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How an Acid Trip Led Harry Nilsson to Create ‘The Point’ (1971)
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Harry Nilsson’s beloved 1971 animation, The Point.
February marked the 50th anniversary of the beloved Harry Nilsson animation The Point. The endearing children’s animated special, a la The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine,” delivered beautiful psychedelic Nilsson song interludes and a Dr. Suess-like storyline adapted from his conceptual sixth solo record of the same name. The film tells the outsider fable of a young boy named Oblio, the only round-headed person in “Pointed Village,” a town where by law “everyone and everything must have a point!“
Like the film’s vivid, colorful and imaginative story might suggest, Nilsson acknowledged in an interview that a psychedelic experience inspired the idea: “I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to points. I thought, ‘Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn’t, then there’s no point to it.’”
The film premiered on ABC in February 1971 as a movie of the week and was narrated initially by Harry’s friend Dustin Hoffman. Although that version appears to be lost, a few different narrations followed, even one by Ringo Starr. Below you’ll find a fully restored version with Growing Pains’ Alan Thicke providing the narrative treatment.
Due to the variety of versions released in limited and obsolete means, the film has fallen into obscurity. Thankfully, the internet has salvaged it. Via the Youtube uploader’s description, “here it is – my gift to you, completely restored picture and audio, spliced together by me from my recorded VHS copy. This version, once considered lost, is now found.”
Listen to The Point! below:
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