Courage the Cowardly Dog (2003)

Now showing on the Cartoon Network.

Review by Alex Mestas 3/04/2003
More info: Cartoon Network

Daily Thoughts. Mischief, Mayhem, Movies.
(The original

Courage Pic
Bad Dog.

So why is Courage such a cowardly dog? You would be too if you had to deal with these evil nemeses: a man-eating, decaying starfish; a goosy god; and a flan-mad spokesperson that rolls into a little ball, forcing you to eat flan.

Pink furred Courage doesn't really talk so much as babble. He's afraid of everything, yet still manages to defeat some supernatural force on a daily basis. And I almost forgot: he can lay a 14-karat gold egg on command. The core of the family is
comprised of the Irish-lilted Muriel, who found Courage, and her cantankerous old bastard of a husband Eustace. Eustace thinks Courage is a "stupid dog" and dislikes him immensely. I believe the feeling is likewise. Even Muriel doesn't like him that much - every episode has her chastise Eustace for his stubborn, stupid ways.

The ten minute cartoons are so wonderfully tangential, that you never know what to expect. At any point, Courage could start clucking like a chicken, just because he decides it's a good idea. The plots are always filled with elements of surprise and absurdity as well. For example, one episode featured a Cajun speaking snake who had enslaved an army of slugs to stuff his shed skin with leaves and erect them as statues. Of course, the slugs communicated their SOS signal through magical cold germs that displayed a holographic message. I'm not kidding.

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They live in the middle of Nowhere. This is Nowhere.

The backgrounds are rich and imaginative - they composite a lot of the show over real photos and occasionally integrate CGI into the cartoon. The look is weird and ethereal, just like the show itself.

I can't really say that Courage the Cowardly Dog is a cartoon for kids, although with all the madcap adventures, they're bound to enjoy it. It's so tangential and uniquely styled, that you can really imagine a roomful of drunken (or otherwise inebriated) individuals coming up with the plots and characters. Where else would you see a cartoon with an evil duck who has a plan to steal all of Sweden's money from their giant piggy bank?

Seek out Courage and watch with abandon - if only to see what cracked-up plots they have in the works.

TV Grade: A-

Copyright 2003 Lights Out Films©