As an 11-year-old, I often enjoyed live-action programming on Disney Channel the most. But like most kids, I would watch animated series, too, and they were certainly a part of my childhood. When The Proud Family Movie came out in 2005, I just couldn’t get past the peanuts. Now I say, why not? DCOMs are supposed to have elements that viewers might find unique or even unusual. If you’ve never seen the movie, these peanuts I speak of are artificially intelligent creations of “Dr. Carver,” a play on George Washington Carver, an inventor who developed many products from the peanut — who is apparently the villain’s great-great-grandfather. Dr. Carver wants to create an evil peanut army. After investors reject his peanut passions, Carver overhears Oscar Proud giving his presentation on a cloning and multiplying device.
We get an Even Stevens Movie moment when Dr. Carver (in a disguise) knocks on the Proud family’s door and offers them a free tropical vacation. Trudy convinces everyone that it’s a good idea, and Penny is stuck spending her 16th birthday isolated with her parents. Oscar, Suga Mama and the fam pack up and head to Legume Island. Yep, they spread the peanuts on thick here. There are no hidden cameras like we saw with the Stevens family, but the evil genius plot does have a couple of interesting twists.
First, Dr. Carver tries to buy the secret multiplication formula from Oscar Proud. His $10 million offer is tempting, but Oscar listens to the little peanut voice in his head warning him not to sell the concoction. Since Dr. Carver is already capable of cloning, he has replicated the entire Proud family. The Proud clones are to go find that secret formula, which they learn is hidden in the Proud home inside Penny’s birthday locket. The real Prouds are imprisoned on the island. I totally forgot that Penny’s clone gets stuck on the island, while the real Penny goes home with clones she thinks are her parents, grandma, and siblings. The next surprising twist is that Dr. Carver himself is a clone. On the island, the real Prouds meet the real Dr. Carver, who explains that the peanut people were intended for good. His clone spent too much time in the sun, got very burned, and became evil. Simple as that. The real Penny was thrilled to go home because she wanted to be a background dancer at the 15 Cent concert, but a stowaway peanut tells her the truth about her parents being locked up.
Everything comes to a head when the fake Prouds meet the real Prouds back on the island. Clone Dr. Carver kicks his world domination plan into overdrive and says, “I will rule the world, after I sing my song.” Trudy’s response is hilarious: “I know this fool ain’t about to sing.” Not only does the doctor sing; his peanut minions have a twerking battle with Penny’s friends. And in the end, it is Penny who attempts to save the day with the real Dr. Carver’s peanut liquification gas. Oscar then tries to save Penny from the villain, but she triumphs and is not persuaded by the evil doctor’s fake promises of freedom. She says she knows her parents aren’t perfect, but they’re her “real family.” I guess sometimes it takes near destruction by a peanut army to realize that? Furthermore, Penny and her dad have a sweet moment where Oscar has saved Penny’s birthday necklace for her. It’s even sweeter when Penny gets to be part of 15 Cent’s big show (Oscar originally didn’t want her to after he caught her kissing the rapper). The Proud Family is the most wild ride you’ll have on a summer DCOM.