The round-headed Oblio has had to wear a pointed hat since birth to conceal his "pointless" condition from his pointy-headed peers. However, Oblio is accepted in the town despite his nonconformity until one day when the son of an evil count is unwittingly dishonored by Oblio. The count's son challenges Oblio to a one-on-one game of Triangle Toss where participants catch triangles on their heads. Oblio wins with the help of his dog Arrow. In a fit of rage, the count, who wants his son to rule the land one day, confronts the good-hearted but timid king to reaffirm the law of the land, which states that those who are pointless must be banished from the kingdom and into the Pointless Forest. A jury reluctantly convicts both Oblio and Arrow leaving the king with no choice but to send the pair away.
Oblio and Arrow are sent to the Pointless Forest, but soon discover that even the Pointless Forest has a point. They meet curious creatures like giant bees, a "pointed man" pointing in all directions who proclaims "A point in every direction is the same as no point at all", a man made of rocks, three dancing fat sisters, and a walking, talking tree who helps Oblio see that everyone has a point, though it might not be readily displayed.
Oblio and Arrow spend the night in the Pointless Forest, then awaken to a large stone hand with the finger pointing to their "destination". They take the road indicated by the hand and make their way back to the Land of Point, where they receive a hero's welcome from the land's citizens, and the king. Oblio begins to tell his story but is interrupted by the furious count, who is then silenced by the king.
Oblio tells the king and the people of the land that everything has a point, including the Pointless Forest, and himself. Angered, the count pulls off Oblio's pointed hat but is taken aback when he sees a point on top of Oblio's bare head.
Upon this revelation the points of everyone else in the land disappear and pointed buildings become round.
The Point! album, unlike the later film, features Nilsson himself telling the story directly to the listener, providing all the characters' voices as well as the narration.
A comic storyboard, illustrated by Gary Lund, was included with the vinyl record when it was first released.
All tracks written by Harry Nilsson.
The film version of The Point! first aired February 2, 1971, on the ABC television network as an ABC Movie of the Week. The film was directed by Fred Wolf and produced by Murakami-Wolf Films in association with Nilsson House Music. In this version, there is a framing device of a father telling his son the fable as a bedtime story. In its initial airing, the voice of the father was provided by a friend of Nilsson's, Dustin Hoffman, who agreed to take $20,000 for his narration to be used on one broadcast, so for later airings of the film, the narration had to be re-recorded. The initial re-recording was done by actor Alan Barzman. The VHS and DVD releases feature another Nilsson friend, Ringo Starr, as the father. Another version, seen on cable television in the '80s and '90s, featured narration by Alan Thicke. The voice of the son, and of Oblio, was provided by Mike Lookinland, best known for playing Bobby Brady on the television series The Brady Bunch.Dustin Hoffman as Narrator/Father (first telecast)Alan Barzman as Narrator/Father (second telecast)Alan Thicke as Narrator/Father (third telecast)Ringo Starr as Narrator/Father (home video release)Paul Frees as Oblio's Father/Pointed Man's Right Head/King/Leaf Man/VillagersLennie Weinrib as CountWilliam E. Martin as Rock ManBuddy Foster as Count's SonJoan Gerber as Oblio's MotherMike Lookinland as Oblio
In the mid-1970s, Esquire Jauchem, artistic director of the Boston Repertory Theater, adapted and directed a stage musical version that starred 18-year-old David Morse as Oblio. The production later toured to the Trinity Square Repertory Company in Providence. In 1991, Nilsson gave Jauchem permission to present his adaptation of The Point! at the Chapel Court Theatre in Hollywood, run by Richard and Tamara Merson. Richard Merson had been involved in the Mermaid Theatre production in London as well, which had starred Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz of The Monkees fame.
In 1977, a stage adaptation of The Point! was presented at the Mermaid Theatre in London. Featured in the cast were Davy Jones and Micky Dolenz, both former members of the band The Monkees and long-time friends of Nilsson. In order to accommodate the expansion of The Point! to a full-length musical, other Nilsson songs from various points in his career were incorporated. An original cast album was released in the United Kingdom by MCA. A CD version has been released by Varese Sarabande on July 1, 2016 under license from Geffen, the current owners of MCA.CastDavy Jones as OblioMicky Dolenz as Count's Kid and The LeafmanColin Bennett as The CountDavid Claridge as ArrowVeronica Clifford as Oblio's Mum, Balloon LadyNoel Howlett as The KingJulia Lewis as Oblio's GirlfriendClovissa Newcombe as Count's Lady, The Pointed ManMark Penfold as The Pointed ManFelix Rice as The RockmanChrissy Roberts as Balloon LadyDenny Ryder as The Pointed ManRoy Sampson as Oblio's DadGary Taylor as Balloon Man, New Bird
Backing vocals were provided by Anna Macleod, Richard Barnes, and Jean Gilbert.CrewDirected by Colin BennettOriginal adaptation by Ron Pember and Bernard MilesDesigned by Peter WhitemanLighting by Peter SuttonChoreography by Gillian GregoryMusical director Mike McNaught
All titles were written by Harry Nilsson, except "Thursday" (Nilsson, Danny Kortchmar).
- Overture – Orchestra
- "Everything's Got 'Em" – Company
- "Me and My Arrow" – Davy Jones
- "Poli High" – Company
- "Remember" – Veronica Clifford
- "To Be a King" – Noel Howlett and Company
- "He's Leaving Here This Morning (Bath)" – Micky Dolenz, Colin Bennett, Clovissa Newcombe
- "Think About Your Troubles" – Davy Jones and Company
- "Blanket For a Sail" – Davy Jones
- "Life Line" – Davy Jones'
- "Thursday (Here's Why I Did Not Go to Work Today)" – Felix Rice
- "It's a Jungle Out There" – Micky Dolenz
- "P.O.V. Waltz" – Davy Jones and Company
- "Are You Sleeping? (Song Title)" – Davy Jones and Company
- "Gotta Get Up" – Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz
- Reprise Overture – Orchestra