Courage the Cowardly Dog is an American animated television series created by John R. Dilworth for Cartoon Network. Its central plot revolves around a somewhat anthropomorphic dog named Courage who lives with his owners, Muriel and Eustace Bagge, an elderly, married farming couple in the "Middle of Nowhere" (the fictional town of Nowhere, Kansas). Courage and his owners are frequently thrown into bizarre misadventures, often involving the paranormal/supernatural and various villains. The show is known for its surreal, often disquieting humor and bizarre plot twists. The series combines elements of comedy horror, science fantasy, and drama.

The program originated from a short on Cartoon Network's animation showcase series created by Hanna-Barbera president Fred Seibert, "What A Cartoon!" titled "The Chicken from Outer Space".[1]

On April 20, 2012, this series returned to Cartoon Network in re-runs on the revived block, "Cartoon Planet".


Courage the Cowardly Dog follows a dog named Courage, an easily frightened canine who lives in a farmhouse with Muriel and Eustace Bagge near the fictional town of Nowhere, Kansas. Abandoned as a puppy, Courage was adopted by Muriel Bagge (a sweet-natured Scottish woman), and her husband Eustace (a grumpy, greedy farmer who enjoys scaring Courage with a large, bright green, bug-eyed mask). Courage, Eustace, and Muriel frequently run into monsters, aliens, demons,{cat) mad scientists, zombies, and other perils that Courage must fend off to save his owners. Although most of the creatures that the three face are frightening or disturbing, some turn out to be sweet or simply in distress.


Originally, Courage the Cowardly Dog was created as a seven-minute animated short, "The Chicken from Outer Space".[3] Dilworth started the animated short with Hanna-Barbera, sponsored by Cartoon Network and introduced Courage.[3] Teletoon Dilworth graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York in 1985. He became an art director and founded his own animation studio, Stretch Films in 1991, and incorporated in 1994.[3] The animated short was shown as one of the episodes of Cartoon Network's World Premiere Toons in 1996, a Hanna-Barbera Cartoons innovation by then-president Fred Seibert.[4] The short served as a de facto pilot for the future series.[4] The original animated short had no dialogue except for one line spoken by Courage, who had a more authoritative voice than in the series. It was uttered by voice actor Howard Hoffman who also provided all the other vocal sounds and effects for the short.[3] An alien chicken was the villain in this short, and it would later reappear in the series to seek its revenge.[5] The short was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film at the 68th Academy Awards.[6]

Original music featured in Courage the Cowardly Dog was composed by Jody Gray[7] and Andy Ezrin.[8][9] Classical music can be heard at times, which pays homage to classic Warner Bros. animation and the scores of Carl Stalling.[10] In several episodes, Gray arranged various famous classical pieces and wrote up to 15 songs, such as Wagner's "Ride of the Valkyries".[9]

In 1999, Cartoon Network gave Dilworth permission to turn the short into an animated series. Hanna-Barbera was responsible for the What a Cartoon anthology and intended on developing the series. However, Dilworth insisted on taking the production to his Stretch Films Studios. The stories' plots were written by the show's head writer, David Steven Cohen, in addition to Irv Bauer, Craig Shemin, Lory Lazarus, Bill Marsilii, Allan Neuwirth, Bill Aronson and Michelle Dilworth. Courage the Cowardly Dog premiered on November 12, 1999, and became the highest-rated premiere in Cartoon Network history at the time.[11] It last aired on November 22, 2002 with 52 episodes produced in four seasons.

Broadcast history

On August 26, 2007, Cartoon Network aired the "Monstervision Marathon" in the US that consisted of 14 half-hour segments of the show, running from 12pm-7pm. The marathon aired again on October 7, 2007 and again on August 13, 2009. After these events, the show was moved to weekend airings, until July 5, 2010 through June 10, 2011, when the show aired on weekdays only. It got replaced on June 13, 2011 for the 2 newest shows Sidekick and Almost Naked Animals. However the series got taken off of the summer In Spain, the show is broadcast everyday on Boing. There's a recent announcement that the series will return on September 3, 2012 to Boomerang.

In the Netherlands and Denmark, the show still airs on Cartoon Network. In the Danish version, the series and the protagonist is called Frygtløs (literally: Fearless).

In Australia, reruns air on Cartoon Network in multiple time slots throughout the week.

In India, Srilanka and Nepal reruns air on Cartoon Network at 12:30 A.M. (Season 1-2) and 3:00 A.M. (Season 4).

In Pakistan and Bangladesh, reruns continue to air on Cartoon Network, and is also aired on Wikkid Plus (Pakistan Only).

In the United Kingdom, the show premiered on Cartoon Network in January 2000 and all seasons of the show were broadcast until 2003. During the mid-to-late 2000's, they continued to air the show in reruns as part of a 2 hour block featuring various other Cartoon Cartoon shows alongside it, which aired each evening from 11pm-1am. Episodes were aired without commercials, not even for half-hour breaks. This was the only show on the UK version of this network aired in such a manner, until the Cartoon Cartoon block was dramatically changed at the beginning of 2010 with more recent shows like Chowder and Ben 10. The show now gets rerun at 9pm every night, alongside Cow & Chicken, Samurai Jack and Johnny Bravo.

In Bulgaria, the show was mostly broadcast on the Pan-European Cartoon Network in the English language from 2004 to 2009, meanwhile during that time it became one of the most popular and well liked by the audience cartoon in the country, it was also broadcast regularly аt peak hours. From September, 2009, when the Pan-European Cartoon Network was replaced by a sepаrate Bulgarian Cartoon Network, the show started broadcasting in the Bulgarian language and was called Kurazh, strahlivoto kuche (Bulgarian: Кураж, страхливото куче), but was stopped in the next year. After 6 years on Cartoon Network, currently it is not broadcasting neither on Cartoon Network or other program. Besides on Cartoon Network, the show was broadcast in two brief periods on Diema Family (March - May 2009; October 2010 - January 2011) at hours in which television is very rarely watched - starting in 07:05, 8:15, 8:20 and 8:40 AM.

In Italy, Leone il Cane Fifone was broadcasted on August 7, 20ly Dog has been back on Cartoon Network Italy, from Monday to Friday at 7am, at 2:30pm and 5pm. After being removed from Boomerang, it began its broadcast on the free channel Boing on March 30, 2009.

In Brazil, the show is broadcast by Tooncast throughout the week at 11:30am/pm and is also broadcast on Cartoon Network


As depicted in every opening sequence of every episode, a TV anchorman announces, "We interrupt this program to bring you... Courage the Cowardly Dog show, starring Courage, the cowardly dog! Abandoned as a pup, he was found by Muriel, and 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!"[12] So by this we know the main characters, Courage Bagge, Muriel Bagge and Eustace Bagge. Many more characters appear in every show, like the Tv Anchor, police man, hunter man etc.


Courage the Cowardly Dog received generally positive reviews from the television critics. John G. Nettles of PopMatters reviewed the show and called it, "a fascinating and textured mixture of cartoon and horror-movie conventions, and a joy to watch."[20]

Alex Mastas of Lights Out Films reviewed the show gave it a grade "A-" and described it, "The backgrounds are rich and imaginative—they composite lot of the show over real photos and occasionally integrate CGI into cartoon. The look is weird and ethereal, just like the show itself."[21]

KJ Dell Antonia of Common Sense Media posted a review and gave three stars out of five and describes as "Cult fave 'toon plays over-the-top violence for laughs."[22] Antonia warned parents that the series contains graphic animated violence, including exploding organs, growing extra limbs, turning inside out.[22] Antonia said shows aimed at younger audiences "usually don't go for thrills and chills, so it's good to see a genuinely surreal and slanted series develop a decent following."[23] Miller felt that Warner Bros. had the DVD treatment that doesn't offer much support and stated that the technical reasons is only passable that have lack of bonus features certainly doesn't help matters, and overall, fans of the series should be glad to have the first season on DVD and a relatively ticket of low price that ease the pain.[23]

Jeff Swindoll of Monsters and Critics reviewed the first season DVD and felt a bit disappointed about the DVD having not included the short in disc-set.[24] Swindoll felt that the lack of special features still should not deter fans from buying the season since the other episodes have appeared on other releases of the series.

Awards and nominations

Award Category Nominee Result
1995 Academy Awards Best Animated Short Film John R. Dilworth

For short film "The Chicken From Outer Space"

2000 Annie Awards Outstanding Individual Achievement for Production Design in an Animated Television Production[25][26] John R. Dilworth

For episode "A Night at the Katz Motel"

2000 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series — Sound[26] For episode "The Duck Brothers" Nominated
2001 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series — Sound[26] For episode "Courage In The Big Stinkin' City" Won
2003 Golden Reel Awards Best Sound Editing — Television Animated Series — Sound[26] For episode "The Tower of Dr. Zalost" Nominated


Courage the Cowardly Dog Intro

Courage the Cowardly Dog Intro

Shows Intro

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