THE BLUE BIRD
Although regarded as a small classic in some circles, The Blue Bird is an appallingly schmaltzy effort. The story is set in a Bohemian never-never land where it meanders through various allegorical episodes without any clear idea what they and it are meant to be saying. You feel that the journey should metaphorically represent something (as it it wont to in these types of tales) but it is never particularly clear what. Some of the simplistic epithets bandied defy explanation Mummy and Daddy arent poor they just havent any money, being one notable head-scratcher.
Shirley Temple crinkles her eyes nicely but the other cast members are awful the stilted, arch hamming of Gale Sondergaard (who was the original casting choice as the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz) is atrocious, matched only by the bumbling, gibbering idiocy of Eddie Collins as the transformed dog person.
The Maurice Maeterlinck story had been previously filmed in 1910 and 1918. It was remade in a Soviet animated adaptation in 1970 and in a live-action adaptation as The Blue Bird (1976), a celebrated turkey that featured Patsy Kensit in the Shirley Temple part and Elizabeth Taylor as the good fairy.
Director Walter Lang later went onto successes with various musicals like Tin Pan Alley (1940), Moon Over Miami (1941), State Fair (1945), Call Me Madam (1953) and The King and I (1956). Lang later returned to fairytales with his last film Snow White and the Three Stooges (1961).
Full film available online here:-