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The Blue Bird (1940)

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Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl, a woodchopper's children, are led by the Fairy Berylune on a magical trip through the past, present, and future to locate the Blue Bird of Happiness.



(screen play), (additional dialogue), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Blue Bird (1940)

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Studious Boy


Mytyl and her brother Tyltyl, a woodchopper's children, are led by the Fairy Berylune on a magical trip through the past, present, and future to locate the Blue Bird of Happiness.

Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


Drama | Family | Fantasy


Approved | See all certifications »




Release Date:

15 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pájaro azul  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TCM print) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)


(first reel)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The blue bird of the title was paid $50 a day, and flew away from a Los Angeles aviary soon after the movie was finished. See more »


When the group is in the Cemetery, Tylo jumps in the shallow grave instead of falling in. See more »


Mytyl: Who are you?
Fairy Berylune: Haven't you got eyes? Can't you see? I'm Berylune!
Mytyl: Berylune?
Fairy Berylune: Yes, Berylune! The fairy! Hurry now, quick! Get into your clothes and be off! You've got to find the blue bird!
Mytyl: The blue bird?
Fairy Berylune: Yes, the bird that's blue! The blue bird!
Mytyl: But why? Why should we find it?
Fairy Berylune: You want to be happy, don't you?
Mytyl: Of course, but what do I want with an old blue bird?
Fairy Berylune: What a stupid girl you are! Don't you know that the blue bird means happiness?
See more »


Version of The Blue Bird (1918) See more »


O Come Little Children
Arranged by Edward B. Powell and Frank Tresselt
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User Reviews

Unusual Fantasy Deserves Honorable Mention Among Temple's Films
21 March 2001 | by (U.S.A.) – See all my reviews

Although 'The Blue Bird' was not a resounding financial success at time of release, and has always been cited as being a poor imitation of 'The Wizard of Oz', it is an unjustly neglected film. Individual scenes are striking, as for example those depicting the unborn waiting in a kind of heavenly limbo (with billowing clouds) before sailing off to their destination on earth. (You can spot Dickie Moore and Scotty Beckett among the unborn lads.) Shirley Temple and Johnny Russell are tremendously appealing as the young sister and brother searching for the elusive blue bird of happiness. A highlight is Shirley's excursion to the Land of the Past where she visits her dead grandparents and does a charming song-and-dance to a yodel song. The studio would have been wise to incorporate a few more such songs. With added numbers, this might have been a much more successful film. As it is, her role is not strong enough, as written, and yet we can appreciate her by the film's end. She is particularly affecting in the scenes with the unborn children, showing genuine charm and affection and looking radiant in technicolor. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards (Special Effects and Color Cinematography), nominations which were well deserved. The spectacular forest fire is very effective, as are the special effects in general. In the supporting roles, Gale Sondergaard (as Tylette, the cat)has fun with a typical Sondergaard role, mistress of evil. Nigel Bruce and Spring Byington lend excellent support. Summing up, while the whole is not as great as its parts, this is a lavishly photographed film definitely worth viewing. Not a masterpiece, by any means, but there is much to appreciate and it should not be neglected.

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