Why millennials and Baby Boomers are so obsessed with Courage the Cowardly Dog?
If you were born in the 60s (Baby boomers) or the 80s (millennials) like me, you are among the lucky few who witnessed the screening of Courage the Cowardly Dog (1999 – 2002). I have nostalgic memories of watching this show with my dad on our Sony Trinitron TV!
In my new daily routine, flipping the internet pages (thanks to COVID-19), I bumped into an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog! Oh…my…God! This is one animation character that will last forever. It has just cracked my ribs again and again! I had to buy the entire Series.
My daughter, who just turned seven last month, told me, “Daddy, this dog is so funny but scary too!” Guess what, she is now watching bingeing on it. She is now at Season 4 Episode 13 (embedded below)!
This got me thinking, how did John R. Dilworth (the creator) manage to make a cartoon that has stood the taste of time and appeals to all generations equally?
Is Courage The Cowardly Dog a terrifying Cartoon show?
Well, the entire show is about a dog named Courage. Courage is usually overly frightened and lives in a farmhouse with Muriel and Eustance at a town of Nowhere In Kansas. He was abandoned as a puppy. Muriel Bagge adopted him. Muriel is a Scottish woman who lives with her grumpy husband, Eustance. They usually run into monsters, demons, zombies, aliens, and other weird creatures that Courage is supposed to fend off to save Muriel and the husband.
These scary and creepy creatures are what make the show look terrifying. But when the invaders are in distress, the show becomes sweet, as Courage manages to fend them off.
The show is one of a kind since it manages to cross the spooky and traumatizing line that many cartoon creators never dare to cross for fear of creating a show that will scare off the kids instead.
I find it very creative how the creator manages to use horror to give children chills. It spews terror, which defied all the expectations of cartoons and children shows back then. From Dilworth’s perspective, he considered fear as an experience that children and adults alike should learn to handle, and for this reason, the show had an equal amount of fun and horror.
There were some lines of thought that indicated that the show could have an impact on children who are yet to develop the necessary skills to distinguish between make-believe and reality. The show Courage the Cowardly Dog, was known for its dark tones and scary images and a disturbing horror-like storyline. Save for some goofy episodes!
Here is a thorough review of the final episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog:
“The Mask” is my all-time favorite episode. Yes, I understood the storyline differently when I was young. Now I view it in a different light, am even amazed that they managed to air the episode. It has some strong pimping and abuse that I thought wouldn’t have made it to the big screen.
Courage the Cowardly Dog remains a magical show for the young minds and adults alike. I must admit it created a sense of wonderment in me and made me think creatively and widely. I became courageous just by watching how Courage dealt with the bad guys!
I don’t believe in sheltering my baby girl from such a theme because it’s the only way they will learn how to concur their fear. That way, if they meet an alien in their dream, they will not consider it a nightmare, but another bad guy to be slain…the ‘Courage’ way!
Stay away from the last episode though; it has a crazy jump scare!