The Point (1971)

THE POINT (1971)
Article 2639 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 6-27-2008
Posting Date: 11-3-2008
Directed by Fred Wolf
Featuring the voices of Ringo Starr, Paul Frees, Lennie Weinrib
Country: USA

In a world where everything has points (including the people), a boy with a round head and no point is born. He is looked on as a curiosity by the other people, but when he beats the son of a Count at a triangle toss game (with the help of his trusty dog named Arrow), he ends up being banished to the pointless forest by the King, who has been manipulated by the jealous Count.

It should probably not surprise you that this movie has a message (or a “point”, if you will); the theme almost seems to demand it. Still, I have to admit that the message is not the one I expected; I thought it would be something about prejudice, but it’s really dealing with something else, though it could be said that its real “point” is just as obvious. However, the message isn’t the primary thing that makes this movie a delight. Harry Nilsson wrote the songs for this TV animated movie, but he was hardly just a hired hand; he wrote the original fable and co-wrote the story, and he also served as one of the producers. What makes it really work is that Fred Wolf’s animation manages to capture that same quirky charm that infects Nilsson’s songs; it aims for a rough and imaginative abstractness rather than realism, and it’s a joy to watch. It also helps that the movie is full of interesting and oddball characters. All in all, I feel this is one of the better animated movies from the seventies, as well as one of the best TV-Movies I’ve seen.


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