Monday, November 17, 2014

Why Courage the Cowardly dog show is a sad show

Courage the cowardly dog is my favorite cartoon show and courage is my favorite cartoon character of all the time.  It was written, produced, and created by American animator John R. Dilworth.  The show is about a dog named Courage and his owners, Muriel and Eustace, facing rather strange and supernatural creatures in their home in The Middle of Nowhere (fictional Nowhere, KS). Courage the Cowardly Dog is very much known for its surrealism and sense of horror more than its humor. The show was canceled on November 22, 2002. Despite the show's reputation of it being comedy/horror, I can remember sad episodes and moments:

  • Observe the relationship between Eustace and his mother, both of them cruel, cold people. Eustace is the way he is due to his mother, and, if one episode in particular is anything to go by, his mother was made this way by a loved one too. Two of the biggest rude and impolite people in the show are the result of a cycle of abuse.

  • Remembrance of Courage Past episode: which shows how Courage met Muriel. Especially with the revelation that his parents were put on a rocket and shot into space by a sadistic vet, with Courage outside the rocket trying to stop it. He escapes the vet by going down a trash chute and you see him land in a dumpster, and he waves to the rocket flying away. Muriel finds courage with panties crying near the garbage and she adopts him

  • The Curse of Shirley, where a hallucinating Eustace takes pity on a young version of himself. Eustace, by all means the biggest selfish jerk ever portrayed on any Cartoon Network show. Eustace: "No hat? That's not right, little boy without a... a little boy should have a hat." It's even more sad if you consider that Eustace was seeing this through a mirror that was meant to show one's true self. It was broken beforehand, but it may have been shown that Eustace is, deep down inside, a sad man who lashes out at everyone due to a painful childhood.

  • The Queen Of the Black Puddle, a ghastly woman charms Eustace and takes him to her world, and no surprisingly, Courage doesn't give a damn, and he has all the right not to. But he then sees how Muriel is devastated by having her husband taken from her, crying her heart out, and Courage realizes he'd rather put up with Eustace's crap for the rest of his life than to see his benevolent owner suffer. The episode makes it very clear (or sad) to see that Courage saves Eustace, even though he doesn't deserve it, because his love for Muriel spoke louder than his dislike of Eustace.

  • The Hunchback of Nowhere: A lonely and deformed hunchback goes from door to door just seeking shelter only to be called ugly or a freak by everyone, including Eustace, and having them slam the door in his face. He and Courage build a friendship that's both heartwarming and as Courage shows the poor soul kindness for once in his life. And the climax only adds to this: as Courage and the Hunchback put on a show for Muriel, Eustace tries to ruin it. The Hunchback's response? He puts on a Eustace mask and forces him to see himself for who he is, which is only more heartrending when you realize that it's not just Eustace: it's for all the people who have said he's just a freak.

  • Now the saddest episode of courage the cowardly dog is this one, without doubt it is the most thematic, dark, and realistic episode of the show: The Mask.  The episode is a perfect example of how this show is not just for kids, it portrays several serious themes, such as feminismdomestic abuseprostitution, and homosexuality.  A mysterious cat named Kitty, dressed in a strange white mask, finds Courage's place, sits on dinner,  explaining that her friend Bunny is being abused by a gangster dog named Mad Dog, and that she hates dog.  Kitty tried to get Bunny to run away with her but Mad Dog finds out and tries to kill KittyKitty takes out her rage on Courage (Who is also a dog). Courage ends up rescuing Bunny from Mad Dog and reuniting her with an unmasked KittyKitty’s last line is: “I was wrong, Bunny. Not all dogs are bad. Now we can be best friends forever.” Kitty's hatred for dogs and Bunny's abuse are strong elements, and the most grim the series has seen. Replace the word “Dog” with “Man” and re-read the above, you will see the main message is clear. This episode is about more than the implied lesbian relationship between Kitty and Bunny. It’s about hiding from reality, about domestic violence, it’s about acceptance, and it’s about hate crimes.  

  • Now, the most creepy character in the show is indeed is Fred, featured in one episode which portrays two dark themes, rape and pedophilia.  Fred is Muriel’s nephew and a barber (a crazy one at that as it says on his wristband). He has an unusual obsession with shaving hair, which might be an indicator of a rapist. What makes him a pedophile is that he does forcefully shaves Courage in the bathroom where you hear a background music which turns into children singing in a creepy fashion. Second, he speaks in rhymes and mostly ends his thoughts with the word “naughty.”  He even has a poem, which got pulled off from courage wikia, because it sounded a lot naughty. This show is just not for kids.

I will forever love Courage. It is still one of the most well-made cartoons I've ever seen all my life, and definitely deserving of multiple awards; truly, it's a masterpiece. This topic was originally opened here.


  1. I can't agree with you more. The cartoon definitely perhaps has facets much deeper than what one might normally imply. Also it shows us the kind of evil that people often find in society surrounding them(e.g. Katz)..

  2. this is my favorite carton when i child i daily watched this cartoons on this site ( THE CAT CONCERTO TOM AND JERRY )