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Category:    Home > Reviews > Animation > Comedy > Children > TV > Courage The Cowardly Dog – Season One (1999/Cartoon Network/Warner Bros. DVD)

Courage The Cowardly Dog – Season One (1999/Cartoon Network/Warner Bros. DVD)


Picture: B     Sound: B     Extras: D     Episodes: B



I was a bit older when Courage the Cowardly Dog premiered in 1999, but I still found myself fascinated by the odd premise and creative stylings the series had to offer.  The show essentially follows Courage (who is owned by Muriel and Eustace) as he gets his owners out of trouble time and time again.  Together in the middle of Nowhere, Kansas Courage, Muriel and Eustace live very unassuming lives; but for whatever reason are constantly plagued by scary monsters and crazed maniacs.  The diabolical plans of those maniacs and monsters keeps Courage on his feet as he desperately attempts to protect his naďve owners.


The series was commissioned by Cartoon Network after creator John R. Dilworth’s original short “The Chicken from Outer Space” was nominated for an academy award.  The series ran for 4 hilariously creative seasons and is known for its many nods to classic television, horror films and pop culture.  The series is crisply animated, yet manages to hold a certain degree of gritty, detailed, depth like The Ren & Stimpy Show and those that it surely later inspired like The Marvelous Misadventures of Flap Jack. The series is tons of fun and I often thought that if done correctly, could have even made a great (dark) live action feature film (imagine something like Dark Crystal with dark comedy infused).  A truly classic animated series.



For a look at a review of Cartoon Networks The Marvelous Misadventures of Flap Jack, please follow the link below:





The technical features on this first season of Courage are much like that of the recently released Jonny Bravo.  The 1.33 X 1 picture is solid as it has vivid and bright colors with a dark, inky blacks that nicely frame the image.  Courage manages to pull it off a very crisp, clear and well rounded picture quality.  There is a degree of digital noise throughout the 13 episodes (really 26 as each episode is composed of 2 parts) that perhaps is from bad source material, but nice nevertheless.  The sound is a bit simpler in its Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo format, but the mainly dialogue driven series comes through clean and clear without any softness or distortion.


Sadly (unlike Johnny Bravo) there are no extra features in this set.  I would have at least liked to have the original Dilworth short that started it all.


I highly recommend this series and hope that more seasons are soon to come!



-   Michael P. Dougherty II


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