A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie features a teen girl at the height of her parental rebellion, and her parents (who engage in non-stop insults to each other on the side) are unwilling to just go along with her whims. Penny's biggest dream is rather small: to become a backup dancer for a rapper, along with her three friends. The rapper's lifestyle is meant to be enviable, with his Hummer and yacht, but humor defuses the image to some extent. Cloning is a major theme, but any discussion of ethical or moral implications is absent.
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What's the story?
Penny Proud (voiced by Kyla Pratt) is just about to turn 16 when she learns that rapper Fifteen Cent (Omarian Grandberry) is holding open auditions for backup dancers. Penny is determined to try out, but her father Oscar (Tommy Davidson) plans to stop her. Mother Trudy (Paula Jai Parker) tries to maintain the peace between her outspoken daughter and slightly hysterical husband. Oscar's mother Suga Mama (Jo Marie Payton) hunts for men when she's not hurling very funny insults at her son. The family gets pulled into the scheme of crazy inventor Dr. Carver (Arsenio Hall) -- descended from George Washington Carver -- who, like his forbearer, has big plans for peanuts. When Penny finally discovers his evil cloning scheme, she shows the same loyalty to her family as she does with her posse of friends.
Is it any good?
Based on the TV series of the same name, THE PROUD FAMILY MOVIE wins points for its depiction of a close-knit African-American family comprised of original and very funny characters. However, the plot of this movie, which includes cloned talking peanuts and a secret Kicking Donkey Stabilizing sauce, is so strange, and parts of the film are so slow moving, that the viewer may prefer to watch the shorter and pithier TV episodes.
One of the funniest bits is the evolving character traits of the cloned Proud family, as the alterna-Trudy turns into a bad ghetto stereotype, Suga Mama speaks only in Spanish, and faux Oscar develops an obsession with hot dogs. The dialogue is undeniably fast-paced and funny, and the rap music is an authentic soundtrack to a world that revolves around a 16-year-old girl. Still, the movie is light on substance.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Penny's frustration with her parents over the dance tryouts. Why does she want to go, and what are her parents worried about? Consider the cloning that goes on there -- would the Proud family's clones emerge as babies or adults? What does Penny learn about her family over the course of the movie?
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