The Classic Horror And Sci-Fi Films That Inspired Cartoon Network’s Courage The Cowardly Dog – SlashFilm


Of course, “Courage the Cowardly Dog” didn’t stop its horror homages there. This is a show for kids that also included a “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” reference in the form of Muriel’s barber nephew Fred, who constantly rhymes, along with a giant blue-skinned girl named Tulip that looks like something straight out of “Fantastic Planet” (a deeply bizarre animated movie, and one you should watch if you enjoyed “Dune”). And, of course, this is the only Cartoon Network series that dared to make a major “Godzilla” villain a recurring guest star. While “SpongeBob SquarePants” introduced “Nosferatu” to a generation of kids, “Courage” sang both the horrors and praises of Ghidorah the Three-Headed Monster to children everywhere.

If there is a lesson to be learned here, it’s that more cartoons should be weird and take inspiration from esoteric sources, allowing kids to grow up and later realize the genius of their favorite childhood animated series. After all, where else would you get a “God Emperor of Dune” parody (likely the only screen adaptation we’ll ever get) other than the 2000s kids cartoon “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy”? Or how about that time an episode of “Invader Zim” saw the titular alien gruesomely stealing organs from his classmates (teaching kids invaluable lessons about human anatomy and our internal organs in the process)?

Of course, that is not to say that kids’ cartoons aren’t strange anymore — just look at “Adventure Time” or the fantastic “The Hollow.” Still, there is an edge and a sense of visual experimentation that was more prominent in ’90s and early ’00s cartoons that is sadly gone. Thankfully, we’ll always have Courage facing up against a creepy King Ramses.

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