Klub Katz

Courage the Cowardly Dog

Courage the Cowardly Dog is an Academy Award-nominated American animated television series, created by John R. Dilworth, who directed each episode, about a dog named Courage and his owners Muriel Bagge, a kindly old Scottish woman, and Eustace Bagge, a grumpy old farmer, living together in a farmhouse in the middle of the fictional town of Nowhere, Kansas (often described as middle of nowhere).

Overview

Courage the Cowardly Dog revolves around the exploits of Courage, a small, fuchsia dog who, despite his name, is afraid of the most mundane things. His fears are normally justified, however, as Eustace, Muriel, and Courage are constantly attacked by (or running into) various monsters, aliens, villains, curses, experiments, natural disasters, and other forms of peril that Courage must face.

Every opening of the show documents Courage's past: "Abandoned as a pup, he was found by Muriel, who lives in the middle of Nowhere with her husband Eustace Bagge. But creepy stuff happens in Nowhere; it's up to Courage to save his new home."

In the series, when Courage wants to save his family from the villain, instead of typical feats of strength, the two engage in a game, normally something juvenile such as dodgeball or a staring contest, in which Courage usually, if not always, loses. The villain is then usually defeated in a variety of many other ways: Courage tricks the villain, he flees from them, makes amends with the villain, somehow convinces the villain to change, Muriel saves the day, or in some cases, the villain simply voluntarily moves on in favor of plotting another diabolical scheme. Almost every single event that happens to him causes him to scream manically and usually shape-shift into some random object that portrays fear, sorrow, confusion, or some other random emotion. However, he overcomes his fear to save Muriel.

A typical feature of the show is the spoofing or reference of various classic horror and cult films as the basis for many episodes. This is seen in episodes such as "The Demon in the Mattress", "The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Loveable Duckling", "Heads of Beef", "Klub Katz", "Night of the Weremole", "Journey to the Center of Nowhere", "The Great Fusilli", "Robot Randy", "1000 Years of Courage", "Invisible Muriel", "Human Habitrail", "A Night at the Katz Motel", "Courage the Fly", "Mega Muriel the Magnificent", "The Transplant", "McPhearson Phantom", "The House of Discontent", "Courage vs. Mecha-Courage" and "Hard Drive Courage".

In numerous episodes, especially the Pilot, Eustace would get hurt in some (usually dark) way by the end of the episode, only to come back alive and unscathed by the next episode. In the Pilot, Eustace ate an alien chicken egg and turned into an alien chicken to be shot by a ray gun. In another episode, Courage in the Big Stinking City, Eustace was eaten (spare for bones) by Schwick's mysterious beast.

Production

Pre-Production

There is an obscure Dilworth animated short, Smart Talk with Raisin - Pulling a Malade out of a Hat, that appeared on MTV's Liquid Television in Season 3, episode 1. It features a proto-Courage character named Hamilton as well as what can be considered a proto-Muriel, the titular Raisin, and a proto-Eustace, named Malcolm (who in this case is Raisin's misanthropic brother). This may have influenced the development of Courage the Cowardly Dog.

Pilot

Originally, Courage started out as a one-episode cartoon, entitled "The Chicken from Outer Space", which was featured in the Cartoon Network, What a Cartoon! Show. In the original cartoon, there was no dialogue, except for a line spoken by Courage, who was voiced by a different, authoritative voice in this short. An alien chicken was the villain in this short, and it would come back for its revenge in the series. "The Chicken from Outer Space" was nominated for an Emmy.

Series

In 1999, Cartoon Network gave Dilworth the okay to turn the short into a series. It was originally supposed to be created at Hanna-Barbera Studios, but Dilworth wanted it at his Stretch Films Studios. The show had ran successfully until its cancellation in 2002. It had 4 seasons, with 13 episodes in each. The show stopped airing on November 22, 2002; however, the following year in 2003, when it was said a fifth season for the show was up for consideration, a large number of fans compiled an online petition, aimed directly at Cartoon Network for said possible fifth season, however, the petition was never sent in to the network, and the network decided not to renew the four-year contract for the series, thus marking the end of the cowardly dog. Also, the production team behind Courage had decided after an exhausting year where two full seasons were produced with no break, that they had finished with Courage for a while. They decided to concentrate their efforts on creating a new cartoon series for Cartoon Network which never went beyond pre-production. That same year, however, there had been talks about two new Courage projects: one of which was a CD soundtrack, produced by the series' composer Jody Gray, consisting of the popular songs, and music scores from the series. The second new Courage project that had been proposed was a possible feature-length movie (whether it would have been a made-for-TV movie, or a theatrical movie hadn't been discussed); though, neither of the two projects saw the light of day.

Current status

On August 26, 2007 and again on October 7, 2007, a Courage marathon occurred in the US that consisted of 14 half hour segments running from 12PM-7PM, under the title of "Courage Monstervision Marathon". The most recent marathon was on April 27, 2008, starting at 10:00 AM and ending at 6:00 PM. Currently -- in the United States -- the show has been airing in rerun fashion at random times on Cartoon Network, but most often airs every weekday at 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm.

In the United Kingdom, however, the show continues to air in a re-run fashion; the exception being that it's usually on a fixed time at night on 11:00 pm to 12:55 am GMT. Episodes are run contiguously without adverts, not even for half-hour breaks; this is the only show on the UK version of this network aired in such a manner.

Characters

Episodes

DVD

Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season One, a two-disc DVD set featuring all 14 episodes from the show's first season, was released in Australia (Region 4) on September 12, 2007, by Madman Entertainment.

External links

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