Over 20 years ago, the Disney Channel introduced its audience to "The Proud Family," an animated series centered on Penny Proud and her madcap family. After a long hiatus, the series is back with "The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder."

Creator and executive producer Bruce W. Smith thought it would be a good time to make a return of his own — back to high school. Smith talked to LA Times Today about inspiring the next generation.

"I felt like now at this point in my career would be a good time to sort of like revisit places in my life that actually mattered, that actually put me on the path to be where I am right now," Smith said. "This is an age where kids are making real decisions about their future. So, I thought it was important to just kind of like expose and show them someone who's been there, that's walked the same path to school every day, walked through the quad, experienced a lot of things they've experienced. It's important to see I didn't have that as a kid growing up."

When Smith was working on the first iteration of "The Proud Family" two decades ago, the face of the industry was predominantly white. He talked about finding Black talent that could tell the story in the best way possible.

"We brought in a lot of people of color who hadn't really had a chance to work on something so culturally specific as 'The Proud Family,'" Smith explained. "Half of our crew were kids who watched it growing up, and half of the executive staff that we answer to were people who grew up watching the show. So they understood the voice of the show, which was important for us because we wanted to advance what we did the first time around and still make it really relatable to everything that kids do today."

Imposter syndrome is something Smith said he has dealt with. He told the students how to be confident in their work, because animation is only growing in popularity.

"It's something you overcome because you believe in yourself. Like I truly believe that I know what I'm doing for the most part," Smith said. "There's still that heavy demand of projects because animation is probably the most viewed medium worldwide. What's great about the animation business now is that it's really blossoming and growing and being much more inclusive. I think it's just my responsibility to make it feel like it's readily available for anybody, no matter where they go."

"The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder," has been renewed for a second season. You can catch up on the first season on Disney+.

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