The Proud Family TV Poster Image

The Proud Family



Relatable stories, good role models, zany comedy.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will take away positive lessons about family.

Positive messages

The show emphasizes the importance of strong family ties (even if you don't always get along) and pride in yourself.

Positive role models

The characters are a diverse, generally accepting bunch. Penny can be very sarcastic and talks back to just about anyone who gets in her face, but she also loves her family. Penny's parents are involved and responsible and always urge her to do the right thing. On the downside, there's some stereotyping.

Violence & scariness

None shown, but three sisters are school bullies who threaten kids and take their allowance.

Sexy stuff

Some risque comments and innuendo from the grandmother, Suga Mama.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated series isn't like others in which race is incidental to the situation comedy. Instead, the show depicts Penny and her friends as the African-American kids they are.

What's the story?

Many cartoons offer a mixed-race cast of sweet kids who all basically look and act the same and barely resemble real kids. THE PROUD FAMILY tries something different. The series features only one white character and attempts to bring African-American culture to the foreground. Destiny's Child sings the show's theme song, and other African-American artists and performers make guest appearances. Executive producer Bruce Smith began his own studio with the goal of producing ethnically diverse projects, and modeled The Proud Family partly on his own family.

Is it any good?


Viewers who've been taught cultural sensitivity might wonder if it's OK to laugh when Penny (voiced by Kyla Pratt) gives her slim white friend Zoey (Soleil Moon Frye) a makeover and puts a pillow in her skirt to give her more backside. And parents may question the political point of having a famous basketball player named Wizard Kelly be obscenely wealthy, owning everything in town. When positive depictions of a culture are already underrepresented on television, is it OK for a cartoon to exaggerate cultural traits and poke fun at them?

Whatever your family thinks about the cultural and ethnic balances of the show, The Proud Family offers kids approaching or entering their teens relatable stories, strong parental role models, and zany comedy from the colorful family. Penny's mother and father (a veterinarian and snack maker, respectively) push her to do the right things socially and in school and in turn learn a lot about their daughter's independent character and maturity.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how the media tends to depict minority groups. What stereotypes have you seen in TV shows and movies? Do you think any of them appear here? If so, how are they used?

  • Is it possible to use stereotypes positively?

TV details

Premiere date:September 21, 2001
Cast:Kyla Pratt, Paula Jai Parker, Tommy Davidson
Genre:Kids' Animation
Topics:Book characters, Friendship
TV rating:TV-G

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Adult Written bylhwilkinson April 9, 2008

Fine, but keep a weather eye out...

THE PROUD FAMILY-- an anmated riff on FATHER KNOWS BEST, only with an African-American family at the center-- is good fun. But more than one episode I've caught with my daughter has been ruthlessly commercial... not in the usual overt sense (no product placements that I've seen, e.g.), but more subtlely. E.g., one episode's plot revolved around file-sharing, and Penny Proud's relationship with a character named Morpheous. Penny falls into his thrall and began to partake of file-sharing, though her parents reprove her ("file-sharing is stealing"). But then, in true sit com form, Penny sees the error of her ways, banishes Morpheous from her life, and apologzes to her parents in a soliloquy on the evils of downloading that might well have been written-- and may well have been written-- by the Corporate Affairs Dept. at Disney. This episode took 28 minutes and 50 seconds to watch with my daughter-- and 90 minutes afterwards to discuss. I appreciate Disney's stake in intellectual property rights, and honor it. But I do not appreciate so blatant an overstatement of that case (users DO have rights), especially not masquerading as the moral of a sit com.
Teen, 14 years old Written byEspumaMarina September 14, 2010

A lot of TV shows sould be like this!

This was an excellent series, Disney probably took it away because it didn't have 'star quality' It was amazing, Penny is smart and independent, she wants freedom sometimes, but it blows in her face when it comes to something wrong, its not inapropreate, it breaks the barrior of race, a lantino, two blacks, one white- bout time. The friends are pretty useless in some episodes, but other times they're good, Penny crys a lot, but whatever. It shows one episode about a muslum family she has to live with as a program thing, she didn't like it at first, but she began to like them and respect them, even gave in to some traditions, then someone wrote "Go back to your own country, America for Americans" and Penny made a great speech about that. Its something to be proud about (hence the name) and now Disney makes all whites the stars and hispanics or blacks the sidekicks (I'm white, besides the point) and the shows are boring sitcoms about gorgious people with unrealistic problems. This show was selfless, and tought good lessons, and its interesting and intertaning. There is NO reason that they should have taken off the show. I remember only seeing it on Febuary 2 years ago only because it was Black History Month, and then they put it back up. Disney, knock it off, its sad a lot of people haven't seen this series and some grow up watching Hannah Montana. Please bring it back.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bymnv August 11, 2011


They characters are only 13/14 at the beginning of the series and they are too sexualized. There are alot of examples of bullying and even some racism and favoritism with penny's parents(favoring their twins over their oldest daughter in an episode where the twins are made older)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much consumerism