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The Point (1971)

Reviewed on 2013 March 24

There was a lot of hoopla about this trippy, surreal, animated fable when it first came out, and I wanted to see if it was as good as the Baby Boomers remembered it. I really enjoyed it. I should point out I’m an English major and have a weakness for puns and double entendres (both innocent and not), so you might roll your eyes at the stuff I found funny.

Wanting to skip the whole bedtime story thing in favor of his favorite TV show, a little boy pleads with his father to just let him watch the idiot box. His father (voiced by Ringo Starr in this version) lovingly ignores his son’s request in favor of a parable. The kid is so fixated on missing his show that he doesn’t quite grasp his father’s gift; this is a whopper.

In a long ago and far away kingdom, a little boy named Oblio (Mike Lookinland) is ostracized as the only “pointless” being in a kingdom of…points. Everything is pointed, including the heads of all the other people (no, they’re not all politicians). His round little noggin is simply too much for them to bear, so he’s exiled to The Pointless Forest, where he and his pointy blue dog Arrow try to find their point, if not the point of it all.

I admit on paper it sounds like something that would have been heralded as “deeeeeeeeep, man” in 1971, the same time period that gave us Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Given wonderfully screwy animated life, it’s a lot of fun, and though it creeps towards homily territory, it’s pretty smart. The dialogue is laced with lots of stuff that might fly past young kids, but nothing a parent would have to worry about if they did get the jokes. The ’70s animation reminded me of Peter Max and the Nilsson music is great too.

Three hand-colored chocolate morsels.

Shukti

morsel morselmorsel

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