The Proud Family has finally returned, more than 20 years after it first hit Disney Channel in September 2021.
Starring original voice cast members Kyla Pratt, Karen Malina White, Soleil Moon Frye, Alisa Reyes and more, Disney+’s revival series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder will bring Penny Proud (Pratt) into 2022 as she explores her teenage years. In addition to further spotlighting Penny’s coming-of-age, creator and EP Bruce W. Smith and producer Ralph Farquhar said during Friday’s TCA panel that the show will take on topics relevant to today’s bigger conversations.
“A lot has changed in 20 years, that’s for sureBefore, we used to have to tip top and used coded language,” said Farquhar, who served as an executive producer on the original series. “Now we can go straight at it.”
He went on to highlight the new additions to The Proud Family world: husbands Randall and Barry Leibowitz-Jenkins, voiced respectively by Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto, and Penny’s new gender non-confirming friend Michael Collins. The introduction of LGBTQ+ characters into the world of The Proud Family is the “biggest change,” fans, both returning and new, can expect, he said.
EJ Johnson, who takes on Michael Collins said that he’s excited for the impact and visibility of queer kids, this series will bring.
“Just to have a character who’s out and proud and fabulous…I was blown away that this character exists,” he said.
Even while “upgrading” the series with more prominent conversations about identity, social media and growing up in today’s world, Smith said that the series remains true to its core – whether that’s with the original cast members or the desire to tell stories authentically.
“The important asset of this is making sure that both series…could sit side by side with each other,” he said. “We’re let loose to lean into the truth of the stories we wanted to tell. It accelerated everything and because of our amazing cast, they knew how to bring their characters back into the fold.”
The panelists also spoke about how The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder will continue catering to a wide range of audiences with its humor, how the series is like a “beautiful time machine” and more.
On Friday Disney+ revealed that The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder will premiere Feb. 23 and dropped a trailer that teases the new chapter of the Proud’s.
The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is executive-produced by Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar, both of whom led the original series. Calvin Brown, Jr. is co-executive producer and story editor, Jan Hirota is producer, and Eastwood Wong is art director.
Watch the trailer above.