A king to marry and bluebirds to herald it.
Feeling blue? Don't! Look, there's a bluebird perched there!
Perhaps it's because they're a shade of Heavenly Blue
, but bluebirds are symbols of happiness — and this indeed, covers several entirely different species of songbirds, as long as they have blue feathers.
A common plot is to go on The Quest
for one only to return home empty-handed and find it was already there
. Outlining the Aesop
that home is where you will find happiness
is optional. While they have learned to recognize it from the quest, it's usually not It's the Journey That Counts
, because it is usually treated as something they should have recognized even before.
Besides this MacGuffin
status, they can also be local color, but because of the symbolism, they are seldom the Loyal Animal Companion
As true bluebirds are only native to North America, any of them showing up in Europe is Misplaced Wildlife
Film — Animated
Film — Live Action
- In Tangled, the birds flitting about Rapunzel after her descent were bluebirds.
- Song of the South: "Mr. Bluebird is on my shoulder... It is the truth, it's actual, everything is satisfactual..."
- At the end of Yellow Submarine, the Chief Blue Meanie decides a Heel-Face Turn is natural for him because "my cousin is the Bluebird of Happiness."
- Snow White sings to one.
- Shrek parodies this, having Fiona sing to one... causing it to explode.
- A scene in "The Rescuers" uses the bluebird as a symbol of "faith ... you see from afar."
- Parodied in Hogfather, when the Cheerful Fairy manifests with the Blue Bird of Happiness on her shoulder. It's a blue chicken.
- In K-PAX the book, like in the movie, prot exhorts his fellow asylum inmates to find the "blue bird of happiness," and they eventually glimpse a literal one.
- in Seanan McGuire's Velveteen Vs The Junior Super Patriots, the Princess unsurprisingly has bluebirds among her helpful animal companions.
- In Jennifer Crusie's Maybe This Time, Andie's brother-in-law had given her hoop earrings with bluebirds — bluebirds of happiness, he had told her.
- The Far Side had one strip where a man is abandoned by the Bluebird of Happiness, and is instead visited by the Chicken of Depression.
- There was a Pearls Before Swine Sunday comic where Pig receives a visit from the Bluebird of Happiness, which makes Pig really happy since he never received a visit from such a bird. Subverted afterwards, when it turns out that the Bluebird actually had the wrong address, because he held the directions upside-down, and was really looking for Joseph C. Skalabonsky, so he flies away, leaving Pig sad and alone once again.
- There's a level with a "red bird of happiness" in Super Mario Sunshine.
- Tokimeki Memorial 2 has, among its numerous Image Songs, one called "Aoi Tori" (Blue Bird). It's a Kaori Yae image song, in which the blue bird is the symbol of the main protagonist, who came into Kaori's wounded heart, telling her she's not alone, and bringing her happiness and love.
- The Earthbound theme song "Pollyanna" has the following verse:
I believe there'll come a day
Maybe it will be tomorrow.
When the blue bird flies away
All we have to do is follow (it).
I believe a dream can still come true,
Why shouldn't I believe the same in you?
- Inverted nastily in Odin Sphere. While the cruel bird that represents Gwendolyn's self-doubt is never named, it might as well be called the Bluebird of Unhappiness.
- Played With in Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, or rather in its Show Within a Show A Blue Dove for the Princess: in this case, it's the Blue Dove who goes out on a quest to find a cure for the sick Princess, only to discover that he should have stayed with her all along upon return.
- Harvest Moon games have you propose to your spouse with a blue feather. While many games simply have you buy the feather from the store (apparently the grocer knows everyone's business and knows when he needs to start stocking feathers) or have the Mayor give it to you, some mention the bird by name and at least one makes you climb a mountain in order to find the bird and pick up a feather it's moulted.
- In Virtue's Last Reward, the optimistic Luna wears a bluebird necklace.
- The campaign to get VLR a sequel was called Operation Bluebird.