During the holidays I love original content. I’m not talking hallmark channel stuff (but if that’s your vibe, cool). I’m talking well written, produced, designed, and with some damn holiday spirit. With that said it’s very rare nowadays to find a new “holiday classic”
Enter “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey”, a musical holiday film directed and written by David E.Talbert. It features an all star cast. With songs co written by John Legend. It tells the story of an inventor and his granddaughter. They try to construct a toy in time for the holidays.
So here’s what I liked about the movie. The production design. This took some effort and you can tell. It looks gorgeous. The sets look whimsical and fun. A mix of steampunk and 18th century aesthetic. I got vibes of the greatest showman. The costumes, lush and colorful. The design uses different patterns and textures. I highly advise looking at the clothes. There are really small details in there. Another small touch I loved is the use of natural and modern hairstyles on the cast.
The casting. Predominantly black and Latino. The diversity is amazing to see. Standouts for me are Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Phylicia Rashad, Keegan-Michael Key and Ricky Martin. However this cast is top notch. Shoutout to the kids as well. The kids in the movie are stars. They're not annoying. Very down to earth and smart.
The use of animation. In the film it is used to show passage of time. It kept with the theme of toys, almost looking like marionettes. Another nice touch and keeps the whimsical element going
Onto the ehh. Didn't hate it but ehh and that’s the music. The music is okay. Nothing really amazing about them. Nothing you haven’t heard before. However I do appreciate the mix between big musical theatre numbers, to modern urban music. What saves them is how they are performed. Either a big production number or making use of their surroundings. With that said I feel like it could have used another song or two.
This is small but the story did get a little predictable for me. But that was forgiven for being a holiday movie. All is forgiven during the holidays.
On a side note. I feel like this should be on stage. I could see this as a touring show. Or an annual event in New York during the holidays. It would be amazing. Some new songs, same production value, special effects. Just putting it out there.
So what’s my opinion of “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey”? It’s a cute family film. Lots of love went into this movie. I think we have found a new classic. Or a least a new one to add to our “must watch” during the holidays.
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is available for streaming on Netflix. The soundtrack is available on music streaming platforms