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Blue Bird


List Price: $14.98
Price: $9.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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$9.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 19 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


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Product Details

  • Actors: Shirley Temple, Spring Byington, Nigel Bruce, Gale Sondergaard, Eddie Collins
  • Directors: Walter Lang
  • Writers: Ernest Pascal, Maurice Maeterlinck, Walter Bullock
  • Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck, Gene Markey
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: March 27, 2007
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000LC4ZE4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #25,727 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Blue Bird" on IMDb

Special Features

  • "Shirley Temple Theater: The Little Princess" featurette

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Visually beautiful, full of imaginative sets, and splendidly photographed in rich Technicolor, this enchanting fantasy was Twentieth Century Fox's answer to "The Wizard of Oz". In a rare departure from her usual screen persona, Shirley plays a selfish, spoiled little girl named Mytyl, who doesn't appreciate her loving family. Only after a good fairy sends her and her brother (Johnny Russell) on a journey to find "the bird that means happiness" does she end up discovering happiness right in her own home.

Amazon.com

A poignant story of a selfish young German girl's search for happiness, Blue Bird is a classic Shirley Temple film with a storybook Hansel and Gretel feel. This restored and remastered 1940 film opens with a purposely grainy, black and white world that reinforces Mytyl's (Shirley Temple) ill-humored attitude toward life. Mytyl consistently complains about everything and fails to see that she and her family are really quite blessed until her father is summoned to war. A dramatic switch to Technicolor, now bright and clear thanks to restoration efforts, marks the fairy Berylone's (Jessie Ralph) nighttime appearance and the beginning of Mytyl's and her brother Tyltyl's (Johnny Russell) quest to find the blue bird of happiness. Lead by "Light" (Helen Ericson), the children and their faithful dog Tylo (Eddie Collins) and scheming cat Tylette (Gale Sondergaard) journey through the lands of the past, future, and luxury only to find a prevailing unhappiness. In the end, it's a journey of self-discovery that leads Mytyl to find true happiness in a most unexpected place. This film marks a departure from the typically sunny and cheerful characters played by Shirley Temple and was, in spite of its lavish scenery and nominations for Academy Awards in both cinematography and special effects, unsuccessful at the box office. (Ages 5 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

Customer Reviews

Shirley Temple was really good in this movie, and no, they do not make them like this anymore.
Allen-the-not-so-wise
Our grandchildren fell in love with Shirly Temple the way we did 70 years ago... Beautiful movie - be sure to watch it with the kids.
Twig
I love stories that have fantasy plots and adventures of young children seeking love and/or happiness.
Maureen R. Tagliaferro

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Simon Davis on April 21, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
Attacked by critics and a failure at the Box Office at the time of it's release in 1940 "The Blue Bird" has with time been redeemed and is now quite rightly viewed as a classic film of it's time containing one of Shirley Temple's most interesting performances. The public and critical indifference to the film at the time of its release had alot to do with the fact that Hollywood's formerly adorable moppet and sweetheart of the depression years was now playing a selfish young girl who is only reformed near the conclusion of the story and also because film's less upbeat story suffered when inevitably compared with "The Wizard of Oz" released just the year before. I truly love this film with its strong message of appreciating what we actually have in our lives as opposed to always thinking other things are better. Shirley Temple I believe, has never been better than in this slightly older more serious role made just as she was unfortunately slipping from being Hollywood's number one attraction at the Box Office. This film's failure, combined with Shirley's declining popularity finally broke the long string of successes Twentieth Century Fox had enjoyed through the 1930's with Shirley Temple films and after one more unsuccesful release with "Young People", also in 1940 the reign of Shirley Temple as the Box Office Queen of Hollywood was definately over forever.

Certainly the "The Blue Bird" lacks the great songs and show bizzy appeal ...but its theme is a much more serious one with indeed many morbid qualities to it. I believe the two should be viewed as totally separate. ...The whole production is a ravishing feast for the eyes. The sumptous sets, gorgeous color and the costumnes make this film a sight for the eyes. Never has there been a more lavish Shirley Temple film.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 30, 2005
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
THE BLUE BIRD was Twentieth Century-Fox's answer to MGM's THE WIZARD OF OZ. Shirley Temple was originally mentioned for the role of Dorothy in OZ, though Fox was leary about releasing her from her contract.

Based on the play by Maurice Maeterlinck, the story recounts one sad and angry little girl, Mytyl (Shirley Temple) who journeys with her brother Tyltyl (Johnny Russell) to find the 'bluebird of happiness'. Joining the children on the quest are the children's pets - cat Tylette (Gale Sondergaard) and dog Tylo (Eddie Collins) who have been magically changed to human-form.

Just like in OZ, the film changes from drab black-and-white to glowing and rich Technicolor, though OZ is of course the superior of the two. Shirley Temple is given more of a dramatic range to work with here, playing a little girl with rougher edges and thus more 'real' than her previous film roles.

Gale Sondergaard is deliciously-devious as the children's cat, and Spring Byington is perfect as Mummy Tyl. Sybil Jason who co-starred with Temple the previous year in THE LITTLE PRINCESS, plays Mytyl's afflicted friend Angela.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Maureen R. Tagliaferro on January 1, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
This is my favorite Shirley Temple movie and I being a lover of "The Wizard of Oz," I fell in love with "The Blue Bird" also. I love stories that have fantasy plots and adventures of young children seeking love and/or happiness. The characters in the story are very creative and loveable-except for the mean Tylette and the greedy Luxuries. The setting is beautiful for being an early 1940's picture. I'm a big fan of Shirley Temple and love anything she does, but this is my favorite all time movie of hers. If you have children or are a child of the heart, rent or buy the movie from the trustworthy Amazon.com. If you miss out on this movie, you are missing out on a classic picture.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
For those of you not familiar with the making of the film "The Wizard of Oz", let me give you a little background. MGM studios originally wanted Shirley Temple to play the part of Dorothy, but Twentieth Century Fox had the popular starlet under an exclusive long term contract and wouldn't lend her out to MGM. Also, actress Gale Sondergaard who plays the humanized version of the cat Tylette in the Blue Bird was originally cast as the Wicked Witch of the West, but MGM decided the part should be played by a not-so-glamorous actress; so eventually, the role went to Margaret Hamilton. "The Wizard of Oz" went on to make cinematic history as a contender for the 1939 Best Picture Oscar and a royalties magnet for MGM with annual television network presentations. Envious of the success of "The Wizard of Oz", Twentieth Century Fox decided to make their own children's fantasy film. Shirley Temple had been Fox's most popular young star and one of their biggest box office draws. The studio went all out with a sizable production budget and plenty of publicity, but this film was shunned by most of the general public and the critics, and turned out to be one of Fox's biggest financial disasters. Until just recently, the "Blue Bird" was pretty much appreciated by only the most ardent of Shirley Temple fans. With showings at Shirley Temple film festivals and the advent of VCR's, this film is beginning to be appreciated by new generations of Temple fans. Just like "The Wizard of Oz", the movie starts out in black and white and transforms into color just before the children start out on their adventure. The plot is very imaginative and entertaining while teaching the young that the most important thing in life is to find happiness and be content with what you have. Fans of the old series of Sherlock Holmes films may recognize Nigel Bruce (who played Dr. Watson) as Mr. Luxury.
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