real relationship.

Much like how the unique sequence targeted on points equivalent to bullying, cheerleading, self-worth, and friendship, this sequence has episodes in regards to the inhumanity of zoos, full with a panda bear named Shuggie (voiced by CeeLo Inexperienced) who declares he’s a “player” who doesn’t wish to be saved, the insidious nature of social media influencers who’ve the flexibility to “cancel” individuals, taking part in basketball, standing up for what you consider in, and remaining true to your self.

The episode about influencers is altogether completely different than the cringe-worthy commentary on so-called “cancel culture,” actually “consequence culture” in an episode of the should-be-forgotten sequence, The Freak Brothers. The sequence as an alternative exhibits Penny denouncing influencers like Make-up Boy (voiced by Bretman Rock) as posers and those that comply with them as “sad.”

Her rise to energy considerably echoes the episode within the authentic sequence, “A Star Is Scorned,” the place she turns into a star and isolates her mates for fame, believing it’s all about her. Within the episode on this sequence, she turns into an influencer, receiving endorsements and recognition. Within the course of, she “cancels” Make-up Boy after he disses her, and he or she realizes she will be able to make individuals purchase stuff they will’t afford, whereas individuals are afraid of getting cancelled by her.

Penny even finally ends up cancelling LaCienega, stunning her, is ready to eliminate everybody within the faculty, and ship away Suga Mama besides camp. She is later introduced down due to Maya who hatches a plan which exposes her after Oscar acquired cash from Wizard Kelly, together with her mates turning on her, as she loses followers and her affect virtually within the blink of an eye fixed.

As she walks away from faculty in disgrace, Make-up Boy, whose actual title is Sebastian Boyle, is later grateful to her as he was seduced by the facility and affect. The lesson on the finish appears to be that your loved ones is extra essential than your mates and can stand by you, as her mother and grandmother forgive Penny after she apologizes. It was considerably unusual to me that Penny’s mates threw her away like a used dishrag and by no means apologized to her for making her like a pariah. 

The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder
Barry, Randall, and Michael, the three LGBTQ characters who’ve appeared within the sequence up to now

There’s one main change from the unique sequence in The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder: the informal queerness. Not solely is Michael now brazenly gender-conforming and homosexual, however KG and Maya have two homosexual dads, Randall and Barry. It’s even attainable there may very well be an enemies-to-lovers state of affairs between Penny and Maya, and hopefully, there are “different portrayals of Blackness” and an outline of the “vast spectrum of Blackness” whereas the present additional explores sexuality and gender with the addition of latest character, as Nic of Autostraddle identified.

The newest episode, “Father Figures” focuses on this greater than any episode that has aired up to now. Maya and KG are teased by these in school after Dijonay tweets that Maya and KG have two dads, and there may be an undercurrent of homophobia within the faculty. Penny rallies to their protection, trying to joke about damaged households, offending Maya, and main KG to criticize them for making a joke about one thing that they know nothing about.

Penny later faces homophobia from her dad, who can’t clarify why she will be able to’t hang around round Maya and KG, later claiming he attempting to “protect” her, like all the opposite dads within the neighborhood. regardless of Trudy, Puff, and Suga Mama strongly disagreeing with him. This involves a head when he goes to a financial institution to get a mortgage and Randall, one among Maya’s dads, is a financial institution supervisor at Wizard Kelly Financial institution, and places the mortgage away after Oscar reacts with shock to see Randall and Barry kissing.

Fortunately, Penny is ready to break by this homophobia by standing as much as the Gross Sisters, defending Maya, giving a rambling speech. In the long run, all of them meet on the Leibowitz-Jenkins home, with Oscar apologizing to Randall for being homophobic and getting the mortgage in spite of everything. Everybody appears to come back to their unintentional housewarming social gathering, dancing to the disco music, and Oscar is overcome with emotion, starting to see extra of the world by Penny’s eyes.

My guess is that there shall be extra LGBTQ characters sooner or later, presumably even some among the many present’s essential forged. In any case, the sequence will function, in future episodes, visitor stars like Lizzo, Jaden Smith (as school Myron), Lena Waithe (as school Maya), Al Roker, Lamorne Morris, Brenda Tune (as Vanessa Vue), in accordance with the official Disney+ Twitter account.

Additional LGBTQ characters have been hinted at by Farquhar who said that quite a bit modified because the authentic present, saying that this revival sequence will tackle extra topical points slightly than having LGBTQ characters referred to in “coded language.” He additionally confirmed that Michael was homosexual within the authentic sequence however that they needed to be underhanded in the best way that is talked about. Smith added that the present has greater than “just one gay person… representing the entire LGBTQ+ spectrum.”

The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder has the promise of breaking down limitations by its inclusion of multicultural characters and households, particularly these that are a part of the LGBTQ, Latine, and Black communities. I totally consider it would tackle racial points and different subjects, like the unique sequence. Irrespective of what number of episodes are remaining till its first season involves an finish, the sequence will undoubtedly have plotlines that target the pull between household togetherness and household battle, protesting, rumors, reputation, relationship, and jealousy.

It’s seemingly there shall be episodes on gender equality, ladies’s rights, medication, vaccines, and animal exploitation, like within the authentic sequence. On the identical time, it isn’t identified whether or not there shall be a give attention to veterinary providers, pet care, file sharing, music downloading, homelessness, Black historical past, Black wealth, or showbusiness, all of which had been coated within the authentic sequence as properly.

These engaged on The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder are a proficient group of individuals. Latoya Raveneau, who directed a couple of episodes, was the showrunner of the animated brief sequence Rise Up, Sing Out, and a storyboarder for Ultimate House. Tara N. Whitaker, who directed one episode, beforehand was a prop designer for sequence equivalent to Child Cosmic, Rapunzel’s Tangled Journey, The Owl Home, and Surprise Over Yonder, and character designer for Center College Moguls. The sequence artwork director, Eastwood Wong, had labored on animated sequence like Carmen SandiegoStar vs. the Forces of Evil, and Steven Universe.

Different employees members are new to the animation business, like present writers Wolf-Rudiger Bloss, Ashley Soto Paniagua, Leo J. Lawrence, and KyLee Evans. Lawrence and Evans beforehand labored on live-action sequence earlier than this one, whereas Paniagua had written for Vida and Quick & Livid Spy Racers. Some labored on the unique sequence, like author Doreen Spicer, and co-executive producer, Calvin Brown Jr. Breana Williams, the manufacturing coordinator, beforehand labored on Mira: Royal Detective and is at the moment engaged on an indie animated sequence LimeLight as a storyboard revisionist. There are numerous different proficient storyboarders and different staff engaged on the present as properly.

Though there are proficient people engaged on the present, it stays to be seen how a lot Disney can additional social equality. The studio’s linked with a variety of prejudice prior to now and plenty of productions proceed to attract “criticism regarding diversity, both onscreen and behind the scenes. After all, Disney CEO Bob Chapek put out a weak statement before the passage of “Don’t Say Gay” invoice in Florida which bans the instructing of LGBTQ subjects, says colleges mustn’t encourage sexual orientation or gender id to be mentioned, and permits dad and mom to sue colleges for having such discussions. Chapek later scrambled to behave like he cared, after the regulation had already handed by each homes of the Florida legislature and the Florida governor, who has been a giant proponent of the invoice, falsely claimed it wouldn’t hurt LGBTQ individuals.

Placing apart the problematic nature of Disney for a second, and specializing in the present, I can say with full confidence that I like to recommend The Proud Household: Louder and Prouder. Though I wasn’t fully clicking or vibing with the present at first, by the fourth episode it has actually pulled me in.

The sequence is at the moment streaming on Disney+. Episode 5 will debut on March 16, 2022.

And while you’re at it, you will get The Proud Household Film out of your native library, purchase a DVD of the unique sequence and movie on Amazon or elsewhere, or just stream each choices on the Disney+ streaming service.

Creator: Burkely Hermann

Burkely is an indexer of declassified paperwork by day and a fan fic author by night time. He just lately earned a MLIS with a focus in Digital Curation from the College of Maryland. He at the moment voraciously watches animated sequence and reads too many webcomics to rely on Webtoon. He loves swimming, mountain climbing, and looking his household roots in his spare time.

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