• Courage the Cowardly Dog - Season One



    Released by: Warner Brothers
    Released on: 7/20/2010
    Director: Various
    Cast: N/A
    Year: Various
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    The Series

    It’s about time Cartoon Network paid homage to the shows that made it what it is, first with Johnny Bravo – Season One, and now, with the second and newest CN Hall of Fame release, Courage the Cowardly Dog – Season One. Courage the Cowardly Dog, which ran from 1999-2002, and still currently pops up in reruns, follows the lives of Eustace Bagge, a cranky farmer who never seems to… farm, Muriel, his sweeter than anything wife, and, of course, Courage, their terrified, paranoid canine who is the only one who sees all the supernatural happenings going on around their deserted Kansas farm, that is otherworldly in and of itself. Eustace hates Courage and delights in scaring the poor pooch, who Muriel dotes on, and often refers to him as “Stupid dog!” even though Eustace and Muriel are usually oblivious to the monsters, aliens and trouble around them until the very last moment. Courage, needless to say, has to save the family in each episode.

    Episodes on the two discs include:
    A Night at the Katz Motel/Cajun Granny Stew
    The Shadow of Courage/Dr. Le Quack
    Courage Meets Bigfoot/Hothead
    The Demon in the Mattress/Freaky Fred
    Night of the Weremole/Mother’s Day
    The Duck Brothers/Shirley the Medium
    King Ramses’ Curse/The Clutching Foot
    The Hunchback of Nowhere/The Gods Must Be Goosey
    Queen of the Black Puddle/Everyone Wants to Direct
    The Snowman Cometh/The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Lovable Duckling
    Heads of Beef/Klub Katz
    The Revenge of the Chicken From Outer Space/Journey to the Center of Nowhere
    Little Muriel/The Great Fusilli

    From the titles alone, you can see where a lot of the inspiration for the show came from. In Heads of Beef, Courage and Eustace are patrons of a local diner where the burgers have faces and the pig chef and his wife are always looking for new meat… total Motel Hell vibe minus the motel. In The Demon in the Mattress, after purchasing a new bed, Muriel is possessed by a demon highly influenced by The Exorcist. The Great Fusilli has Phantom of the Opera elements and The Hunchback of Nowhere (the name of their Kansas town) is obviously a take on The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Episodes like The Duck Brothers and The Revenge of the Chicken From Outer Space are right up an alien enthusiast’s alley.

    With the incredibly inventive villains throughout the series, the Courage-to-the-rescue formula never gets old. From cannibalistic pigs to eggplants aimed at world domination to super genius snowmen to alien chickens to evil cats, ducks, gerbils and whatever else you can think of, the writers of this show kept the ideas coming, the more bizarre the better! With a subtle mix of computer animation thrown into the background of the main animation in regards to textures and effects, this show really possesses a unique look, even more than ten years later. It’s not a bright, happy show as episodes are often occurring at night or are portraying disaster and doom but the colors look brilliant all the same. The animators use a lot of dark colors… purples and greens in the show. It seems the sky outside their farmhouse is never a cheerful blue and it really adds to the shows distinct style and weirdness.

    Audio/Video/Extras:

    The English-only Stereo track is fine on this two disc set… no noticeable flaws. English subtitles are also included.

    The full frame transfer on this set is good as far as color quality and line clarity. The only problem I noticed throughout both discs is there is a lot of background shimmer in certain spots. It can be quite distracting at times as it almost feels like certain parts of the animation are vibrating, often bits with close together lines such as screens, wood grain and carpet patterns. It is also evident during the intro in regards to the credits.

    No extras.

    The Final Word:

    Overall, Courage the Cowardly Dog will appeal to anyone that appreciates original animation, horror/sci-fi or simply humor. It’s weird, but not scary with a “Y7” television rating, meaning it can be enjoyed by both adults and children. I am curious to see if Cartoon Network puts out the later seasons of either Courage the Cowardly Dog or Johnny Bravo and would gladly pick up both. Its next Hall of Fame release is season one of Dexter’s Laboratory, another popular series, that was one of the channel’s signature shows, so we’ll see where it goes from there. You’ll love this release of Courage the Cowardly Dog or my name is Archibald. And it’s not.