Disney’s original show, “The Proud Family,” is back for the culture 20 years later as the reboot, “The Proud Family: Louder & Prouder. “
The original Proud Family debuted in 2001 as an animated TV show on the Disney Channel following the life of 14-year-old African-American Penny Proud as she navigates her teenage life along with her wacky family and friends.
Disney previewed Louder & Prouder with a virtual world premiere event within the newly imagined 4D world of the Penny Proud, complete with appearances by various cast members, an interactive tour of Penny’s school, and Proud Family trivia for nostalgic fans.
After about 15 minutes, Kyla Pratt, who is returning in her lead role Penny Proud, started the live event off by introducing up-and-coming R&B singer, Joyce Wrice, as she performed the new Proud Family: Louder & Prouder theme song.
Not to be a Debbie Downer because I love the new theme song and all, but I can’t help but miss the nostalgic vibes of the original song by Solange & Destiny’s Child. Nonetheless, Joyce Wrice’s version is for the new generation and she did just fine.
The creators of the show, Ralph Farquhar and Bruce W. Smith, talked a bit about their excitement to have the show returning to Disney and then gave us a sneak peek into the new season with Episodes 1 and 2 that will also be available on Disney plus starting February 23rd.
Though it is a cartoon show, the 4D animation this time around makes the characters look more beautiful and feel more real.
After the episode previews, we were invited to the after-party in the virtual school gym where Joyce Wrice performed some of her songs including “So So Sick” and “On One.” Browsing around the environment, we explored the hallway lockers for surprise videos and clicked on posters on the walls for fun messages. In the school cafeteria, EJ Johnson interviews the creators and also some of the cast including Soleil Moon Frye who plays Zoey, Karen Malina White who plays Dijonay Jones, Alisa Reyes who plays LaCienega Boulevardez, Kyla Pratt who plays Penny Proud, and JoMarie Payton who plays Suga Mama.
We got an impressive music set from DJ Battlecat for about 45 minutes or so. During the entire event, we were able to chat with other avatars and even ran into a few stars who popped in to show love, including Paige Hurd from POWER, Marcus T. Polk from Moesha, Marsai Martin from Black-ish, and more.
Overall, I was surprised at how much fun it was connecting with a legacy show that is so treasured and brings back such nostalgia. Disney has made a power move for the culture with Proud Family: Prouder & Louder that Black families will share with the new generation and beyond.