‘Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey‘ is a Christmas musical Netflix film directed and written by David E. Talbert. The score was composed by John Debney with original music by Philip Lawrence and John Legend, the latter of whom also co-produced it.
A grandmother (Phylicia Rashad) tells the story of Journey (Madalen Mills) who goes to a Christmas visit her grandfather Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker), a once acclaimed inventor-turned-pawnborker. He is bitter after his former assistant Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key), stole his toy designs with the help of Don Juan Diego (Ricky Martin), a robotic toy matador who wants to stay one-of-kind. Journey and her grandfather’s assistant, Edison (Kieron L. Dyer) try to convince him not to close shop, but with the banker Mr. Delacroix (Hugh Bonneville) threaten foreclosure, Jeronicus feels defeated. However, Journey’s optimism and Christmas belief brings one of his inventions to life. This intrigues Gustafon, who has since run out of ideas and plans to upstage Jeronicus once again.
I actually enjoyed this movie a great deal. It is simple, family friendly, and has a charming story that has lots of smiles. When I saw that it was a musical, I was prepared to roll my eyes, but it is played off pretty well. While it is nothing mind-blowing, the songs are quite enjoyable. Sure, a few of them are a little cheesy, but they were not cringy or so campy that it took you out of the movie. They actually had some imagination and some pretty good foot-tapping moments.
As for the acting, it is pretty good. Phylicia Rashad can own any part she plays and though her role was a bit smaller in this movie, it stood out. Likewise, Madalen Mills does a good job in her role. She had some good acting chops and while she had a few cheesy moments, she came out on top overall. Of course, any review would be remise without mentioning Forest Whitaker. He was good as usual and you can tell he put his heart into the role, as did Justin Cornwell, who played a younger version the Whitaker’s character.
The costumes and the set pieces are also top-notch. They combined a steampunk aethetic with a Christmas theme, pulling it off and making it look pretty cool. It brought out the “Christmas magic” theme of the movie and made it more fun since it was not in a straight historical spot or sometime in the future. Kudos to David E. Talbert for the fanciful experience the movie gives the audience.
Bottom line, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a fun family film that you can enjoy on the holidays. It has a fun vibe to it that the parents and the kids can enjoy together.
PARENTAL CONCERN: Minor Violence
FAVORITE QUOTE: The magic it seemed, had escaped him. And soon, so did everything else.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of Holidate and ‘Operation Christmas Drop.’ Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.