Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

jingle jangle a christmas journey poster 2020 movie
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 8/10
Visual: 8/10

Nice, fun, clever addition to the holiday movie world

A bit long for younger kids

Movie Info

Movie Name: Jingle Jangle:  A Christmas Journey

Studio: Golden Girl

Genre(s): Seasonal/Musical/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s): November 13, 2020

MPAA Rating: PG

jingle jangle a christmas journey phylicia rashad

I have a story for you

Jeronicus Jangle (Justin Cornwell) has the greatest toy inventions in the land at his store Jangles and Things, but when his assistant Gustafson (Miles Barrow) feels slighted by Jeronicus and is convinced to “borrow” his book of inventions by Jeronicus’s newest creation called Don Juan Diego, Jangle is left broken while Gustafson soars with Jangle’s creations.  Following the death of his wife and thirty years since his inventions were taken, Jeronicus (Forest Whitaker) finds himself visited by his granddaughter Journey (Madalen Mills).  Journey is a young inventor herself.  Jangles and Things is on the verge of closing and the only hope could be an old invention by Jeronicus and his daughter (Anika Noni Rose), but Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key) is out of creations and Buddy 3000 could be the key to his success.

Written and directed by David E. Talbert, Jingle Jangle:  A Christmas Journey is a family musical holiday fantasy.  The film premiered on Netflix on November 13, 2020 and was generally well received.

I’m always interested in modern Christmas movies because I question if they can catch even a glimpse of the “magic” you had as a kid when a holiday movie would come on TV.  I heard some buzz about Jingle Jangle, and meant to watch it…but forgot until after the holidays.  I have to say in the year of 2020, Jingle Jangle is what the world needed.

jingle jangle a christmas journey forest whitaker madalen mills

Ok…we’re hugging now…cool

Jingle Jangle isn’t perfect, but it is a great holiday romp that appealing to all ages.  The story is broad and light and the cast is inclusive.  Intended to be a stage musical initially, it still has that musical but doesn’t necessarily feel confined or altered by bringing it to screen.  The story has a lot of facets, but largely is about believing in people, rising up against lost, and in general the role of joy in a person’s life by doing what he or she likes to do.  It might be a bit long for kids, but they will enjoy it.

The cast is great.  Forest Whitaker doesn’t necessarily scream “musical” to me, but he works as the disillusioned Jeronicus and works well with the young, new talent of Madalen Mills.  Keegan-Michael Key plays a good villain and it is fun that Ricky Martin was cast as the voice of Don Juan Diego.  Kieron L. Dyer’s Edison kind of reminds me of the fun Jojo Rabbit friend played by Archie Yates.  Hugh Bonneville has a smaller role as the banker and Phylicia Rashad serves as the narrator who appears as bookends to the story.

jingle jangle a christmas journey

I’m evil because I have a mustache and I’m bald

Visually the movie also excels which is why as a kid you would enjoy it.  The movie is set-based, but that is intentional in that feels like a magical, other worldly place.  There are a number of practical effects, but there are also some creative effects circulating Buddy 3000 and Don Juan Diego although Buddy 3000 doesn’t seem to quite fit the style of the movie as much as I’d like (I wish he had been a bit more steampunk since much of Jeronica’s creations have that feel).

Jingle Jangle is a nice addition to the Christmas movies, but if you missed it during the holidays, it can be a good break from the darkness that often circles movies.  It has a real Babes in Toyland type feel to the story, and though I’m not the biggest fan of Babes in Toyland, I like the idea and style of the story/movie.  Hopefully Jingle Jangle will find a place on the yearly holiday shelf and get an audience it deserves.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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