The Disney+ animated series The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder is returning for a second season! Known for its inclusion, quick wit humor, and exploration of modern day family and friendship dynamics, it looks like season 2 will be no different!
The show sees the return of Kyla Pratt as Penny Proud, Tommy Davidson as Oscar Proud, Jo Marie Payton as Suga Mama, Paula Jai Parker as Trudy Proud as well as a slew of new characters with some familiar voices.
With a hopeful expectation that there will be a season 3, Hidden Remote sat down with creator and executive producer Bruce W. Smith and fellow executive producer Ralph Farquhar to learn more about what to expect in the upcoming season, what it’s like working with Disney+ and producing modern stories of a popular show for a new generation.
Ralph Farquhar and Bruce W. Smith on The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder season 2
Well, just to start off, I was completely thrilled when I saw that [The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder] had been renewed for a second season. So I wanted to hear your guys’ first impressions. How did you guys feel when you both found out the good news?
Bruce W. Smith: It’s great. Listen, to be able to continue to tell stories with these characters on the streamer, Disney+, it’s been really fun because the streamer allows us a bit more room, elbow room, to kind of really lean into the truth of the stories that we want to tell. Compared to the first time, to get really kind of controversial, we had to kind of tap dance softly into the arena of controversial storytelling the way Ralph likes to do it. But now, listen, we’re louder and prouder. Right? And I think that title really lends to the conceit of where we get to go.
Ralph Farquhar: Yeah. It’s just a testament to the fact that we had unfinished business the first time around, because a lot of times when people reboot or reimagine, it’s like, how do I top the first time? Well, we were never finished and we knew we had a lot more to tell. The 15 years since we were last on only gave us more stuff, more fodder, if you will, for the storytelling. We couldn’t wait to get into it. And we’re just very excited.
You always wonder what people like, will people like it? And you get the usual conversation. If you go online, the old heads are going well, but then a lot of people say, oh, this is a great reboot, and then all the new kids and the new adults even, who are introducing the show, are really responding to the storytelling, the character design, the animation, the music, all of it. So we’re really excited and grateful that launch was really successful. And we’re looking forward to hearing the reaction on season two, because Bruce and I, we talked. We said season one was the appetizer. We had to come back, we had to tiptoe a little bit.
We had to get people used to seeing this world and how it looked. Now, season two, we’re going to let you know what we’re really about. So that’s what’s happening, and we can’t wait. February 1, all episodes drop, and I think the discussion will begin immediately.
So after season one, it ended with a cliffhanger. For me, it was, like, very nail biting. Like, what’s going to happen? So it’s a continuation of the season one finale, the first episode of season two. The storyline. We’re seeing Suga Mama in the family, going back to her roots in Towne, Oklahoma, acknowledging her past.
I just found it so interesting because when I watched the show when I was younger and I had no idea, obviously, about the past of these characters. So it was interesting to see the family go from California to the South. And even more interesting to see just the past of Sugar Mama isn’t so positive as one would hope. So what we’re both of your thought processes as you were crafting that second part of the storyline that kicks off season two?
Smith: Season two? Are we coming back with that episode? Yeah, we’re coming back with that.
Smith: Look. First of all, Sugar Mama is a character we use. We don’t know where she’s been around. We had her back in the ’30s with the Negro Leagues. We have her in the ’40s. We’ve got her coming from Oklahoma. And so it was just, for us from a writing standpoint, it gives us a chance to highlight what that history was in Oklahoma for black folks. Just touch upon it because these are the topics that aren’t usually broached in TV, period, much less in an animated sitcom. So that was the main thought behind that. And Sugar Mama being our most popular character, you can’t lose by coming out the gate, focusing on her. So that’s the producer logic behind it.
Smith: The fun of it was, again, expanding on the idea of it being a Western. Right. Like, Ralph and I are both fans of the cinematic scope of Westerns and then the truer aspect of Three Quarter Cowboys back then with Black folk. So we wanted to give you a taste of that. And then there are some real facts that are dropped in season two, episode one about Black and American Indian people. And so those were things that were really kind of the foundational aspects of the episode. And it was important. Listen, a lot of us Black folk come from the Midwest, down South and stuff like that. So it was great to take the show there and just a lot of fun. We think you don’t see us in these lanes lots of time. So it was an opportunity for us to really kind of jump into a lane that you normally don’t see Black Americans in animation exposed to.
I saw that there’s also some amazing guest stars coming up this season. I saw Dominique Dawes, Maury Povich, Storm Reid, just to name a few. And also you kind of spoke about how this new generation, they’re able to kind of tap into responding to the episodes almost immediately. And having all of that in mind, what has been your biggest highlights and low lights for making this season? Do you feel like there’s more or less pressure now?
Smith: No real low lights except when I don’t pay my bills here. But it’s all been a highlight. I mean, each episode has been a really fun discovery on each level with each character. That’s one of the things that we’ve done this season that we’re really happy with is we really get to sort of do deep dives in characters that even a lot of us online have issues or questions about, Dijonay being the main one. And we tackle issues like colorism, racism within the girls, within the troupe of the girls. We tackle Juneteenth, we tackle the concept of reparations. These are all highlights for me. These are all touchstones and places that I think stories can be told. It’s hard to find any other show that can tell these stories except for The Proud Family.
Farquhar: Yeah, I think coming back. Look, I think Bruce and I are at the height of our powers, if I could be so bold as to say that. And we know exactly how to do this show, but we’re not afraid to take chances, so that’s the key to remaining fresh and creative. We have wonderful partners in terms of our production crew and writing staff and artists.
The great thing that certainly the two of us have noticed is now all these young people who are working for us on this show were fans of the show in the beginning, so they’ve become informed, motivated, and inspired in a way that even goes beyond our particular thinking. It’s been a great pleasure, and Disney has been a wonderful partner. We fought all those battles about point of view the first time, so now we’re really clear that it has to come from our creative point of view. And they’ve supported that 1000%. It’s been a dream come true, if you will.
The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder premieres Wednesday, Feb. 1 on Disney+.