Home Movies: The Point
By David Filipi
The idea for The Point came to cult singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson during an acid trip and inspired both a concept album and the first prime-time feature-length animated special to be televised in the U.S. Animated by Fred Wolf, it tells the story of a young boy named Oblio who is banished from the über-conformist Pointed Village for the misfortune of being born with a round head in a society of cone-shaped domes. Accompanied by his dog Arrow, Oblio encounters numerous odd creatures during his exile, and this fanciful journey provides Wolf with ample opportunities for moments of free-flowing, hand-drawn animated splendor: his highly graphic, necessarily limited style serves the story well. Dustin Hoffman provided the voice of the father/narrator for the 1971 premiere but contractual problems forced the producers to redo his part for subsequent airings. Nilsson friend Ringo Starr supplies the voice for the home-video version.