You’ve most likely heard about military dogs, so clearly there must be a most-decorated dog soldier ever. Now I know which doggo holds that honor, thanks to the unexpectedly charming animated tale of a stray who wandered into the training grounds of the 102nd Infantry Regiment in Connecticut circa 1917 and decided that his new master was young doughboy Robert (voice of Logan Lerman) as the U.S. prepares to send troops overseas. The real details may be somewhat simplified, but never mind: Sgt. Stubby is a gentle, age-appropriately engaging way to introduce kids to this essential piece of history. The horrors and the senselessness of the war are touched on, scary only in ways suitable for grade-schoolers, though it may well inspire the more curious among them to learn more. And Stubby is not a cartoon canine who talks, or does anything beyond what real-life hero dogs do: He finds wounded soldiers who might be overlooked in the heat of battle; he clears trenches of vermin. Adults may find the movie too simple and uncomplicated, but I was surprised to find myself with something in my eye by the end. He was a very good boy indeed.
Director: Richard Lanni
Producer: Laurent Rodon, Emily Cantrill, Frank Lumpkin III, Tom Sheehan and Richard Lanni
Cast: Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter, Gérard Depardieu, Jordan Beck, Jim Pharr, Jason Ezzell, Nick Rulon and Brian Cook