“Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero” (Fun Academy)

By Catholic News Service

A generally endearing animated slice of history, this comedy-tinged drama follows the adventures of the plucky canine who became an honorary noncommissioned officer in the Army thanks to his feats of derring-do during World War I.

Adopted by a young soldier (voice of Logan Lerman) doing basic training in his hometown of New Haven, Connecticut, the formerly hungry, homeless pooch becomes the mascot of the 26th Infantry “Yankee” Division and especially bonds with two of his new master’s closest buddies (voices of Jordan Beck and Jim Pharr). Refusing to be left behind when the trio of comrades heads overseas, he sneaks onto their transport ship and winds up in the trenches of France. In between warning of gas attacks and digging out wounded warriors buried by exploding shells, he gains a new pal, a Frenchman (voice of Gerard Depardieu) seconded to the American forces who has also befriended his owner.

Narrated by Helena Bonham Carter in the guise of the human protagonist’s sister, director and co-writer Richard Lanni’s movie sometimes feels becalmed. But it does makes an easy introduction to an important chapter of America’s past for young people.

Much stylized violence, an instance of anatomical humor. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG — parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

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