Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

Rated 3.0

Georgia-based Fun Academy Motion Pictures makes their first foray into feature-length animation with Richard Lanni’s deliberately old-fashioned Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero. Based on the true story of t he heroic street dog who became mascot of the Yankee Division of the 102nd Infantry Regiment during World War I, forming a bond with doughboy Robert Conroy (Logan Lerman) and going on to save many lives, Sgt. Stubby is a mixed bag in almost every respect. The humans all look like different versions of the same dead-eyed automaton, but the character design for Stubby is excellent, his face and movements marvelously expressive yet perfectly natural at the same time. There are strong individual scenes, but the story structure is shoddy, with Robert’s unseen sister Margaret (Helena Bonham Carter, doing an Ashley Judd impression) narrating for no reason at all. For all the film’s faults, though, passionate voice performances might have pushed it over.