THE PROUD FAMILY (2001)
Created by Bruce W. Smith and was produced by Jambalaya Studios. Originally piloted for Nickelodeon, it was eventually picked up by the Disney Channel and started airing in September 2001. Many of the later episodes of The Proud Family were produced using Adobe Flash.
The series is the first Disney children’s cartoon which did not premiere on network/over-the-air television, which had been done since 1984 when the Television Animation unit was started. It marked the first animated Disney Channel Original Series, and, incidentally, the only original animated series from Disney Channel not associated with, and to be produced exclusively by Disney’s Television Animation arm.
Why was it special?: IT’S ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECES OF BLACK ANIMATION IN THE WORLD.
Friends, followers, casual observers you’ve read this whole thing correctly; Disney’s The Proud Family might just be one of, if not THE most important black animated cartoon in the world.
You know what, for this post, because I lack the articulateness to truly express why and because I’m not in the demographic for this show at all, I am going to turn the platform completely over to someone else. We’re going to hear from someone who’s not only more qualified but can tell us everything and anything we need to know about this show and what makes it so great.
Ash, honey, lay it on us, what makes The Proud Family so special?
A much needed symbol of early 00s black excellence , that’s what The Proud Family was made of.
Disney didn’t provide much black visibility in the princess line up or the overall Disney Renassiance in the 90s and even onward , although they had high profile black celebrities in their voice casts ( James Earl Jones , Eddie Murphy , Eartha Kitt , Tevin Campbell ) you couldn’t match the skin color to the actor unfortunately .
Black characters would pop up occasionally on the television shows that didn’t include anthropomorphic characters such as Disney’s Recess , Pepper Ann , and The Weekenders .
The Proud Family was truly a joy and breath of fresh air giving young black kids someone they could identify with especially young black women.
Where do I begin ? cast members from prominent black television shows and films such as Family Matters , Friday , In Living Color , and Dr. Dolittle added all of the important spices to this show and theme song provided by Solange Knowles and Destiny’s Child put the cherry on top.
A wonderful showcase of diversity on all levels , The Proud Family touched on colorism , self esteem issues , friendship , and even cultural insensitivity which was very important .
The series debuted in 2001 and ended in 2005 but was popular enough to get it’s own Disney Channel Original Movie , an online spin off , and a crossover with the popular Lilo and Stitch series .
This sacred piece of black animation is currently airing reruns on the Centric station , this was important to young black women and even made the arrival of Princess Tiana even more significant.
To my black folks out there , PLEASE put our children on to this series it is so important that they are exposed to this good example of representation and allow this series as well as others that were listed during black animation month to help them find hope and inspiration so that they can go on and do amazing things for our community.
That’s just the big thing; the fact that the folks at Disney put a lot of heart and soul into this, an amount that other cartoons could only wish to have. Not only that but the show dealt with so many issues relevant to its target audience and more could enjoy and take away from it.
Just– you can feel the enthusiasm through my friend’s words, I could sit here and tell you what makes this show so special. I would even though I’d fumble around about it for a long time but you just need to ask anyone who loved it at the time and they’ll describe it with such insurmountable joy and vigor.
This is one of those must-sees that everyone should check out at least once in their life, without a doubt.
- The Proud Family was nominated for and won several awards including Annie Awards, BET Comedy Awards, Image Awards, Kids’ Choice Awards, NAMIC Vision Awards, and Television Critics Association Awards
In 2005, The Proud Family Moviepremiered as a DCOM on Disney Channel. The film served as a series finale. Arsenio Hall voices Bobby in the film.
n 2002, ABC launched the series as a part of its Saturday morning block, ABC Kids. The series aired in syndication on BET in 2008. It also aired on Toon Disney until February 2009. The Proud Family was also broadcast on The Family Channel inCanada. In 2010, the series began airing on Centric.
- The Proud Family Shorties is an Online Cartoon spin-off of The Proud Family created by Bruce W. Smith. It follows the adventures of BeBe & CeCe Proud and Puff the dog.
The Proud Family visit Hawaii on an episode of Lilo & Stitch: The Series entitled “Spats” in which they stay at Jumba & Pleakley’s Bed Not Breakfast and Suga Mama inadvertently activates an experiment that causes spats.
You know what my favorite part of the show was? News Anchorman Al Roker who played this all-powerful reality altering genie kind of dude. It was such a weird idea for a character.
I also liked the Holiday episode where the Prouds took in a poor family and celebrated Kwanzaa with them, and the voices of the family included Samuel L. Jackson, Vivica A. Fox, and Raven-Symone. Ain’t that something?