The true story of a stray dog who joins his new master on the battlefields of the First World War. For his valorous actions, Sgt. Stubby is still recognized as the most decorated dog in American history.
With the war to end all wars looming, a young army "doughboy" Robert Conroy has his life forever changed when a little dog with a stubby tail wanders into camp as the men of the 102nd Infantry Regiment train on the grounds of Yale University. Conroy gives his new friend a name, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. Despite lacking formal military working dog training, Stubby the dog and his human companions find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French Infantryman Gaston Baptiste befriends the duo and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage. For his valorous actions, Stubby is recognized as the first canine ever promoted to the rank of Sergeant in U.S. Army history.
The idea of an animated film was born while researching a documentary series for public television tied to the WWI centennial. When the story of Sgt. Stubby emerged, writer/director Richard Lanni realized the potential to reach an entirely different audience through animation. See more »
In one of the later scenes, they show an envelope that is addressed to a town in Connecticut. In that address, it shows a 5-digit ZIP Code. However, the movie is set during World War I and ZIP Codes weren't used until 1963. See more »
You don't very often see kids movie which are based on true stories or war. But that's what Stg. Stubby is about. Surprisingly, it works.
The strengths: The music, the story and the fact that the movie doesn't have one of the likely endings one might predict. I suspect the ending is largely due to Stubby being based on a true story. I'm unaware how accurate this portrayal is to the real story, but it seemed to me like a respectable adaptation. The way they managed to show the awful reality of The Great War, while keeping it G rated is really a difficult triumph of the film. It's important for people to have exposure the errors in war, as opposed to just the victories and heroism. This film highlights both.
The weaknesses: The voice acting doesn't stand out as great. The dialogue isn't a strength. But they get a longer leash (no pun intended) because it's a kids movie. The animation is great in the 2D segments, and much of the 3D animation is fine. However there are clips where I can tell they didn't have the funds to make the animation as good as they'd like it to be. The clips of the soldiers marching seem noticeably too synchronized and took me out of the story.
Overall, I recommend this film to anyone. It's not a film expect to win Oscars or nominations. But, it's a distinctive likable real-story dog movie. And the film is especially good if you want a mostly uplifting real story for kids about a subject they likely know little about: World War 1.
I'm probably in the minority, but I find the history of World War 1 to be just interesting and important as World War 2. It seems the average person knows 10 times more about World War 2 than World War 1 and there are about 10 World War 2 movies for each World War 1 movie. World War 1 highlights how futile and unnecessarily evil war can be even for the victors. World War 2 on the other-hand often enables the attitude of supporting war, because a lot of the losses to World War 2 seem worth it or necessary because of what was gained and what was at stake. A lot of wars are more like WW1 than WW2, and this is something everyone should understand.
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