Friday, December 21, 2018


While the film SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO may not have received a lot of buzz this year, I have to say it was one of my family's favorite animated movies of 2018. The movie depicts a little known true story about the unbreakable bond between a young doughboy soldier and the stray dog he adopts during World War I. For his contributions during the trench warfare that took place in France, received the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Army and is the most decorated dog in American history. This Boston Terrier's actions on the battlefield inspired the creation of the Defense Department's Military Working Dog Program that has been in place from World War II through today.

This is a heart-warming story that makes for a great family movie night selection. My whole family was captivated by this movie. SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO is rated PG for war action and some thematic elements but frankly in my opinion it is suitable for all ages to view and is a very family-friendly movie.

SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO is full of exciting and suspenseful moments and has a compelling story that has you caring about the dog and the soldiers that adopted him. While it is a "war story" that includes battle scenes with poison gas and trench warfare as well as incidents involving animals and people being killed during World War I conflicts, there is never any violence or gore shown on screen. There is also no swearing or sexual content to be concerned about when it comes to this film.


The movie begins with a young American soldier named Robert Conroy adopting a little stray dog with a stubby tail that wanders into his training camp in New Haven, Connecticut. Conroy teaches the dog he names Stubby to salute officers so that they allow it to become the regiment mascot and tag along with them to France as they fight in the "War to End all Wars."

Once the doughboys and Stubby arrived in France, our eyes were glued to the screen wondering if Stubby, Robert and the rest of their regiment would make it back alive once the war concludes as we weren't aware of the real life story this movie is based upon before watching it.  A French solider, voiced by GĂ©rard Depardieu (Cyrano De Bergerac, My Father the Hero), befriends Conroy and helps him and Stubby get a lay of the land thus becoming an important part of the storyline. Together they discover the value of friendship, loyalty and bravery as they try to survive the war depending on one another.

Directed by award-winning documentarian Richard Lanni, SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO also features the voices of Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson & The Olympians) as Conroy and Helena Bonham Carter (Harry Potter) as his sister who reads correspondence from her brother depicting Stubby's exploits.  Because this movie provided a wonderfully entertaining experience for a family movie night, it has earned A Geek Daddy nod of approval. I really enjoyed how the film was a combination of an exciting adventure story with an educational documentary about the real life Sergeant Stubby.  Being able to balance a movie so that is entertaining and educational isn't an easy task, but Lanni successfully accomplishes this.


Before he was a decorated war hero, Stubby was unwanted, unwashed and unloved until he was taken in by Private First Class Robert Conroy of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th "Yankee" Division. Taken along to France by the American doughboy, Stubby saw frontline action in four offensives and 17 battles. He found wounded  soldiers, saved an entire company by alerting men to don gas masks and even caught a German spy.

After the recapture of the French town of Chateau-Thierry, local women made the dog an embroidered jacket to wear that served as Stubby's uniform and displayed the numerous awards he received. He returned to the United States after the war to a hero's welcome. Stubby and Conroy toured the country participating in victory parades and met numerous dignitaries including three Presidents.

SGT. STUBBY: AN AMERICAN HERO is available now on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital. I'd encourage you to bring it  home and enjoy the activity sheets below for your own family movie night. Especially, if you have preschoolers, elementary school aged kids, and tweens at home. They'll love the adorable animated dog in this film. For more information about the movie, visit

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