By Zach Johnson
The Proud family is back… even though it feels like they never left!
Premiering on Wednesday, February 23, on Disney+ with two episodes, The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder follows the adventures and misadventures of 14-year-old Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt), her madcap family, and her loyal crew as they navigate modern life. The long-anticipated revival of the groundbreaking animated series The Proud Family hails from executive producers Bruce W. Smith and Ralph Farquhar, both of whom led the original series.
“A lot has changed in 20 years,” says Farquhar. “That’s for sure!”
Before you stream the first two episodes, here’s everything you need to know:
Who is reprising their roles from The Proud Family?
In addition to Pratt, the legacy voice cast includes Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud, JoMarie Payton as Suga Mama, Cedric “The Entertainer” as Uncle Bobby, Karen Malina White as Dijonay Jones, Alisa Reyes as LaCienega Boulevardez, and Soleil Moon Frye as Zoey Howzer. “I’d always hoped we’d come back,” Pratt tells D23. “I’ve had so many people come up to me throughout the years, telling me how much The Proud Family meant to them. I’m excited to be a part of something that started so long ago and is still so beloved to this day. Now, we get to come back and do a newer, improved, updated version—2022 style!”
Pratt wasn’t the only one crossing her fingers, of course. Says Payton, “For years, people were begging for the show to come back. I’m so happy we’re back—and we’re louder and prouder!”
In addition to the lead voice actors, returning recurring cast members include Carlos Mencia as Felix Boulevardez, Maria Canals-Barrera as Sunset Boulevardez, Alvaro Gutierrez as Papi, Marcus T. Paulk as Myron Lewinski, and Raquel Lee Bolleau as Nubia Gross.
Who’s new to the cast?
EJ Johnson voices Michael Collins, one of Penny’s friends from the original series. This version of Michael, however, is different than fans may remember. Michael is a nonconforming trendsetter, serving up fierce looks at school and on the basketball court. “Not to be rude, but I don’t remember him in the original series,” Johnson says of their character. “But they are very fabulous in this one, and that’s all that matters. This version of Michael is everything that I am.”
Asante Blackk voices Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Brown, Penny’s new boyfriend. In addition, fans will meet members of the new-to-town Leibowitz-Jenkins family. Billy Porter and Zachary Quinto voice husbands Randall and Barry, respectively. They are the proud parents of 14-year-old activist Maya (voiced by Keke Palmer) and gamer Francis “KG” (voiced by Artist “A Boogie” Dubose), who not only have to deal with being the new kids but also with being raised by two dads—a first for Smithville. (Click here for more details on the Leibowitz-Jenkins family.)
The legacy cast was elated to see such notable names join them in bringing The Proud Family into the streaming age. “I’m a huge Billy Porter fan,” says Parker. “I’m like his Twitter and Instagram stalker! The fact that he came on was surprising, but he told me he loves me, too!”
Who are the celebrity guest stars?
Talk about star power! Boldfaced names voicing characters in The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder include Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Chance the Rapper, Normani, Leslie Odom Jr., Tiffany Haddish, Lena Waithe, Anthony Anderson, Gabrielle Union, Debbie Allen, James Pickens Jr., Courtney B. Vance, Jane Lynch, Marsai Martin, Jaden Smith, Glynn Turman, Lamorne Morris, Brenda Song, Tina Knowles, Eva Longoria, Holly Robinson Peete, Al Roker, Bretman Rock, Gabby Douglas, Laurie Hernandez, and Dominique Dawes!
Although it’s hard to pick a favorite, Davidson tells D23 he was particularly excited when he found out that rapper Lil Nas X would be guest starring. “I knew we were gonna do something wild with him,” he recalls. “I knew he was going to bring a little twist, and he did. He really did.”
Who’s on the creative team?
In addition to franchise veterans Smith and Farquhar, who in 2020 entered a broad overall deal with Disney Branded Television, Calvin Brown Jr. is the series’ co-executive producer and story editor. Jan Hirota is the producer, and Eastwood Wong is the art director.
“Most of the people working on the show now were fans of the show back in the day,” Farquhar tells D23. “I describe it as being the ultimate fan art, if you will. Bruce and I guide the ship, but the writers, the artists, and the directors are the ones bringing in the authentic points of view.”
Who sings the main title?
Recording artist and rising star Joyce Wrice puts a modern spin on the series’ catchy theme song, originally performed by Destiny’s Child and Solange. In the featurette above, Rice says her iteration needed to reflect the series’ evolution while also paying homage to the “iconic” and “timeless” version fans love. “The theme song is very similar to the original, [but] the production, the beat is different. I just want to put a little bit of my own twist to it, and pay my dues and respect to Destiny’s Child, [composer] Kurt [Farquhar], and everyone on the original.”
How can I watch the series?
The 10-episode season will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on Wednesday, February 23, with two episodes. New episodes stream every Wednesday. Want more? Subscribers can also stream both seasons of The Proud Family (52 episodes in total), as well as The Proud Family Movie (2005).