Much to our relief Sgt Stubby was not a low rent porn parody but an animated tale based on a true life tail…um…tale about a dog employed by the US army. With the US turning up late for the First World War in 1917 there was an uplift in recruitment and when a young soldier signs up he finds a stray dog follows him into the parade ground and is taken under the wing of the new platoon as its mascot.
So whilst the soldiers are given the most mellow of beastings by the sergeant major the dog who’s named Sgt Stubby doesn’t even get taken for walkies or have the soldiers scrabbling after it picking up dog poo in bags and tying it to the branches of trees.
With the platoon moved out to France to help the allies and the cheese eating surrender monkeys French who are portrayed in typically stereotypical manner as being obsessed with cooking and but fall in love at the sight of Sgt Stubby presumably because not having had a good meal in years the dog would have been straight in the cooking pot.
The film is largely dialogue free but for a brightly coloured and frankly not imaginatively animated film it doesn’t shy away from the grimness of weapons used in WW1 namely mustard gas and in that respect it’s pretty dark for a kids film. This is one of those films where man and dog are inseparable so when it comes to saving lives he’s taken lessons from Lassie , yapping and barking about the impending launch of mustard gas against them, ‘What’s that, Sgt Stubby? The massed Nazi forces are about to launch a massive attack with weapons of mass destruction against us and we should warn everyone to take cover with immediate effect lest they suffer the hideous effects of chemical gas?’ – OK that line’s not in it but it’s not too far off.
For once though this is a film that for young children is worth a look as an easy introduction into WW1 especially as this is based on a true story as Sgt Stubby was an invaluable asset to his troop and was involved in 17 battles, 4 campaigns and was in service for 18 months earning a number of medals and decorations for his contribution in saving soldiers lives and in that respect it make the film worthwhile and markedly better than many animated films which are cobbled together as a holiday ash in for the kids.
Here’s the Sgt Stubby trailer…….