“Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” is a film about a real military mascot that wandered into a training camp near Yale University. Naturally, the Armed Forces allowed the dog to be taken overseas into the heart of No Man’s Land. As our soldier tells the story of how the dog sniffed out mustard gas, we get to have supporting narrative roles from Gerard Depardieu and Helena Bonham Carter. No one voices the dog, as the filmmakers wanted to keep the credibility of their story of a dog fighting poisonous gas in World War I.

Stubby spent 18 months overseas and fought in 17 battles. He’s most famous for grabbing a German soldier by the seat of his pants and keeping him from escaping. The German soldier was quite entertained by the doggo action before he was sentenced to die for war crimes. Still, that’s not the issue that the film dodges. What this animated piece of propaganda fails to confirm is the dubious claim of Stubby making the rank of Sergeant.


Sgt. Stubby has a marker in the Smithsonian Institute dubbing him the only canine to obtain the rank of Sergeant in combat. The kicker is that there’s no military record or documented proof that Stubby earned this designation. But, that didn’t stop the Government from marching him around to events after the War ended. Hell, the little guy even served as the Georgetown Football team’s mascot. Audiences of the early 1920s would cheer their hero, as he swatted footballs around the field. Never did they realize, that this Air Bud was an Air (Frud) Fraud.

What makes this story even weirder is what happened to Stubby after he dies in his sleep. The little guy’s skin was removed and mounted to a plaster cast. It’s easy to blame this on alcohol, but this was during Prohibition. So, when your kids drag you to see this one…that’s something to think about now. You’re watching an animated movie about a real dog who got used as military propaganda while marching soldiers into gas filled battlegrounds.

He also helped lead the cause to develop gas masks for smaller faces. So, that happened. The movie is pretty average, but it skirts around such dark aspects of a dog soldier turned celebrity. But, this all could’ve ended up far worse. It was a different era for America. The little guy could’ve ended up in a stew at a hobo camp. Happy Friday the 13th!


  • 1 hr and 25 mins
  • PG
  • Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures



This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: