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Archive for September 24th, 2011

By Bob Clark

Another detour from anime this week as we look more at the animated musical, but still steer clear of the traditional route of Disney and their imitators. In any number of ways, the 1971 animated television special The Point represents something of an oddity for anybody pursuing relative obscurities and nostalgic relics of thinking-man’s cartoons. With a sketchy, watercolor-infused art style that often only makes faint attempts to connect concretely with the plot at hand or the subjects of the various musical numbers, the film has a decidedly surreal, but playful outlook uncommon for traditional fairy-tale narratives. Instead, it has much more in common with any number of the other pop-music inspired works of animation from the 70’s and 80’s (The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine, Peter, Paul & Mary’s Puff the Magic Dragon), not to mention the whole abstract and expressionist tendencies in some of the more independent animated efforts from that time period in North America. Though they tend to be drowned out by the overwhelming mainstream popularity of studios like Disney and Warner Brothers, there’s long been a strong-running undercurrent of more subversive animators toiling within and without the system in the United States and especially Canada, and it’s to The Point‘s credit that it feels more like any number of the adventurous works of Canadian animation than anything from its own shores.

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