The Blue Bird (1940)

The Blue Bird





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Based on a play by Maurice Maeterlinck, this fantasy stars Shirley Temple as a young girl who leaves home in search of happiness (The Blue Bird of Happiness) and meets up with many interesting characters on her adventure. After she journeys all over Fantasia, she comes to find the bird at her very own home. This Technicolor feature received Academy Award nominations for Best Cinematography and Best Special Effects.

Rating: G
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Classics, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: Ernest Pascal, Walter Bullock
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 27, 2007
Twentieth Century Fox



as Mytyl Tyl

as Mummy Tyl

as Mr. Luxury

as Angela Berligot

as Fairy Berylune

as Father Time

as Wild Plum

as Tyltyl Tyl

as Mrs. Luxury

as Daddy Tyl

as Granny Tyl

as Grandpa Tyl

as Studious Boy

as Mrs. Berlingot

as Maple Tree

as Footman

as Little Sister
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News & Interviews for The Blue Bird

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Critic Reviews for The Blue Bird

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (1)

Full Review… | March 25, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

Shirley Temple fantasy has some scares, outdated ideas.

Full Review… | May 23, 2013
Common Sense Media

Lavishly elaborate, but too leaden and allegorical for childre, this 1940 Fox fantasy was one of Shirley Temple's biggest commercial flops.

Full Review… | June 13, 2012

Colorful, but failed attempt to emulate fantasy world of "Wizard of Oz," starring Shirley Temple.

March 22, 2008

It's not at all a bad movie -- it's just not a lot of fun.

Full Review… | October 22, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Full Review… | May 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Blue Bird


The 20th Century Fox "answer" to "The Wizard of Oz", which was released the year after that film, is an odd little Shirley Temple vehicle. The story centers around two children and recalls the weird germanic fairy tales and eastern european folk stories of long ago. Mytyl (Temple) and her brother Tyltyl catch a bird in the royal forest one day. Instead of giving the bird to her sick little friend, she selfishly keeps it for herself. Later at dinner, she complains about how poor her family is and how miserable she is. After being sent to bed, the film undergoes a black-and-white to technicolor transformation (ala The Wizard of Oz). When the children wake up, they are asked by Fairy Berylune to find a blue bird. Fairy Berylune gives them several companions to aid them on their quest by turning their dog, Tylo and cat, Tylette into humans, as well as creating a human version of their lantern named Light. To find the blue bird, they first travel to the past (where they meet their very clingy dead grandparents), to the land of luxury (where they meet Mr. and Mrs. Luxury, who give the children everything they want but love), and to the future (to heaven, where all the unborn little boys and girls live, waiting to be born). It's all a little bit simplistic and childish, but I think that's the point. Kids today might get a little creeped out by certain aspects of the movie, but overall, it's pretty cute (weirdly cute).

Mr Awesome
Devon Bott

Super Reviewer

Borderline ghoulish fantasy. A huge flop in its day, Shirley's first, and its easy to see why the film is loaded with references to death and dying, it was supposed to be Fox's answer to The Wizard of Oz but there's no way this morbid entry could every approach that classic.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

A great fantasy movie.

Anthony Valletta

Super Reviewer

The Blue Bird Quotes

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