April 6, 1917: The US Declares War on Germany

Celebrating the achievements and remembering the sacrifices of Americans during World War I

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is the first feature-length film based on the life and times of the U.S. Army’s most decorated dog. While the film is an animated interpretation of Stubby’s incredible true story, Fun Academy Motion Pictures is honored to partner with educators and historians to honor the brave men, women, and animals who served during the “War to End All Wars.”

DISCOVERING THE AMERICAN IDENTITY

When the US entered World War I, our military had never deployed massive amounts of ground troops outside our hemisphere. By mid-1917, thousands of men who had never considered military service were volunteering to deploy…thousands more were voluntold through the draft.

The “Gilded Age” of the late 19th century resulted in unprecedented economic growth; it also spurred a harsh reaction from the working class and rural communities. In every major city, the Great Migration of African-Americans and thriving immigrant populations erupted with people chasing the American Dream but lacking a unifying American identity. Throughout the South, young white men were asked to fight under the flag of the union their grandfathers had rebelled against in the Civil War just 50 years prior.

Yet when their country called, they answered.

FROM HERE TO OVER THERE

Meanwhile in Connecticut, the 102nd Infantry Regiment of the Connecticut National Guard trained on the grounds of Yale University. As part of the 26th “Yankee” Division, the men of the 102nd would be among the first Americans to see action in Europe…until then, they were just boys.

Our boys.

Doughboys.

And amongst the rows of those doughboys’ tents, a small dog with a stubby tail searched for scraps of food and a warm place to sleep. What he found was Private J. Robert Conroy who gave the pup more than he had ever bargained for: a name, a family, and a chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century.

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STUBBY’S TALE

From the training fields of Connecticut to the trenches of France and the bright lights of Paris, Conroy and Stubby had front row seats for the best and worst humanity had to offer.

Seventeen battles, a couple combat injuries, and one fresh-caught German spy later, Stubby had done enough to distinguish himself as a Soldier alongside his bipedal companions. He was no longer the homeless stray of New Haven’s alleyways: he was Sgt. Stubby, the first canine non-commissioned officer in U.S. Army history!

Stubby wandered into the Army a starving street mutt and returned home leading the victory parade, just as our remote nation of immigrants went toe-to-toe with the might of Europe and emerged a global power.

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Sgt. Stubby’s remains can still be seen today as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s “Price of Freedom” Exhibit at the National Museum of American History.

FURTHER EXPLORATION

Beyond entertaining, Sgt. Stubby’s mission is to open the door to this vitally important period of American history for new audiences. Here are some of our educational partners and additional resources to continue your journey into WWI and the early 20th century:

United States World War One Centennial Commission

La Mission du Centenaire

Connecticut State Library

National Infantry Museum Foundation

THE FILM

Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero is an upcoming computer-animated feature film based on the incredible true story of America’s most decorated dog. After being rescued off the streets by a young Soldier on the eve of World War I, Stubby is given a home, a family, and the chance to embark on the adventure that would define a century. For his valor and courage, Stubby is recognized as the first dog promoted to the rank of Sergeant in U.S. Army history.

Starring Logan LermanHelena Bonham CarterGérard Depardieu
Music by Patrick Doyle
Animation by Mikros Image

The film is slated to theatrically debut on April 13, 2018. For exclusive production updates, follow Stubby’s big screen adventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and Pinterest!

Sgt. Stubby marches into theaters April 13, 2018!

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