This animated fantasy movie for grown-ups and children was conceived by singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson at probably the most prolific period of his career.
Its music lay somewhere between the soft romanticism of the albums Ariel Ballet and Harry and his commercial and artistic success with Nilsson Schmilsson and the single Without You.
Although Harry had been involved with movies prior to The Point – supplying songs for Midnight Cowboy (1969), Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) and the complete soundtrack for Otto Preminger’s Skidoo (1968) – the fantasy movie marked a completely new direction in his career, embodying a total involvement from the initial story conception through to selling the idea to a TV executive.
The movie – narrated by Dustin Hoffman in the first telecast and Ringo Starr in the video release (although another version, seen on cable television in the ’80s and ’90s, featured narration by Alan Thicke) – centres itself around the adventures of a little pointless person, Oblio, and his dog, Arrow, in the Kingdom of Point (where everything – and everyone – literally has a point).
The story is full of fascinating characters in the best fairy tale tradition, from the Evil Count to the various people Oblio (voiced by Mike Lookinland from The Brady Bunch) meets when banished to the Pointless Forest.
A charming tale reminiscent at times of The Little Prince it became a great success when first screened in the US by ABC TV in 1971 and in Britain by the BBC on New Year’s Day 1972.
Nilsson used the movie’s story as a special project album, narrating everything himself.
He condensed the storyline and included the seven songs he had written for the movie and the album was a predictable success.
Dustin Hoffman (First Telecast)
Ringo Starr (Video release)
Oblio’s Father/Pointed Man’s Right Head/King/Leaf Man/Villagers