Movie About America's First War Dog Coming to Theaters April 13

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From Stray to Sergeant

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is based on the true story of the bond between a young Soldier and a stray dog who, for his valorous feats, is still recognized today as the first dog promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Army, the most decorated dog in American history. The dog is widely considered the forerunner to the U.S. Army’s working dog program.

Set against the backdrop of America’s entry into World War I, this computer-animated feature shows the world that the greatest heroes can come from the unlikeliest of places in a heartwarming “tail” for the entire family.

Opening April 13 on approximately 3,000 screens across the U.S. and Canada and coinciding with the year-long 100th commemoration of the United States’ role in the “War to End All Wars,” Sgt. Stubby was directed by award-winning documentarian Richard Lanni in his feature film debut and stars Logan Lerman, Helena Bonham Carter and Gérard Depardieu.

As documented in history books but largely forgotten today, the true story of Sgt. Stubby is expected to resonate with parents, educators, animal lovers, military supporters and history buffs alike. The film has been selected as an official project of the United States World War One Centennial Commission and its French counterpart, La Mission du Centenaire 1914-18; additional endorsements and educational partners include the Connecticut State Library, the National Infantry Museum Foundation, the National World War I Museum & Memorial and the Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes.

Beyond his military exploits, Stubby’s status as an adopted stray has resulted in nearly a century of recognition by animal rescues and welfare organizations and Fun Academy has partnered with more than 70 regional and national animal organizations across all 50 states to shine a light on the human-animal bond and the amazing things adopted animals can do when given a chance in life.

About Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero

 With the “War to End all Wars” looming, the life of Army “doughboy” Robert Conroy (Lerman) is forever changed when a little stray dog with a stubby tail wanders into a training camp in New Haven, Conn.  Conroy gives his new friend a meal, a name, a family and the chance to embark on an adventure that would define a century.

For valorous actions above and beyond his small stature, Stubby is recognized as the most decorated dog in history and the first dog promoted to the rank of Sergeant in the U.S. Army, showing the world that the greatest heroes can come from the unlikeliest of places.

 Photo: Connecticut State Library

Photo: Connecticut State Library

About the Real-Life Stubby

 Before he was a hero, Stubby was homeless, unwanted, unwashed and unloved, scrounging for scraps on the streets of New Haven, Conn. in 1917—Until he was taken in by Private First Class Robert Conroy of the 102nd Infantry Regiment, 26th “Yankee” Division.

In France, Stubby saw frontline action in four offensives and 17 battles. He found wounded Soldiers, saved an entire company by alerting the men to don gas masks and even caught a German spy. After the recapture of Château-Thierry, the women of the town made him an embroidered jacket that would serve as Stubby’s uniform and display his numerous awards throughout the rest of his career.

His exploits made front-page news in the U.S. and earned him the rank of Sergeant, the first time an animal is recognized as having been promoted through combat. Returning home to a hero’s welcome, Stubby and Conroy toured the country leading victory parades and met three sitting U.S. presidents, among other honors.

Genre:  Animated, Family, Adventure, History.  Running Time:  90 Minutes.  Anticipated MPAA Rating:  PG.

Anabel Marquez