BRILLIANCE BECKONS. GENIUS EXPECTED.
Christmas movies are a time-honored tradition. Seasonal movies can shine during the Christmas break. Dazzling viewers with Christmas spirit and overly sentimental stories about love, family and Christmas party. Since many classic holiday films and TV specials come onto the market this time of year, it has been difficult to find a somewhat “new” unforgettable / timeless Christmas film lately. Sure, there have been a variety of vacation-themed films that have come out recently such as: The knight before Christmas, let it Snow, The Princess Switch, The Christmas Chronicles, but none of them were so memorable as to match the same timeless feel of theater and film with that of the same caliber of It is a wonderful life, Miracle on the 34thth road, Home alone, The nightmare before Christmas, or Eleven. With the advent of streaming services, various streaming outlets / platforms have started producing (or buying) holiday-themed Christmas movies to promote their streaming services during the holiday season. Now Netflix and director David E. Talbert present the latest Christmas film of the 2020 season with the release of Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. Is this movie worth the watch to ring in the “Christmas” spirit, or is it a musical mashup journey that just doesn’t work?
Years ago, legendary toy maker Jeronicus Jangle (Justin Cornwell) owned Jangle and Things, an imaginative craft store brimming with creative inventions of whims and wonders for all ages in the wonderful and vibrant town of Cobbleton. With his family including his wife Joanne (Sharon Rose) and Jessica (Diaana Babnicova) by his side, the popular toy maker is at the forefront of its game. Receive an important invention on the day that could bring his greatest creation to life. After Jeronicus’ apprentice Gustafson (Miles Barrow) is persuaded to betray his master, Jeronicus closes his whole world around him. Years later, Jessica (Anika Noni Rose), now estranged from her father, sends her daughter Journey (Madalen Mills) to spend some time with her grandfather, who is a shell of a man from what he used to be. fall to produce everything that works and who has lost the spark of their imaginative creativity. With Jangle and Things on the verge of bankruptcy, it is Journey’s turn to relive the hope of Jeronicus’ brilliance and discover the magic of one of his lost inventions, while Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key), who has since become a well-known toy manufacturer, Has done this No more fresh ideas and now plans to find out his next great invention from his old master’s business.
THE GOOD / THE BAD
A few lines from my review of Operation Christmas DropI’m a fan of Christmas movies. Always have and always be. Christmas time has been a big holiday for me since I was a child, so the combination of old Christmas cheers and cinematic stories in holiday-themed films has always been to my taste. Of course, I love many of the more traditional / classic vacation movies, especially those that have become classics in their own right, like “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “It’s a Wonderful Life” Miracle on the 34thth road or those who were released growing up like The nightmare before Christmas or Home alone. Still, one of the favorites should definitely be Polar Express (love the whole movie) or maybe Eleven (before actor Will Ferrell became increasingly uncomfortable). As mentioned above, there have been a ton of new Christmas-themed movies from rom-coms to smoky comedies to dramedies and various other genres. Not much has become timeless, however. Stuff like Disney + Noelle seems like a memorable guy while on Netflix Klaus was received with general recognition. So it’s kind of hit or miss.
This brings me back to talking Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, a musical fantasy vacation adventure for 2020 that seems to be the next “big thing” in Christmas features. As with many Netflix original movies, I didn’t hear much about this movie when it was first announced, and it wasn’t necessarily seen in the 2020 Christmas releases. So I really didn’t pay much attention to it. In fact, my first real taste for the film was when the film’s trailer went online in October and I have to say that I was definitely excited to see this film. Judging by the trailer, I was pretty taken with the visual appearance and attractiveness of the feature. Besides, it was musical…. the hell yeah I was definitely looking forward to seeing Jingle Jangle when it released in early November. Since the work was taking a long time to complete (this is the retail holiday season) I had to wait a couple of weeks to finally catch up with another personal deal and finally sit down one evening to watch that particular movie. And what did I think of that? Well, I really liked it. Despite a few minor nitpicks, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is an entertaining musical fantasy adventure that is sure to delight all ages. I have a feeling that this particular film is destined to be a new modern vacation classic.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey Directed by David E. Talbert, whose earlier directorial work includes such films as First sunday, Baggage claim, and Almost Christmas. Given his background, Talbert does Jingle jangle his most ambitious project and he certainly manages to make the feature work wonderfully and magically. Talbert seems to know what the movie’s audience is from the get-go, and maintains that tone throughout the film’s runtime. To create a very whimsical, imaginative vacation adventure driven by a colorful palette, musical numbers and a lot of heart. What works best for the film that Talbert is making is that the story of the feature film feels light-hearted and whimsical … as if Jingle Jangle is a long-lost children’s Christmas story. In addition, Talbert’s music has been used throughout the film’s history with many musical songs and numbers, with features that include multiple musical songs that are quite engaging and typing, and Talbert’s team demonstrates many amazing choreographed dance moves and sequences that are eye-catching and stylish in almost every scene. Personally, my favorite song in the movie is “This Day,” the first song in the film that is played and definitely sets the tone for the next two hours Jingle jangle.
In addition, Talbert, who as director of the film also fulfills “double duties” for the film, keeps Jingle Jangle on very familiar and comfortable ground. Relying on common themes of childish wonder and imagination, which are of course universal, as well as presented messages of dealing with grief and the strength to believe in yourself, are always fundamental for all ages. While the film is of a certain size, particularly in terms of the story, color display, and music of the film, Talbert keeps Jingle Jangle more focused on an intimate project, and almost like an intimate project. Overall, Talbert’s efforts in both script handling and the Jingle Jangle director’s chair make for a “breath of fresh air” for most of the Netflix Christmas holidays. Make the movie more memorable / entertaining from start to finish. All in all, Jingle jangle is a musical wonderland adventure full of heart and imagination.
Overall, the overall picture is for Jingle jangle is absolutely amazing and definitely a visual feast for the eyes. From every detail in the first few moments of the film, the entire project looks and feels like a long-lost magical Christmas story, full of colors and imaginative designs. The whole storybook feel mixed with the Victorian style motifs / garments and the steampunk nuances feels quite unique and definitely adds a wondrous “once upon a time” feel that is very welcoming and inviting. Did I mention the colors! The entire film is full of vivid colors. Create incredibly bright and vibrant colors that will definitely “pop” and create a visual wonderland for the eyes. So I really did mention a lot of the different behind-the-scenes players including Gavin Bocquet (production designs), Rob Cameron (set decor), Michael Wilkinson (costume designs), and all the members of the film’s art direction, to get to know this fictional (and living) city of Cobbleton imagine / bring to life. Thanks to cameraman Remi Adefarasin, who brings creative / far-reaching camera angles and flashes into the production, the visual cinematography complements the film perfectly. Additionally, the visual effects are pretty solid. Of course, they’re not top notch and / or the “best of the best” in today’s CGI blockbuster, but what is presented works and gives the narrative kinematics of the feature its own personal charm. Of course, there are traditional CGI animations that the film uses, but there are also CGI animations for its sequences of narrative (in short bursts) that add to its storybook feel. In addition to the film’s music (as mentioned above), the film’s score, composed by John Debney and Michael Diskint, is superb and feels amazingly melodic, which harmonizes with many of the different scenes or musical overtones.
While I like the film, I have to say that there are some criticisms that come with that Jingle jangle While that doesn’t detract from my sympathy for the feature, it feels like it could have been better with the final presentation of the movie. How come? Well, for starters, the big complaint I have with the film is the fact that it is pretty predictable. Yes, I understand it is meant to be made for children and follows the traditional journey of discovery and belief. However, most of this type of storytelling has been done multiple times across different platforms. While the movie always shines with its visual and musical numbers, the actual plot seems a bit recycled. What is presented works … I disagree with this, but it feels a little hollow at times and becomes a bit predictable as things would ultimately play out in the narrative. So it’s pretty easy to see where Jingle jangle is on the way and many of its major “twists” and “twists” seem formulaic; without the sharpness I was hoping for. Another problem is that the movie feels a little long. I was a bit surprised to see that the movie’s running time was about two hours (122 minutes total) and it feels kind of long. In truth, the beginning of the movie feels a bit rushed as I wish they’d spent more time in this area, while the third act is a bit bloated and could have been shortened to shorten the running time of the feature. Additionally, there’s a lot to unzip throughout the movie, with multiple meandering story threads that certainly tie it together until the end of the movie as a whole, but it takes a while to get there. These points of criticism are only minor complaints that I have with the film and that did not take away so much pleasure from the film.
What actually is a big positive result? Jingle jangle shows up quite nicely in his various characters or rather in his acting talents to play these colorfully animated constructs. Why so? Well, for the most part, the diverse cast of Jingle jangle, which highlights African American actors in particular, is proving effective, which definitely speaks volumes, especially given racial segregation and the modernization of inclusion on mainstream platforms. Be clear…. This isn’t a gimmick in the film as the cast really shines and brings to life (both physically and vocally) life in the film’s cinematic history. At the top (and headlining) of the film is definitely Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker, who plays the main protagonist of the film, Jeronicus Jangle. Known for his roles in The Butler, Black Panther, and The last king of ScotlandWhitaker has always been known for the subtlety in his voice when acting and creating engaging character performances – no matter how big or small. His commitment to Jingle Jangle is a perfect example of his acting talent. To shape Jeronicus Jangle into the broken shell of a man who, due to the size of his resourceful inventor, the toy maker, has lost confidence in himself. Again, Whitaker is great in the role and his nervous sounding little voice is superb and it’s heartwarming to see him transform throughout the narration of the film. Similarly, actor Keegan-Michael Key also plays Gustafson, Jeronicus’ once-aspiring inventor’s apprentice in the film. Known for his roles in Keanu, Pitch Perfect 2, and Key and peel, Key is fun in the role of Gustafson; make for a larger than life character compared to Whitaker’s Jeronicus. And while he’s more of the villain of the feature (more comic-book-style), Keys Gustafson is still fun and makes for a compelling / entertaining performance in the movie.
Behind these two stands the young actress Madalen Mills (The tiger rises) is perfect as the cute and innocent character of Journey Jangle, Jessica’s daughter and Jeronicus’ granddaughter. She definitely holds her own in the movie; Jeronicus acts as a somewhat secondary main character and plays a solid role in both her performance and her singing (as mentioned in the song “Not the Only One”). Her young co-star Kieron L. complements her in the film. Dyer (who makes his box office debut in the film) as Edison Latimer, a young boy who befriends Journey on their adventure of discovery. Together, Mills and Dyer act as the young stars of the feature film, and they definitely make it in their work. Next, actress Anika Noni Rose (The princess and the frog and Dream girl) beautifully plays the role of Jessica Jangle, Jeronicus’ daughter. The sad part is that the character isn’t in the movie that often which is a bit of a let down and doesn’t give much time to Rose’s acting which is actually pretty good. Even so, she nails the character right away. In addition, singer Ricky Martin plays an amusing role in the film as Don Juan Diego, a sentiment and miniature matador invention. Martin manages to bring the character to life with his singing, singing talent and body movement, of which Juan is an animated CGI creation.
The rest of the cast, including and actor Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey and Paddington) as Mr. Delacroix, actress Lisa Davis Phillip (Apple tree house and The royal today) as Mrs. Johnston, actor Miles Barrow (scoop) as the younger version of Gustafson, actress Sharon Rose (her movie debut) as Jeronicus’ wife Joanne Jangle, actress Diaana Babnicova (Everything will be and isolation of the series) as the younger version of Jessica Jangle and actor Justin Cornwell (I am the night and Training day) are delegated to supporting roles throughout the film. Some actually shine in the limited screen time (most notably Justin Cornwell singing “This Day” at the beginning of the film). Overall, I liked these supportive players and I add a lot of lively warmth and fun to the feature. Most recently actress Phylicia Rashad (The Cosby Show and Creed) books the feature gracefully as the Grandmother Journey in a very well-made storyteller of this musical fantasy adventure.
I think it’s time for a new story when a young girl shows her grandfather the brilliance of his once ingenious mind and imaginative wondrous power in film Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. Director David E. Talbert’s latest film takes a plunge into the foray into Christmas vacation-themed films that rises to the top of other memorable hits from the past, producing something magical from start to finish. While the film enters the realm of formulaic narratives a few times and is a bit too long, the bulk of the film is bristling thanks to Talbert’s direction, creative steampunk / storybook sets, lively costumes and lyrical music songs before Christmas Spirit, a strong cast of talent, which amplifies basic messages of sadness, belief and wonder. Personally, I really liked this movie. While the film is easily predictable, it nonetheless retains a lot of imaginative vacation magic embedded in a lyrical / colorful musical journey. To me it already feels like a modern, timeless holiday classic. So my recommendation for this film is a “very recommendable” recommendation, as it contains almost all of the fronts of the entire mantra “Tis the Season” and is a wonderful feature. Finally, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey rises in his resourceful nickname; delivers a touching / timeless tale of love and magic that is perfectly embedded in a colorful world of iridescent colors and musical numbers.
4.4 out of 5 (highly recommended)
Published on: November 13, 2020
Reviewed on: 5th December 2020
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is 122 minutes and is rated PG for some thematic elements and hazards