There were plenty of great horror mirrors designed because that kids, however none had a sense of feeling on the very same level as Cartoon Network’s vessel the Cowardly Dog. Favor several great shows on that network, Courage acquired its begin as a one-off cartoon on the display What A Cartoon. The pilot created a storyline the was repeatedly revisited throughout the show’s four-season run—the Chicken native Outer space and how Courage would certainly defeat it. 

As the present went on, several episodes encountered unique worries that might only be presented through this horror/comedy lens. One, because that instance, comes from the very first half-hour illustration of the series, “The Tower of Dr. Zalost”. Considering many episodes of vessel were 2 11-minute segments, this was fairly a distinct episode as it would certainly primarily attend to people dealing with depression and long-term sadness. 

The episode begins with the eponymous tower being displayed roaming transparent Courage’s hometown the Nowhere, Kansas. The launches cannonballs that don’t ache people, but rather cause them to lose all of their happiness and energy. As soon as hit, a human being becomes emotionless, too exhausted to function, and their skin becomes a grayish-green color, similar to Dr. Zalost. We then meet the antagonist in every one of this, Dr. Zalost, who has actually perfected his “unhappy cannonball project” and also is currently demanding he be paid $33 ⅓ billion no to continue unleashing lock on the citizens. After the Mayor and also the city manager refuse, Dr. Zalost manages to make the rest of the city depressed v his cannonballs, but soon the town agrees come his demands.

He assumed that having all the money would allow him to be happy yet as the old saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” Meanwhile, Courage and also his owner Muriel space making ‘happy plums’, which acquired their name due to the fact that Muriel insists they have the right to make anything happy. Meanwhile, Eustace, Muriel’s husband, is wondering wherein his newspaper is since it’s late and also has not been ceded yet. Once he enquires about it, he learns the the newspaper wasn’t created that day since the staff is too tired, a an outcome of Dr. Zalost’s cannonballs. 

Eustace goes come the newspaper office to execute what he does best, complain around anything, and is spotted through Dr. Zalost and his henchman, Rat, a rat that is largely interested in just helping Dr. Zalost it is in happy. Dr. Zalost decides the if the is unhappy, climate everyone must be unhappy, for this reason they decide to pursue Eustace to check out if there are any type of other happy people. Dr. Zalost shortly finds them and also manages to shoot Muriel with an dissatisfied cannonball. However, once he shooting Eustace through a cannonball, nothing happens due to the fact that Eustace is currently an dissatisfied person. Courage manages come dodge every one of the cannonballs, leading Dr. Zalost to believe he has gotten them all. Courage, knowing well from previous experiences, realizes the cure to whatever is noble Muriel must be situated inside the tower. And for the very first and possibly only time in this series, Courage and also Eustace job-related together on a plan. Eustace poses as a pizza shipment guy and also gets Rat to carry Courage into the tower. 

The story takes an exciting turn from right here as Rat do the efforts to protect against Courage just as courage accidentally knocks over mountains of cannonballs. Together the two battle to keep their balance, ship accidentally throws a cannonball in ~ Rat, who becomes a large buff evil version of his former self. Courage attempts come escape the new Rat’s wrath, by using the happy plums which revolve Rat into a baby. In spite of this arrangement working, it only brings him into the clutches that Dr. Zalost. Since this a cartoon and heroes worthy a opportunity to spare their lives, Zalost pressures Courage come play Hangman or hazard being shot v a cannonball. 

Willing come go along with this, ship plays because that dear life. In ~ one point he manages to cost-free himself from the ropes simply to provide Dr. Zalost $15 for three vowels. The manages to guess two letters as soon as he screams “O”. He ultimately manages to guess words which to be aptly enough, “BOOM”. In spite of saving his life, Zalost still attempts to shoot Courage through a cannon, despite the dog quickly jumps the end of the way. That finds himself on a ledge with only Dr. Zalost to save him. However, he conveniently remembers what happened with Rat and also the happy plums earlier. 

Courage dumps the rest of the cup of happy plums right into the serum used for the dissatisfied cannonballs and manages to adjust them. The serum transforms bright pink and spews cannonballs the end of the tower, ruining it in the process. Together the new happy cannonballs fight the townspeople the Nowhere, they are revived to their former selves. Meanwhile, the tower that Dr. Zalost explodes as Courage, slightly burnt from the explosion, runs right into the residence carrying a happy cannonball and also Baby Rat. The once notorious tower lays in ruins. 

Just together he is around to save Muriel, Dr. Zalost go in v one last unhappy cannonball. Courage litter his cannonball at Muriel and also restores her. Meanwhile, Dr. Zalost misses her and also hits Eustace who transforms into rock after recognize his mallet. Courage and also Muriel take refuge under the table and hide from Dr. Zalost. However, he finds a cup that happy plums on the table and also eats some. The remembers they space his favorite and also turn him into a happy variation of himself. He no much longer has eco-friendly skin and is no depressed. Rather, he is smiling and also embraces baby Rat through glee. 

The episode consists of numerous allusions to the idea of being depressed and trying come get assist for taking care of mental illness. The a triumph of an illustration as it additionally shows that occasionally the cure for an unending depression deserve to be other as simple as eating her favorite food. The tone of the illustration is very lighthearted however if friend look previous the comedy, you deserve to see the struggle of taking care of mental illness. At some points, this illustration really taps into those moments when things simply seem lost and there isn’t lot hope left. 

When looking in ~ the personality of Dr. Zalost, he have the right to be viewed as an anti-hero in the end, quite than an antagonist. Because he has actually been depressed because that so long, it deserve to be tough to number out what makes a person happy. The cannonball have the right to be viewed as how a human being who’s to be depressed for so long can affect others. Sure, there space those who deserve to snap them the end of those terrible thoughts and emotions, however it’s a lot harder as soon as they no willing to shot reasonable methods to do themselves happy. Much like Dr. Zalost, some people try to buy joy or attempt to eat your feelings.

A mass of the illustration really focuses on the idea of courage finding a magic cure-all for Muriel’s depressed state. However, depression is something the cannot be cured overnight. The takes plenty of time. For Dr. Zalost, his story concludes v him recognize some happiness in his favorite food, though he is no necessarily end the hill yet. Rather, the probably had to take some happy plums for the road.

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Also, the idea that him staying in the tower stands to symbolize how he desires to isolate self from the remainder of the world since of his mental/emotional state. But, in bespeak to acquire over something like that, the takes someone favor Courage to come follow me and aid you take that rocky roadway of confrontation to deal with your problem.