Courage The Cowardly Dog was another amazing cartoon from Cartoon Network's golden age. Making it's way to televisions all across the world on November 12th, 1999 the show pushed the boundaries for what could be done on a kid's show with a Y7 rating. The show is often noted for its surreal, often disquieting humor and bizarre plot twists. The series combines elements of black comedy, comedy horror, science fantasy, surrealism and sometimes drama. Fans from all over enjoyed this fresh new cartoon until it sadly ended production on November 22nd, 2002 with over 52 episodes and very high ratings.
The show stared Courage, an orphan dog who was adopted by a sweet old lady Muriel, along with her sour mean husband Eustace Bagge. Courage thought he had found the perfect life, living on a farm in the middle of Nowhere, surrounded by a loving family (sorta) and peace and quiet.
....That is unless you count all the "weird" things that happen. Not too many weird things though, just mainly little stuff like....
See, this show was built on Nightmare Fuel!
It almost seemed as if each episode was intentionally trying to give kids nightmares or wet the bed when they saw this show. There are over thousands of horrifying, freaky, dreadful things in this show, (most of which I expect you all to name a few) and it really drew in the atmosphere and separated this show from just being "another kid's cartoon".
Just how did the show manage to stay on for so long with all this stuff? Why by adding good old fashioned slapstick comedy. Courage was usually the one to suffer through all this, by being hit on the head, falling into a volcano, stomped on, squished, sprayed, almost everything. It may seem bad, but he always pulls through in the end, with a happy ending for him and Muriel (unfortunately, Eustace seems to have almost as bad luck as Courage in most episodes) Jokes that flew over kid's heads, along with the surreal randomness is what drew some viewer's from the not intended age group (teens, adults, etc)
But, another thing that was great about this show, was the drama. It may have seemed silly back then, but alot of episodes actually managed to pull some heartstrings out there. The show also took on some adult themes like prostitution, drugs, domestic abuse, abandonment issues, disorders, etc. Obviously the show couldn't tackle these head on, so some scenes of comedy is always present. Though they may not always work. Like the episode where Courage tries to save the tree from being cut down, or when Courage helps the mean cat rescue her friend, and escape from the dogs? I know some of you remember Doctor Zalost! But to me, one of the best episodes was where we learn of Courage's past, and what happened to his parents in his sad early life.
You know damn well when you first saw this episode, you felt those tears coming!
Also, this show has some really,really, great music!
There are so many things to love and appreciate about this show. With a lovable cast, and some excellent writing and animation, it truly was a one of a kind show, and will always be missed. What about you though, huh? What are your thoughts on this nightmarish, dramatic, gem?
Edited by Nintendoga, 26 May 2012 - 01:11 AM.