Animating Halloween: The Proud Family – A Hero for Halloween Review


Plot: Penny begrudgingly partakes in Halloween as Snack Girl when her parents (taking the roles of Snack Man and Snack Woman) force her into it. She believes Halloween is just for little kids and wants none of it, not even attending Wizard Kelly’s Hallo-Tween Frightacular with special guest Lil Romeo. After consuming one of her father’s putrid Proud Scary Snacks, she gains superpowers. Also, there’s a ghost in Penny’s house.

Breakdown: The last time I tangoed with The Proud Family, I kinda tore into it – justified as though it may be. I did legitimately hope that today I could present a good example of a Proud Family episode to make up for it a little.

Credit where credit is due, this episode is nowhere near as anger inducing as the Kwanzaa special, but it is just all kinds of silly and weird.

Like many episodes, a lot of the characters are just being assholes to each other. Penny’s making fun of her friends and family for partaking in Halloween festivities and acting like she’s better than them because she’s oh-so-mature and refuses to partake at all in such childish frivolity. Her friends make fun of her back. I honestly don’t get why she’s not into the Frightacular, though. She seems to be a fan of Lil Romeo, so why not endure it just to watch him perform live?

Oscar forces her to dress up as Snack Girl and give out his gross Proud Scary Snacks at the door or else she’ll be grounded until the end of the year. Oscar’s also very unpleasant to everyone else, even slamming the door on the face of the guy who was trying to warn him of the ghost, but what else is new?

Addressing the story, yeah, Penny becomes a superhero by eating her father’s gross snacks, after getting hit by lightning because of course…She also loses her powers after a bunch of the snacks get caught up in an exploding ghost.

I kinda don’t feel like giving you the context for any of this stuff, because I don’t think it’d help.

The other kids are enjoying the Frightacular, and for all you Lil Romeo fans out there, he does voice himself here, and he does perform. The song’s pretty good, but it’s a very weird and out of place moment in a Halloween special.

Penny comes to the Frightacular after saving all of the goodie bags from the Gross sisters, and she gets greedy asking for rewards for the deed. She’s invited to perform with Lil Romeo, but we never hear them both (or her at all) singing.

Back with her family, her father is warned by a previous homeowner that their house is haunted by a man named Garret Krebbs, which is why he sold the house to Oscar for a mere $500. And wouldn’t ya know it, even though they’ve lived in the house for over ten years, tonight’s the night Krebbs decides to attack.

Penny saves the day and destroys the ghost, but since she loses her powers as a result of the battle no one believe it was her. However, she’s gained a better appreciation for Halloween as a result.

Also, throughout this entire ordeal, they are very clearly playing a knockoff of the Halloween theme, even though absolutely nothing in this episode has a single thing to do with Halloween, the movie, besides taking place on Halloween….

The next day, everyone talks about the hero who saved Halloween, but Penny keeps her secret. They see something flying in the air, believing it’s the mysterious hero….and it’s Suga Mama’s dog, Puff, who has now become a superhero after eating some of the snacks.

The, uh….end I guess.

I gotta be honest, I completely forgot this Halloween special even existed. I was browsing lists of animated Halloween specials and this one came up as one of the best ones from Disney Channel, and I went from “The Proud Family had a Halloween special?” to “OH YEAH! It did….I completely forget what it was about…” to finally, after looking it up “OH YEAH…I kinda remember that……a little!” And bear in mind, I did watch The Proud Family fairly often when it was airing.

……I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. I don’t really get good Halloween vibes from this special. I don’t get much of anything besides confusion. It’s like a word salad, but with random plot elements.

Have a performance by Lil Romeo. Have Penny gain superpowers. Have her father’s snacks be the conduit for said superpowers, somehow and someway. Have a random as hell meteor nearly hit a small child. Have a ghost wait ten years before attacking the family of the house he’s haunting. Why was he even dicking around pretending to be a magician at the party for several hours before attacking?

I guess the lesson was that Halloween…..Uh…Halloween’s not just for kids….because you can get superpowers? No, that can’t be it. Don’t buy houses for $500 because there has to be a hitch? Maybe….Is there even a lesson in this episode?

By the way, all of this DID actually happen. They didn’t balk and say it was a dream or something. It all legitimately happened. The world of The Proud Family is very, very odd sometimes….and I still haven’t reviewed the movie yet…..

This episode really highlighted how god-awful the animation was in this series. I look back to the Kwanzaa special and realize that they must have bumped up the budget a smidge on that episode because I didn’t have much to complain about there, but here? It actually makes me sad. It’s so cheap, the lip syncing is terrible and there are numerous very obvious loop animations. I remembered the animation quality being bad, but this was near laughable levels. Disney, why was your budgeting for the animated Disney Channel shows so inconsistent?

I guess, at the end of the day, this is a perfectly harmless Halloween special. It’s nothing good or bad, it’s just really, really goofy and nonsensical and doesn’t capture the Halloween mood that much. It didn’t make me angry, it didn’t make me happy, it just kinda baffled me.

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