Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a Christmas musical fantasy movie written and directed by David E. Talbert and starring Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills and Keegan-Michael Key.
Christmas is such a happy time, isn’t it? With festivities and lights and a general air of merriment everywhere, it’s a special feeling even if you’re not doing anything. However, for all those who stay at home, Netflix brings out the warmest (and sometimes silliest) movies especially for Christmas which are all kinds of fun and warmth. Jingle Jangle is that movie.
A through-and-through kiddie movie at heart, Jingle Jangle gives you a look into magic, wonder and faith. The movie follows Jeronicus Jangle and his granddaughter Journey, who try to make a revolutionary invention work which might change their lives forever. On the path to the invention, however, their relationships and lives also get intertwined.
Jingle Jangle is a movie of faith, celebration and a lot of music. It’s a musical, afterall. It not only talks about having faith in yourself and doing what you do best, but also focuses on the importance of family and finding yourself. There’s, ofcourse, also the treacherous Gustafson, Jeronicus’s ex-apprentice who stole all of Jeronicus’s invention blueprints and left the inventor broken and helpless.
This is the perfect Christmas time movie to watch with the entire family. It’s innocent, has a lot going for it, and the exquisite direction, cinematography and costume and set designs make it a truly magical watch. There’s a lot to learn and lots of fun and energetic dance sequences that keep you on your toes. There’s one really lovely scene involving Journey, Jeronicus and an entire street filled with people playing with snowballs. It’s one of the most fun and heartwarming scenes of the movie.
Performances and characterisations are great. However, Journey, in my opinion, felt a little one dimensional. Come what may, that girl is a ball of positivity, which might be a bit too much. However, considering it’s a Christmas movie for (mostly) children, it’s not that surprising a choice to make. Forest Whitaker and Madalen Mills as Jeronicus and Journey are wonderful and fill the movie with love and kindness. Their portrayal of the title characters is sweet and relatable and it’s heart-warming to see the two’s bond become better over time.
Keegan-Michael Key as Gustafson and Ricky Martin as the voice of Don Juan Diego are great too as the two baddies. The latter, especially, is a mix of bad and funny and gives Don Juan a flavour of its own.
Jingle Jangle embraces the African culture and heritage brilliantly, be it the beautiful hairstyles, the dance or the music. It’s an amalgamation of different things that make this a wholesome treat. The movie also employs stop-motion animation in between to tell stories. It’s one of my favourite parts because they look so wonderful. Other than that, there’s also the Buddy 3000 which looks very much like Wall-E and is extremely cute.
Summing up: Jingle Jangle
Jingle Jangle is a sweet movie that some might find too sweet. However, it’s the season of merriment and at a time when all we are doing is staying at home, some sweetness and warmth might just be all we need. There’s something very reassuring and loving about the movie – be it Journey’s unshakable faith on her grandfather or her cute friendship with Edison, it’s a treat to watch. Although I sometimes felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of songs, but considering it’s a musical, that’s to be expected.
Jingle Jangle is streaming on Netflix.
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