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The Blue Bird (1940)

Approved  |   |  Drama, Family, Fantasy  |  15 January 1940 (USA)
6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 907 users  
Reviews: 21 user | 7 critic

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.

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

The Blue Bird (1940) on IMDb 6.5/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Eddie Collins ...
Sybil Jason ...
Jessie Ralph ...
Helen Ericson ...
Johnny Russell ...
Laura Hope Crews ...
Russell Hicks ...
Cecilia Loftus ...
Al Shean ...
Leona Roberts ...
Gene Reynolds ...
Studious Boy
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Storyline

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.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Family | Fantasy

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

15 January 1940 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El pájaro azul  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (TCM print) | (TCM print)

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Mirrophonic Recording)

Color:

(first reel)| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

When Tylette is doing aerial spins in the Luxury's living room, the performer is clearly not Gale Sondergaard but a much younger stunt double. See more »

Quotes

Mummy Tyl: There's something wrong with these children. They must have eaten something last night that disagreed with them.
Daddy Tyl: Well, they look all right to me.
Mummy Tyl: But they've been talking such nonsense! About seeing their grandparents!
Mytyl: But we did, Daddy! We really did!
Tyltyl: But we're home now.
Mytyl: And we missed you so!
Daddy Tyl: You mean you're going to miss me when I go to war.
Mytyl: Oh. I had forgotten about that.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Without Reservations (1946) See more »

Soundtracks

Lay Dee O
(uncredited)
Traditional
Sung by Shirley Temple
See more »

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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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