Disney Is Rebooting ‘The Proud Family,’ Says Actor Tommy Davidson
The Proud Family is returning to our screens — if one of the show’s lead actors is to be believed. Tommy Davidson, voice of Oscar Proud, made the announcement at an event last week. “The Proud Family is coming back…on one of Disney’s streaming [services],” he told Where Is The Buzz, before adding, “They told me not to tell you about it.”
Davidson gave no further details, and Disney has yet to confirm the news.
The original animated sitcom, which ran from 2001 to 2005, centered on Penny Proud, a bright teenager in a dysfunctional household. Supporting characters included her overbearing father Oscar, level-headed mother Trudy, and plain-spoken grandma Suga Mama. In focusing on a middle-class African-American family, it was almost unprecedented at the time, and still stands out today among kids’ animated shows.
The series was created by Bruce W. Smith, whose Jambalaya Studios produced it for Disney Channel. Smith has worked extensively for Disney: his credits include supervising animator on Tarzan and The Princess and the Frog. He also co-directed the short film Hair Love, about an African-American man learning to do his daughter’s hair; it’s currently screening in theaters before The Angry Birds Movie 2.
While Disney has not made any official announcements about Proud Family’s return, there is a key piece of public evidence that supports Davidson’s reveal. Last month, Disney announced that Smith was one of 17 artists who had signed an overall deal with Disney Television Animation.
Since The Proud Family originally aired, it has stayed remarkably popular. The tv series was followed by an online spin-off, The Proud Family Shorties, and its characters had a cameo appearance in Disney’s Lilo & Stitch: The Series. It still has a dedicated fan base: when an unofficial Twitter account for the franchise mentioned Davidson’s announcement, the tweet notched up nearly 90,000 likes.
If the series really is coming back, its natural home would be Disney+, which will be aimed at younger audiences than Disney’s other streamer Hulu. It would also be in keeping with the company’s current policy regarding new content for Disney+: so far, the company has leaned toward reboots of existing intellectual property, rather than original projects.