‘Jingle Jangle’ Review: Toys are dancing through my head

‘Jingle Jangle’ Review: Toys are dancing through my head

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It’s the Netflix holiday movie with a lot of soul, lovely songs, and a cast that so many can see themselves. 

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’ is a delightful addition to the Netflix holiday offering that will be a classic for many a household. It’s a family-friendly film that will engage young, old, and kids at hearts with a cast that belt out songs to make your toes tap and fingers snap written by Philip Lawrence, John Legend, and others. 

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (2020) Phylicia Rashad as Grandmother Cr.Gareth Gatrell/NETFLIX

The tale starts with the grandmother (Phylicia Rashad) telling her two grandchildren the story of Jeronicus Jangle (Justin Cornwell) who is joyful talented inventor with a shop, loving family and enraptured customers. The moment he has it all he’s betrayed by his young apprentice Gustafson (Miles Barrow) when the animatronic bullfighter named Don Juan Diego (Ricky Martin) flames his jealousy like a snake in the garden of  eden <cough> toy shop. As the story continues we see time passes as sadness, depression, and failure drags Jeronicus down causing him to withdraw from his beloved daughter and the world. David E. Talbert is adept at the help of this ship as the writer and director whose vision takes us on a whimsical journey.  

Time passes by and Jeronicus (Forest Whitaker) becomes a shadow of himself and his Jessica Jangle (Anika Noni Rose) grows up and moves away from the cold grumpy man he becomes that dismisses her talent. But his icy heart cracks under the onslaught of Ms. Johnston (Lisa Davina Phillip) love bombs, his talented ‘mini me’ granddaughter, and his apprentice Edison Latimer (Kieron L. Dyer). Will they get his creative juices flowing? Will Gustafson (Keetan-Michael Key) get his comeuppance? 

Well, this is a spoiler-free review but this delightful Christmas story with a talented cast of African Americans will make you believe in magic, it did me! I adored this film and wasn’t sure what to expect but this was such fun to watch I wished I could see it in a theatre with other people. I truly adored it. The music was so fun that I plan to add to my holiday playlist. It was a fun movie that at two hours felt more like 90 minutes the pacing was perfect, the effects made me feel so warm, and it’s the classic holiday movie you can enjoy year after year. The cast had wonderful chemistry, are talented but the kids had the wonder and magic to hold their own to these powerhouses! The set design, costumes, the hairstyles (historically accurate), and the animation segments just played into the magic. I want to say kudos to the entire team that brought this film to life! The music will dance in your mind and the story reminds me of childhood cuddling up with my sister under a blanket as one of our parents or grandparents read us a book. David E. Talbert has given us a Back Christmas movie that looks like my family and I love it.

A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a wholly fresh and spirited family holiday event. Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within. From the imagination of writer-director David E. Talbert and featuring original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and “This Day” performed by Usher and Kiana Ledé, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey reminds us of the strength of family and the power of possibility.

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Rated PG. Running time: 2 hours 2 minutes. 

Director/Writer – David E. Talbert
Produced by:
Lyn Sisson-Talbert, p.g.a., David E. Talbert, p.g.a., Kristin Burr, p.g.a., John Legend, Mike Jackson, David McIlvain Stars – Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose, Madalen Mills Rating – PG Running Time – 2h 2m Genres – Family, Fantasy, Musical

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