When Disney+ officially launched, fans were beyond excited to find thousands of titles on the mega streaming platform. Along with brand new original series such as The Mandalorian and Marvel Studios’ The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Disney+ also featured the return of classic Disney films and Disney Channel original series.
To the disappointment of many OG Disney viewers, the first wave of Disney+ releases was missing a few key series from the Disney Channel, namely the two-season animated cartoon The Proud Family. Disney took note of the complaints and promised to bring back the show in time — with brand new episodes in development.
Well, Disney made good on their promise, and on New Year's Day, both seasons of The Proud Family became available for streaming on the app. Almost immediately, people snuggled into their couches to binge-watch the beloved series.
It's been almost 15 years since the series finale of The Proud Family, but now that we're watching it back as adults, fans realize that the Disney show is a lot more nuanced than we knew at the time. In the nearly two decades since it ended, there hasn't been a kid's show as intentionally Black as The Proud Family (Cartoon Network's Craig of the Creek does come very close).
Watching the series back with adult eyes also has us doing a double take at some of the show's content. The showrunners behind The Proud Family were smart, adding in tongue-in-cheek elements of the show that many of us would only understand years later. Below, some of the most fascinating easter eggs in The Proud Family.
The Prouds were Republicans
Yes, you read that correctly. Penny Proud and her family identify as Republicans. In the third episode of the first season, Penny goes on strike to get more allowance. When her friend Sticky offers to help do her taxes for a little bit of cash, Penny cuts him short: "Sticky, we're registered Republicans — we don't pay taxes."
While it may seem jarring to us now, looking at their family structure, it's realistic for this family to fall on the conservative side of the spectrum. The Prouds are a firmly middle-class nuclear family; dad Oscar is an entrepreneur obsessed with upward social mobility and pulling himself up by the bootstraps, and mom Trudy comes from a bougie, wealthy background.
Besides, Black people can be conservative, too.
LaCienega Boulevardez was problematic
We didn't have the complete vocabulary to describe LaCienega when we were younger (aside from saying she was stuck up), but now that we're older, it's plain as day: the character was problematic.
When LaCienega and her family arrive in town, the pre-teen (who is coded as Afro-Latinx) immediately actings like she's better than everyone, especially the darker-skinned characters on the show. She goes out of her way to mock people for their appearance — she even calls one of Penny's baby siblings "nappy" — their weight, and their class.
It's safe to say that if LaCienega were a real person, she'd be cancelled.
The Beyoncé connection
Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, and Michelle Williams joined forces with Bey's younger sister Solange to create one of the best theme songs on television for The Proud Family. Years later, fans are convinced that Beyoncé's life looks a lot like the show, and they're not wrong.
Just take a look at the Knowles-Carters family tree. If Blue Ivy is Penny, then her twin siblings Rumi and Sir are BeBe and CeCe. Jay-Z could be Oscar (sans the failed business ventures — the Roc Nation CEO is a billionaire), and Beyoncé is the level-headed matriarch Trudy. Throw in grandmother Tina Knowles as Suga Mama, and you've basically got yourself a mirror image.
In case you've already sped through both seasons of the show on Disney+ and are desperate for more, don't despair; brand new episodes of The Proud Family are on the way, according to Suga Mama herself. Jo Marie Payton, who voices the boisterous grandmother, teased that the team was back together and working on something for the new year on an episode of Strahan, Sara and Keke.
"Yeah, Suga’s large and in charge," she told the morning show's hosts. "That’s all I’ve got to say — except for Suga Mama will be doing some new episodes come February."