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COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG is one of those Cartoon Network shows that I have had particular fondness for- perhaps its premise likens it to my childhood fave, SCOOBY-DOO, but, this show is definitely of a more oddball, humorous nature. Premiering in 1999, COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG ran for four seasons on Cartoon Network, and then turning up as re-runs on and off again. The premise of COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG follows its ironically named title character- a little pink mutt, who is scared of almost everything. Courage was abandoned as a pup and adopted by a kindly old Scottish woman named Muriel Bagge, who lives with her grumpy, money obsessed, old farmer husband Eustace Bagge in a farmhouse in the middle of Nowhere. Unfortunately, for Courage and his "family," the middle of Nowhere just happens to be a magnet for all sorts of supernatural and extraterrestrial phenomenon, not to mention, just the downright weird. For the most part, Muriel and Eustace are either oblivious or just the victims of the impending peril, which leaves their rescue and/or salvation to poor, put-upon and terrified Courage. The vocal talent behind COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG includes Marty Grabstein, Thea White, Lionel G. Wilson, Arthur Anderson, Simon Prebble, Paul Schoeffler, Billie Lou Watt, Peter Fernandez and Arnold Stang.

COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG: SEASON ONE ($25) comes to DVD in a two-disc set that features the thirteen, two cartoon episodes that aired during its freshman year, which consist following adventures: A Night At The Katz Motel / Cajun Granny Stew, The Shadow Of Courage / Dr. Le Quack Amnesia Specialist, Courage Meets Bigfoot / Hothead, The Demon In The Mattress / Freaky Fred, Mother's Day / Night Of The Weremole, The Duck Brothers / Shirley The Medium, King Ramses' Curse / The Clutching Foot, The Hunchback Of Nowhere / The Gods Must Be Goosey, Queen Of The Black Puddle / Everyone Wants To Direct, The Snowman Cometh / The Precious, Wonderful, Adorable, Loveable Duckling, Heads Of Beef / Klub Katz, Revenge Of The Chicken From Outer Space / Journey To The Center Of Nowhere and Little Muriel / The Great Fusilli.

Warner Home Video has made the episodes that comprise COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG: SEASON ONE available on DVD in the full screen format that is representative of their original television production. The image is fairly snappy and crisp, but the video is a bit problematic. There is noticeable dot crawl throughout the brightly colored episodes- this video artifact is especially noticeable larger screen. Because of the dot crawl, I am going to imagine that the DVDs were sourced from some level of analog broadcast master. Blacks are accurate, as are the whites. Contrast is as good as the level of the animation allows. The materials from which the episodes have been mastered don’t demonstrate any other significant flaws. Digital compression artifacts are remain under the radar.

The episodes contained in COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG: SEASON ONE are offered on DVD with Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtracks. These are fairly standard cartoon soundtracks, which get the job done without problems. The sound is crisp, clean and localized to the front. Music and sound effects are solid, but unremarkable. Dialogue is easy to understand. No alternate language tracks have been included on the DVD, although English subtitles have been provided.

Music underscores the basic interactive menus, which allow one access to the standard scene/episode selection and set up features. Unfortunately, The Chicken From Outer Space is nowhere to be seen, as no supplemental content has been provided.

COURAGE THE COWARDLY DOG is slightly twisted and funny show. Technically, season one could have been better- let’s hope season two is mastered from better material. The show itself is recommended. As for the DVD, it may be a rent before you buy situation.


Courage the Cowardly Dog: Season One



DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2010 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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