Bruce W. Smith’s hit Disney Channel toon The Proud Family — one of the few animated series starring African-American characters when it debuted almost 20 years ago — will be making a comeback on new streaming platform Disney+. The news was confirmed on GMA3 ahead of the holiday weekend by actress Jo Marie Payton (Family Matters), who voiced Suga Mama.
Responding to a question from host Keke Palmer about the memorable cartoon character, Payton responded: “Suga’s large and in charge. That’s all I’ve got to say — except for Suga Mama will be doing some new episodes come February.”
Proud Family co-star Tommy Davidson (voice of Oscar Proud), had previously hinted at a revival, but Payton’s confirmation was notably made on a Disney-owned network (ABC).
The Proud Family, created by veteran animator Smith (supervising animator, The Princess and the Frog, The Emperor’s New Groove; animation director, Space Jam), originally aired on Disney Channel for three seasons from 2001-2005. The 2D toon centered on 14-year-old Penny Proud, her family (including the hip and hard-hitting grandmother Suga Mama) and her friends, as she tries to navigate the pitfalls of adolescence — and perpetual grounding by her overprotective dad.
Kyla Pratt starred as the voice of Penny, with regular and recurring characters played by Paula Jai Parker, Tara Strong, Soleil Moon Frye, Cedric the Entertainer, Aries Spears, Cree Summer, Phil LaMarr and Kevin Michael Richardson, among others.
The show earned multiple accolades over its run, including several Annie Award nominations in 2003 and 2004 and even more nods from the Image Awards (winning Cedric the Entertainer an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series award in 2003), as well as a BET Comedy Award for Outstanding Animated Series in 2004. The Proud Family Movie debuted on TV in 2005.