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SGT. STUBBY - AN AMERICAN HERO

What to know: Beautiful story about the bond between a decorated war dog and a young private.
SGT. STUBBY - AN AMERICAN HERO is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 6-12
90 minutes
VIDEO
RICHARD LANNI
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This film tells a beautiful story about the bond between a decorated war dog and a young private that lasts an entire war. The storyline follows Robert Conroy who joins the war effort when the U.S enters World War I. At his training camp, Conroy meets a stray dog named Stubby and his platoon takes in the dog as its own. Stubby becomes their mascot and subsequently heads to war after he shows great performance training with the soldiers. I like the World War I setting of this film. It is quite a somber historical period for an animated film to take place in. Few animated films have ever taken place during this conflict. While it does not address the bleaker parts of WWI, it does explore some sad topics. I appreciated that it does this, since most animated films don't. Stubby is very likeable as a relentless protagonist. The film puts ventures into interesting territory placing such an innocent creature in a non-innocent world. The 2D animation suits the film and well executed. The production design by Celine Desrumaux is very true to the time period, without romanticizing it. The score, by Patrick Doyle, is very patriotic, giving a sense of pride for one's country. The first and second act flow well, but the third act gets to be a wee bit long. I particularly like how WWI is explained as it helps you relate better to the conflict. This film makes an excellent way for children to learn about WWI. The voice over cast is terrific, key cast members include Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and G�rard Depardieu. Yes. This film is entertaining and heartwarming and I highly recommend this it for the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival. It is particularly suitable to any festival with a focus on war heroes or history or dogs! I recommend it for ages 6 to 12 and give it 4 out of 5 stars. Reviewed by Benjamin P. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult Reviewer.
With World War I looming, a young Army Pvt. Robert Conroy is adopted by a stray, stump-tailed terrier. Conroy names his new friend Stubby and gives him a home, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. The two quickly find themselves in the trenches of France and on the path to history. French soldier Gaston Baptiste befriends the duo and accompanies them along their epic journey through harsh conditions and incredible acts of courage.
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