Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie is a 2017 American 2D-animated comedy horror film based on the Cartoon Network animated television series of the same name. The film was directed and executive produced by series creator John Dilworth and written by David Steven Cohen and William Hohauser. The film takes place after the show's series finale and it is produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios and Access Entertainment as its first animated film. The film was released theatrically in movie theaters on October 27, 2017 in the United States and Canada, by Warner Bros. Pictures. This makes it the first and only theatrical Courage the Cowardly Dog film to hit the big screen. Most of this was featured by the series, like the 2000 episode, 1000 Years of Courage. In theaters, a Camp Lazlo short entitled The Mystery of Lazlo was shown prior to the film.
The film stars the voices of Marty Grabstein, Thea White, Paul Schoeffler, Mary Testa, Jim Cummings and John Dilworth reprising their roles from the series, as well as Wallace Shawn reprising his role from the 2014 short film The Fog of Courage, while newcomers Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Steve Buscemi, Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman join the cast.
The film received positive reviews from critics and was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $235 million worldwide against a $68 million budget, making it the next Cartoon Network animated film to gross as high as $100 million in the United States, and also making it the fifth highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film of 2017 and the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series.
Courage (voiced by Marty Grabstein) was abandoned as a pup and was found by Muriel Bagge (voiced by Thea White) to take him home of Nowhere. But, all evil is creeping in their house. Courage and his owners must the face the wicked and evil Ma Bagge who now wants revenge on Courage for ruining her plan of trying to destroy the Coralite civilization in the 2002 episode, Scuba-Scuba Doo. Courage will have friends to help him.
- Courage (voiced by Marty Grabstein) the protagonist.
- Muriel Bagge (voiced by Thea White)
- Eustace Bagge (voiced by Wallace Shawn)
- Ma Bagge (voiced by Helen Mirren) the main antagonist of the film.
- Le Quack (voiced by Paul Schoeffler) Katz's sidekick.
- Katz (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch) the owner of the Katz Motel.
- Shirley (voiced by Mary Testa) Courage's love interest.
- Jean Bon (voiced by Jim Cummings) manager of the Cheap Burgers place.
- Charlie the Mouse (voiced by Steve Buscemi) one of Courage's friends.
- Benton Tarantella (voiced by Andy Serkis) a zombie movie director.
- The Weremole (voiced by John Dilworth) who is Ma Bagge's pet and the secondary antagonist.
- Errol Van Volkheim (voiced by Gary Oldman)
Animation and Real Life
Despite being based on a Cartoon Network cartoon, the film was jointly produced by Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios, Access Entertainment, and Stretch Films. Story development took place at Warner Bros. Animation in Burbank and Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank also, with pre-production done at WBA and production (including the animation layouts and character posing) done at CNS. Warner Bros. Animation, Cartoon Network Studios, Access Entertainment, and Stretch Films worked together on animation with additional scenes animated by Access Entertainment in Los Angeles and clean-up work done at the main Burbank studio. Additional clean-up/animation was done by Milimetros Dibujos Animados (Spain), Munich Animation (Germany), Neomis Animation (France), Boulder Media (Ireland), HGN Produções (Brazil), A.Film (Denmark), Rough Draft Studios (South Korea), Toon City Animation (Philippines), Sparky Animation Studio (Singapore), and Wang Film Productions (Taiwan). Digital ink and paint was done by Atomic Cartoons (Canada). Industrial Light & Magic assisted on the computer animation sequences and the stereoscopic 3D conversion.
Sound and music
Hans Zimmer composed the soundtrack for the film with John Debney and Danny Elfman serving as the soundtrack producers. In addition to using the original series' music work from Andy Ezrin and Jody Gray on the film, he also composed themes for Courage, Muriel and Eustace. Courage's adventure score was the major focus and he also composed themes for Ma Bagge, Le Quack, Katz, Shirley, and the others. The music score was recorded and mixed at Abbey Road Studios in London, England, United Kingdom. The score is orchestrated and conducted by Alexandre Desplat.
The sound design work was done at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California and Cartoon Network Studios in Burbank, California.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog by They Might Be Giants
- Hound Dog by Elvis Presley
- Who Let the Dogs Out? by Baha Men
- I'll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy FEAT: Faith Evans and 112
- Still D.R.E. by Dr. Dre FEAT: Snoop Dogg
- In The End by Linkin Park
- Thriller by Michael Jackson
Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie is Rated PG for Parental Guidance.
The film was released theatrically in movie theaters on October 27, 2017 in the United States and Canada, by Warner Bros. Pictures, on the same year as Cartoon Network's previous film Dexter's Laboratory: The Movie. The film was presented in a 1.85:1 format, rather than Warner Animation Group's standard 2.39:1 format on its previous titles. The film's theatrical release was preceded by The Mystery of Lazlo, a short film based on Cartoon Network's animated television series Camp Lazlo.
On December 26, 2016, it was announced that there will be a Courage the Cowardly Dog animated feature being developed at Warner Bros. and its release date of October 27, 2017 was also announced, with the show's cast reprising their roles and Wallace Shawn reprising his role as well. Cartoon Network Studios and Access Entertainment will also be involved with production. John Dilworth, who created the show, is directing the film and Winnie Chaffee, Robert Winthrop and Ben Marsaud are going to be producing the film. A month later, the film's title and teaser poster debuted, and it was announced that Helen Mirren and Benedict Cumberbatch had joined the cast. The film marks the sixth time a theatrical Cartoon Network film is produced by Warner Bros. Animation, instead of Warner Animation Group since the group's formation in 2013.
On June 12, 2017, it was announced that actors Steve Buscemi and Andy Serkis were part of the cast, as Charlie the Mouse and Benton Tarantella, respectively, with Gary Oldman revealed as Errol Van Volkheim the same day.
The film was released on Digital on January 9 and Blu-Ray and DVD on January 30, 2018. It contains the deleted scenes, a Camp Lazlo short film The Mystery of Lazlo, the 18-minute featurette, behind-the-scenes of Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie, featuring interviews with most of the principal cast and crew and the movie cast, animatics, the pilot episode, the audio commentaries and the sneak peek of Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: W.O.N.K.A.
Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie has grossed $98 million in the United States and Canada, and $137 million in other territories, for a total worldwide gross of $235 million, against a production budget of $68 million.
In the United States and Canada, Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie was released alongside Jigsaw, and was initially projected to gross around $230 million from 4,456 theaters in its opening weekend, with a chance to go as high as $100 million. Therefore, Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $235 million worldwide, making it the next Cartoon Network animated film to gross as high as $100 million in the United States, and also making it the fifth highest-grossing hand-drawn animated film of 2017 and the highest-ever grossing film based on an animated television series.
Review aggregate website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 96% approval rating based on the 88 reviews, and its average rating is 7.36/10. The critical consensus reads, "Courage the Cowardly Dog manages to receive a feature-length film on the big screen because everyone already knows how cute Courage is when he's scared, but he is also so brave and heroic." Metacritic, assigns the film a score of 74 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". CinemaScore gives the film a "A" on its A+ to F scale.
- This is the first ever feature film of the series.
- This is the first animated Courage the Cowardly Dog movie to hit theaters.
- The movie is Rated PG.
- Ben Marsaud, otherwise known for The Amazing World of Gumball, was credited as a storyboard artist on the movie.
- This is Cartoon Network's fifth original program to get a theatrical release, after "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" released 15 years prior, ''Regular Show: The Movie'' released 2 years prior, ''Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: M.O.T.I.O.N.-P.I.C.T.U.R.E.'' released a year before and ''Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Movie" released this year.
- The original cast reprised their roles in the movie, with the exception on the late Billie Lou Watt as Ma Bagge, Paul Schoeffler as Katz and Errol Van Volkheim and the late Peter Fernandez as Benton Tarantella. Instead this film has respectively Helen Mirren, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andy Serkis and Gary Oldman taking on the roles.
- This is the next theatrical 2D animated movie in 19 years after Quest for Camelot (1998) and 18 years after The Iron Giant (1999).
- This marks as Warner Bros.' next 2D animated theatrical film. Warner Bros. had its original feature animation division, which produced 2D animated films.
- Before the movie, a short film called "The Mystery of Lazlo" based on Cartoon Network's animated television series Camp Lazlo was played.
- This is Wallace Shawn's fourth traditionally animated film, after ''A Goofy Movie'' released 22 years prior, ''All Dogs Go to Heaven 2'' released 21 years prior and ''Teacher's Pet'' released 13 years prior.
- This is Benedict Cumberbatch's second animated film, after ''Penguins of Madagascar'' released 3 years prior.
- This is Helen Mirren's first traditionally animated film to be released theatrically since ''The Prince of Egypt'' released 19 years prior.
- The film also marks Cartoon Network Studios' first co-production with Access Entertainment and Stretch Films.
- This is Warner Animation Group's fifth traditionally animated film.
- The film was animated by Wang Film Productions.
- This is Warner Bros.' fifth traditionally animated film to be released theatrically, after ''Clifford's Really Big Movie'' released 14 years prior.
- This is the ninth theatrical Warner Bros. film to rely solely on hand-drawn animation mixed with CGI animation instead of Flash animation.
- The is the fifth theatrical Cartoon Network film to be a fully 2D-animated film, after "The Powerpuff Girls Movie" released 15 years prior, ''Regular Show: The Movie'' released 2 years prior and ''Chowder: The Movie" and ''Dexter's Laboratory: The Movie" both released this year, but is done in hand-drawn animation mixed with CGI animation.
- This is the first Warner Bros. animated film to tell a story about a dog since ''Clifford's Really Big Movie'' released 13 years prior.
- This is the first Cartoon Network film to be released in October.
- This is also the third Warner Bros. animated film about a heroic dog, after ''Scooby-Doo'' released 15 years prior and "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed" released 13 years prior.
- Although, Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed are live-action/computer-animated movies, and they were released by Warner Bros. Pictures.
- This is Access Entertainment's first animated film, followed by "Wabbit: A Looney Tunes Movie" released 2 years later.
- The film also marks the return of Ma Bagge, who is now the main antagonist of the movie, while being voiced by guest star Helen Mirren.
- This is Steve Buscemi's first traditionally animated film to be released theatrically since ''Home on the Range'' released 13 years prior.
- This is Andy Serkis' third animated film, after ''Flushed Away'' released 11 years prior and ''Arthur Christmas'' released 6 years prior.
- This is Warner Bros.' fourth animated film to receive a 96% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, after ''The Iron Giant'' released 17 years prior, ''The Lego Movie'' released 2 years prior and ''Codename: Kids Next Door - Operation: M.O.T.I.O.N.-P.I.C.T.U.R.E.'' released a year before.
- This is Gary Oldman's first Warner Bros. animated film to be released theatrically since "Quest for Camelot" released 19 years prior.
- Main article: Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie/Transcript
- Main article: Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie/Trailer transcripts
- Main article: Courage the Cowardly Dog: The Movie/Credits