Network: Cartoon Network
Episodes: 52 (half-hour)
TV show dates: November 12, 1999 – November 22, 2002
Series status: Cancelled
Performers include: Marty Grabstein, Thea White, Lionel G. Wilson, Arthur Anderson, Simon Prebble, Paul Schoeffler, Billie Lou Watt, Peter Fernandez, and Arnold Stang.
TV show description:
Created by John R. Dilworth, this animated series began as a 1995 short film which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Both follow the misadventures of Courage (Ricky Gervais in the pilot, later Marty Grabstein), a canine who’s easily frightened by just about anything.
Courage lives in a farmhouse near the fictional town of Nowhere, Kansas. His parents were sent into space by and evil veterinarian. As a puppy, Courage was adopted by a sweet-natured Scottish woman named Muriel (Thea White). She’s married to a grumpy, greedy farmer named Eustace Bagge (Lionel G. Wilson, then Arthur Anderson) who enjoys mistreating and scaring the pooch with a bright green bug-eyed mask.
Out in the middle of nowhere, the three frequently run into all manner of monsters, aliens, demons, mad scientists, and zombies. Courage must fend off these threats to save his owners, often with them unaware of what’s really going on. Most of the creatures are scary or creepy but can also be sweet or in distress themselves.
Episode 52 — Remembrance of Courage Past / Perfect
In “Remembrance of Courage Past,” Courage sees a list of missing dogs and he recalls how his parents were sent into outer space by an evil veterinarian. The Bagges end up taking Courage to the same veterinarian to get him checked out but the vet plans to send Muriel and Eustace to outer space. Determined not to lose his owners like he lost his parents, Courage frees them, traps the vet and launches the rocket. When the veterinarian lands on the same planet as Courage’s parents and a group of other dogs, all of the dogs attack him.
In “Perfect,” Courage can’t seem to do anything right so an elderly teacher decides to train him into becoming a perfect dog.
First aired: November 22, 2002.
Behind the Scenes
In a 2008 interview, Dilworth was asked if there was any hope of Courage returning. He said, “Well, humans have a tremendous capacity to ‘hope.’ I have written so often on this. There is no corporate economic rational to make any new episodes. I’ve read that there have been petitions signed by many many fans that never even got to Cartoon Network. Maybe a campaign of a substantial nature of this kind, that actually got to an exec, would be a provocation. However, the lack of courage by the merchandisers still remains. ‘Pink’ or ‘fuchsia’ dogs will not sell in a boy dominated market place. This is rather complex, but the undercurrent of conservatism in America is strong and easy to intolerance.”