Though its creation involved any number of creative powerhouses, this wonderful Blu-ray release of The Point functions basically as another way to say "look at how amazing Harry Nilsson was!" And in fact, this post-Love Generation, humanist, made-for-TV animation movie from 1971 is, while in and of itself quite fantastic, an inarguable testament to how great Harry Nilsson was. Nilsson of course being an under-recognized musical genius, and The Point being a delightful animation time-capsule starring Mike Lookinland as a boy exiled from his town because his body didn't conform to societal norms.
Conceived by Nilsson while hallucinating on LSD, (always a promising start for a kids' cartoon) The Point is a pun on the word (when Nilsson was tripping, he noticed lots of things (fir trees, houses) had points, and wondered ‘what's the point?'). From such a musing came first an album, then the story to go with it, which turned into this 75-minute movie that first aired on ABC. We're set up with a dad (voiced by many over the years, including Ringo Starr in this version) telling his jaded son a bedtime story. Into a world where everyone and everything is capped with a point, pointy-headed people! - is born little round-headed Oblio, (Mike Lookinland) who is well-loved until he hits grade-school age, at which point he's singled out for his difference and banished from the city. As he wanders into the countryside with his awesome dog Arrow, he has many psychedelic adventures and meetings, before the story comes to its inevitable ending, or point, if you will.
The Point is renowned mostly for its fantastic soundtrack of Nilsson tunes, including the Top-40 hit "Me and my Arrow" which will stay in your head long after the movie ends. But, it is of course more than that, with the able direction of Fred Wolf and trippy production designs (like a primitive version of Peter Maxx) of Gary Lund. Oblio meets a hip-talking man made of rock, Rotund dancers who bounce off each other like beachballs, and more, all while accompanied by Arrow, who often steals the show with his pointy design, agreeable nature and wonderful expressions. The story will seem slight and very idiosyncratic compared to today's multi-million-dollar, overly synthesized CGI-animated movies, but for that, it should be well-loved for being one-of-a-kind.
The Point's mix of trippy animation, heady concepts, great voice talent and catchy tunes represents an early ‘70s passion project for its creators, and a change of pace for Prime Time TV viewers in 1971. Fans of Harry Nilsson, ‘silver age' animation (for lack of a better term), or kids who grew up in the ‘60s and ‘70s should find a lot to like in this MVD Visual Blu-ray presentation of The Point. With about 2-hours worth of extras, and a limited edition collectible poster, this package comes (for those whose interest is piqued) Recommended.