The things he does for love! Welcome to the middle of Nowhere, Kansas. Population: one kind old lady, one crabby old man, one timid dog and all sorts of creepy creatures, scary monsters and crazed villains! It’s a living nightmare for poor Courage, who faces these unthinkable dangers with his body shaking and his tail between his legs. But Courage loves his sweet Muriel and grumpy Eustace, so he digs deep to find the strength to save his beloved family from deadly weremoles, dark shadows and other sinister elements that pop up all over this terrifying town. With clever nods to classic horror films, this action-packed animated series keeps laughs and scares coming as Courage outwits evil with his singular brand of bravery. Get your spook on with the 13 episodes of this 2-Disc Complete Season One Collection!
John R. Dilworth's Courage the Cowardly Dog had an auspicious start as the pick of the litter of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons. The pilot short "The Chicken from Outer Space" (lamentably missing from this set) was nominated for an Academy Award®, and a series was born. Courage is a teeth-chattering pooch who howls pathetically like Harvey Keitel in Bad Lieutenant at any sign of danger. He literally lives in the middle of Nowhere with his adoptive family, the goodhearted Muriel and the cruel Eustace, who delights in tormenting the "stupid dog." Courage recalls those classic Chuck Jones cartoons that paired Porky Pig with scaredy cat Sylvester, who had to overcome his fears to save an oblivious Porky from homicidal mice, alien invaders, and other menaces. Courage's series opener sets the stage for frighteningly funny things to come. In "A Night at the Katz Motel," Courage and company must fight off cannibalistic spiders. In another short, Muriel is the missing ingredient in a fox's "Cajun Granny Stew." Another memorable short is "King Ramses' Curse," in which Eustace refuses to give up a stolen antiquity and brings a series of plagues upon his house. "The Hunchback of Nowhere" is one of the season's sweeter stories in which Courage is befriended by a Quasimodo-like outcast who defends him against Eustace. "Freaky Fred," also a cut above, is about a deranged barber who delights in being "naughteee." Though roughly 72 in dog years, Courage holds up well. Rich bold colors and stylized character design gives the show a distinctive look. Visual humor and slapstick gags abound without any stale pop-culture references that would date the show, making Courage as eerily funny as when it first creeped out kids in 1999. Fetch! --Donald Liebenson