Childhood channel surfing could never be beaten by a show that was quite so soaked in colour, yet utterly terrifying. John Dilworth’s Courage the Cowardly Dog was undoubtedly a pastel-colour-packed show that unlocked fears you never even knew you had, yet equally met its audience with a comedic nature. Courage the Dog lives up to his namesake through a series of absurd occurrences taking place on Nowhere farm, leaving the small scared purple dog (who is in serious need of dentistry care) to protect his owners: marginally-confused Muriel and ethically-questionable Eustace. The show provides a variety of creatures Courage has to combat. However, none trump the elegant recurring villain, Katz, whose perfectly angular face and runway-model-ready legs never failed to impress.
Not only did watching continuous episodes provoke a Pavlovian fear experience, it reminded it’s audience that our greatest fear isn’t the villain but the idea of losing our closest loved ones. It also remarks on the fact that sometimes those who are the most unlike us deserve the most love and understanding, and they’re really not that different or evil on the inside. In hindsight, the 90s/early 2000s classic was an exploration of artistic comedic nightmares, with every resolution reminding us that courage is really all it takes. This is the perfect comfort binge for anyone who wants a light-hearted, but eerie show. There’s nothing more illuminating than a cartoon that reflects society and manages to traumatise it at the same time.
“Our greatest fear isn’t the villain but the idea of losing our closest loved ones.”