Netlix’s Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a musical holiday story set in the Victorian era, and opens with a lady (Phylicia Rashad) telling her grandchildren the tale of a toy-maker and inventor named Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker as older Jeronicus, Justin Cornwell as the younger).
Jangle is a successful businessman and owner of Jangles and Things until his apprentice Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key as elder Gustafson, Miles Barrow as the younger) steals his latest and greatest invention, a sentient matador doll named Don Juan Diego (voiced by Ricky Martin).
Without proof of Gustafson’s actions to show to the police, Jangles and Things falls into financial hardship while Gustafson starts his own factory and becomes hugely successful based on Jangle’s book of inventions that he also stole.
Years later, Jangle’s daughter Jessica (Anika Noni Rose) sends her daughter Journey (Madalen Mills) to stay with her father for a bit, recognizing she shares her grandfather’s inventing talent.
Meanwhile, Gustafson is falling on hard times, having exhausted the pages of the book, and Jangle is on the verge of having Jangle and Things repossessed by the bank.
What follows is a story of love and redemption, of new connections and re-connecting, all set to an amazing soundtrack of songs that will thrill any lover of musical theater.
Mills is an impressive talent for any age, but especially for a young girl. She and Key seem to have the most fun with their musical scenes, chewing up the scenery as they sing their hearts out.
Kudos also to Lisa Davina Phillip as Ms. Johnston, a postwoman who has her eyes set on Jangle, and Ashley Wallen who choreographed all of the magnificent musical numbers.
Written and directed by David E. Talbert, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is an enchanting mixture of live action and stop action with a huge heart. There really needs to be a Broadway version of this movie!
One the best holiday movies I’ve ever seen, I’m giving Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey a 4.5 out of 5. It’s streaming on Netflix.
JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY
Director/Writer: David E. Talbert
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Davina Phillip, Ricky Martin, Justin Cornwell
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Tagged: Christmas movies, family films, Jingle Jangle, musical films, Netflix, streaming