Holidays and Representation: The Proud Family Dominated Them Both In “Seven Days of Kwanzaa”

the-proud-family-seven-days-of-kwanzaasource: Disney

During the Holidays, television networks often shine the spotlight on Christmas. There have been a wide variety of Christmas specials and traditions that networks like ABC, Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, and much more participate in every year. Other Holidays from different cultures such as Kwanzaa and Hannukah are rarely represented. A lack of representation of different cultures or minority groups could possibly lead to some losing value or trust in these networks and their beloved shows. Disney Channel managed to add some representation with their animated show from the early 2000s, The Proud Family, which centered around a black family and a majority of black characters. In “Seven Days of Kwanzaa”, we can truly see representation of many forms come into play.

First off, I think writer Wayne D. Stamps, Jr. (or simply Wayne Stamps) and the rest of the team behind The Proud Family deserves many applause for such a remarkable episode. Wayne Stamps writes and has written for many other black shows, but contributing very conscience subjects to a show like The Proud Family enlighted the younger audience who grew up watching this show. Eleven episodes into this series came a spotlight for a different culture. Finally. “Seven Days of Kwanzaa” premiered on Disney Channel on December 7, 2001. Penny Proud and her family meet a homeless family of three, Joseph, Margaret, and Stephanie, while Christmas shopping. Penny invites them over for Christmas dinner, where the Proud family soon learns that the homeless family celebrates Kwanzaa. The Proud family participates in the Kwanzaa celebration, opening their eyes to a whole new meaning of the Holidays.

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History was made with this episode. The Proud Family was the first ever Disney show to celebrate Kwanzaa. This episode gave representation to a holiday celebrated in the African American culture. That’s huge. It showed little girls and boys who celebrated Kwanzaa that we know that they exist and they matter. This was never done before on that single network and it’s what makes The Proud Family one of the greatest shows to ever air on Disney Channel. The episode also displayed awareness for homeless families, and the characters Joseph, Margaret, and Stephanie did it well. They had no roof to call their own over their heads, yet they still felt grateful enough to give and share with the Prouds. As a viewer and overall fan of this show, that really opened my eyes and made me give more thanks for what I have. It’s something we can all learn. If you have never seen this episode then you really need to. Overall this episode is a positive representation of Disney Channel’s prime.

 

 

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Why Kids’ WB Was the Greatest

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We’re taking it back to the classic red & yellow water tower for a second. Some say the 1990s & early 2000s were the best times to be a kid when it came to entertainment. Well, at least those who were actually kids at that time. I guess they can add Kids WB to their argument. Kids’ WB was a programming block that aired on the used-to-be network ‘The WB’, which is now the CW. The network aired many acquired and original animated shows like Pokemon, Jackie Chan Adventures, Sailor Moon, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Men in Black The Series, Xiaolin Showdown, Batman Beyond & much more. It was the lineup that you didn’t want to miss on Saturday mornings or in the afternoon right after school. Kids WB was a tradition like many Saturday morning and afternoon programming blocks that came before it. Put it this way: if you enjoyed action and comedy combined in your cartoons, then Kids WB was perfect for you.

Kids’ WB premiered on September 9, 1995. In its early years, it started with a basic schedule:

Saturdays: 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Weekdays: 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This schedule was subjected to some tweaks and minor changes over the years, but nothing huge. Unlike other programming blocks, Kids’ WB was unique and that’s what made it great. The lineups never lacked variety, and it kept things non-repetitive and exciting. They probably aired almost 100 shows from Hanna-Barbera, Cartoon Network, Anime, Warner Bros, and more. Some memorable holiday specials and events aired throughout the years as well. Teen Titans: Trouble in Tokyo premiered on the block on September 16, 2006, a day after the show’s Cartoon Network premiere. Pokemon was also a big deal on the network due to its numerous movie premieres. More specials including the Canadian-American Christmas film, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer (2002). Kids’ WB aired so many shows and specials that you would’ve thought it would’ve become a channel itself eventually.

Like they say, all good things must come to an end. That’s what happened with Kids WB, at least it did everywhere except for Australia & Bulgaria. On May 17, 2008, the original Kids WB block came to an end. There were many online & offline successors, but nothing beats the original show lineup or even the promos & bumpers. What’s even more unfortunate is that you won’t find many programming blocks with the same show variety, entertainment, and longevity as Kids’ WB.

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Throwback Thursday: Sniz and Fondue, One of KaBlam’s Best

Thursdays are for throwbacks, and that means it’s time to get nostalgic. Today for #TBT we’re looking back at one of the best animated short series from Nickelodeon’s classic cartoon variety series, KaBlam – Sniz and Fondue.

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Anthology series just aren’t seen at all anymore in modern times. Shows like KaBlam! gave you a chance to watch many awesome cartoons within a cartoon. One of those, Sniz and Fondue, just hits home when you watch it again because it feels like it was just yesterday that it was still airing on television. Sniz and Fondue was a series of animated shorts created by Michael Pearlstein that aired on KaBlam from 1996 to 1997. The series defined the everyday lives of Sniz Bronkowski and Sneaky Fondue, two ferrets who are roommates with two other characters as well, Snuppa Doojers and Bianca Lo Bianca, who are a couple. Sniz and Fondue were inspired by characters in Michael Pearlstein’s 1990 comic book “Puppy Action!” published by Northstar.

There isn’t much information on what creator Michael Pearlstein is up to today, but if we ever get ahold to him in the future, we’ll be sure to interview him about the series. Sniz was voiced by Rick Gomez, who has worked on a ton of series (animted and live-action) including The Loud House. Oscar Riba who voices Fondue, has also done voice work on video game Grand Theft Auto.

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Top 5 memorable episodes:

S1E03 “Mod Stylin'”

S2E07 “Clubbed”

S1E10 “War of the Supergeeks”

S3E02 “The Great Chili Cookoff”

S1E09 “Fashionably Fondue”

Throwback Thursday Halloween Edition: The Powerpuff Girls “Boogie Frights” (1998)

In honor of October being Halloween season and all, this month you can expect Cartoon Buzz to get into the spooky spirit with chilling cartoon theories & nostalgic Halloween specials for Throwback Thursdays!

Today we’re looking back on an original Powerpuff Girls episode & how Blossom, Bubbles & Buttercup got into crime fighting mode when it came the Boogie man & the monsters wanting to turn the city of Townsville into a 70s style disco party that lasts forever.

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“Boogie Frights” is episode 5 of the very first season of The Powerpuff Girls, that aired on December 16, 1998. The episode enters upon the girls getting ready for bed and Bubbles is noticably afraid of the dark. Buttercup instigates her sister’s fear & tells her that there’s a monster named the Boogie Man that only comes out in the dark. Both Bubbles & Blossom scream in fear when Buttercup turns out the lights but Professor Utonium comes to calm them down. After the girls fall asleep, it is revealed that there’s a party full of disco-loving monsters under their bed led by the Boogie Man and his right-hand man Jerome. They may convey the impression that their just monsters who love to party, but they soon show their wicked intentions when they shutdown all of the power & blocks out the sun with a disco ball, in hopes of turning Townsville into an eternal 70s style dance party. The Powerpuff Girls come to the rescue as they send the Boogie Man flying into space and destroys the disco ball, saving the day (or night?) yet again.

Don’t miss next week’s Halloween edition of Throwback Thursday – follow Cartoon Buzz!

Throwback Thursday: The Proud Family “A Hero for Halloween” (2002)

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Photo: Disney

When The Proud Family celebrated Halloween and teen idols all in one episode. Good times. *During the next few weeks in the midst of Halloween time, we will be providing you with Halloween-themed posts that will surely get you in the spirit!

“A Hero for Halloween” is the second episode from season 2 of Disney Channel’s original series The Proud Family and it aired on October 24, 2002.  Penny is not feeling the Halloween spirit as her friends are ecstatic about Wizard Kelly’s Halloween event when the performer is Lil’ Romeo (Romeo Miller) along with her family throwing their own party. After being a downer, Oscar and Trudy managed to convince Penny to throw on her costume and serve Proud Snacks to guests to get her in the spirit. During the Proud Family’s Halloween party, Trudy insists that Penny go to Wizard Kelly’s event and meet up with her friends. A little too late for Penny on account of the tickets being sold out, but she soon experiences a strange and sudden superhero awakening when she ate one of Oscar’s Proud Snacks. Penny then gained superpowers and saved her family from the wrath of a ghost that has haunted their home and defeated the Gross Sisters as they participated in a night of Halloween crime sprees. Plus she made it to Wizard Kelly’s event after all, and met the star of the night, Lil’ Romeo.

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Photo: Disney

As a kid, I always looked forward to Disney Channel Halloween specials airing every year and this has to be one of my favorites. Not only because Halloween is my top favorite holiday, but because the show often featured celebrities that I idolized at the time. In this Halloween special, the fact that Lil’ Romeo was a guest star made watching this episode even more excitable on account of… HELLO! I had the biggest crush on him, no lie. So what is the lesson of this episode? Proud Snacks may be known as the nastiest snacks there is, but they will give you the superpower strength to stop a Meteor from plummeting towards a kid. Oh and Penny Proud is definitely featured on my list of female superheros that motivated me to conquer the world someday.

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