If there was ever an animated equivalent to a Tyler Perry film, The Proud Family was it. The title is even a play on words! The show centers on Penny Proud and her family and friends. It’s weird because Penny isn’t normally proud of her family. If anything, she’s embarrassed of them. Plus, isn’t pride a sin? Nice one Disney.
Penny Proud’s parents, Oscar and Trudy, are somewhat normal. If those were the only people that made up the Proud family, then I would be okay with it. I never really liked Trudy Proud because she was always humorless and strict. Not super strict, but strict enough where I could sense that she and I wouldn’t get along. She reminded me of the mom on The Cosby Show who was also not funny and kind of mean. I think Trudy is a veterinarian so at least she likes animals.
Oscar Proud on the other hand, was funny and a pretty likeable guy. He was a good dad, and often had most of the slapstick jokes in the show. I guess he would be the Bill Cosby of the Proud Family. Oscar has his own snack company called Proud Snacks. He often thinks up different flavors for his weird snacks and can be seen eating his own creations.
Things start to get strange in the Proud family once you realize that Penny has twin baby siblings, BeBe and CeCe. BeBe is a boy with a crazy afro that covers his eyes and CeCe is a little girl with a sprout of hair growing out of her head. They look nothing alike. It’s scary because BeBe and CeCe are no older than one year old and Penny is like fifteen. I would NOT be proud of that.
Suga Mama is Oscar’s mom and Penny’s favorite grandma. I’m assuming she’s the favorite because Suga Mama lives in the Proud household so Penny knows her well. Suga Mama loves watching wrestling and she’s one tough cookie herself. She’s sharp-witted and basically a Tyler Perry character. The Proud Family would be an extremely racist show if it was made by white people.
The best part of the show is Penny’s colorful gang of friends. They’re actually not that colorful since they’re all black. Well, actually there’s one white girl, Zoey Howzer (voiced by Soleil Moon Frye randomly) and one Latina girl named LaCienega Boulevardez. I love her name. I hope that deep down the creators were taking a dig at Topanga. Zoey is nerdy and shy. She’s sweet, but she honestly doesn’t belong in Penny’s gang. Penny always says things like, “It’s gonna be off da heezy!” and in the real world, Zoey wouldn’t be accepted into her crew.
LaCienega is extremely rich and pretty and she’s kind of mean to Penny. She sucks up to grownups and can be very arrogant and insensitive. The thing that I don’t get is that Penny’s family probably has the same amount of income as LaCienega’s but Penny doesn’t get the sense that her parents have money. Maybe because her parents don’t give her any cash. Also, LaCienega’s mom is named Sunset. I just have to mention that little tidbit.
Penny’s best friend is Dijonay Jones. I love a show with good names and Dijonay is one of my favorites. Dijonay is a sassy black girl who likes to gossip and joke around. She has nine other siblings named after spices and condiments. Her hair happens to be mustard colored which is cool, but not natural. Dijonay has a crush on Penny’s other friend, Sticky Webb. Sticky loves technology and DJing. There was an amazing online game called Sticky’s MixMaster or something like that and I loved playing it. I obviously have no shame whatsoever.
Lastly, no show would be complete without a gang of bullies. The Gross sisters are three, blue colored sisters that pick on kids and steal their money. People often wonder why they’re blue and I distinctly remember in one episode where Penny explained that they were “ashy”. This show was too black for it’s own good. It really gave me a good education though.
And if you don’t believe me that this show was super black, here’s a list of the guest stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Cedric the Entertainer, Al Roker, Vivica A. Fox, Raven-Symone, Mo’Nique, Kel Mitchel, Solange Knowles, Vanessa Williams, Lou Rawls, Mariah Carey, Ray J, Gabrielle Union, and Mos Def. So basically every black actor, actress, and musician has made an appearance on The Proud Family.