Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

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Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey poster.png
Official release poster
Directed byDavid E. Talbert
Produced by
Written byDavid E. Talbert
Starring
Music byJohn Debney
CinematographyRemi Adefarasin
Edited by
Production
companies
Distributed byNetflix
Release date
  • November 13, 2020 (2020-11-13)
Running time
122 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a 2020 American Christmas musical fantasy film written and directed by David E. Talbert. It stars Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Lisa Davina Phillip, Ricky Martin, and introducing Madalen Mills.

The film was released on Netflix on November 13, 2020.

Plot[edit]

Jeronicus Jangle an inventor, toymaker, and owner of Jangles and Things, receives the final component to his latest invention that he believes will change his and his family’s lives forever. This component helps create Don Juan Diego, a sentient matador doll. Jeronicus leaves to celebrate, leaving Diego and the store under the care of his apprentice Gustafson. Diego is distraught to learn that he will be mass-produced, thus robbing him of his uniqueness. He manages to convince Gustafson, an aspiring inventor himself, to get back at Jeronicus by taking Diego and his book of inventions. This hurts Jeronicus.

Without proof of Gustafson's actions to show to the police, Jangles and Things into financial hardship while Gustafson starts his own factory. After the death of his wife Joanne, Jeronicus grows distant from his daughter Jessica who moves away.

30 years later, Jangles and Things is a failing pawnbroker shop and Jeronicus has completely lost his creative spark. He is visited by postwoman Ms. Johnston who is sympathetic to his plight and smitten with him as she tries to lift his spirits. Jeronicus is visited by banker Mr. Delacroix who tells him to pay his debts or produce a new invention to show to the bank by Christmas or lose his shop.

Meanwhile, it is revealed that Jessica now has a daughter named Journey who shares Jeronicus’s passion for inventing. A letter arrives for Jessica from Jeronicus, and Jessica sends Journey to stay with him until Christmas. Upon arriving, Jeronicus seems disinterested in her, though agrees to let her stay. Gustafson, now a famous toy tycoon, has exhausted all inventions from Jeronicus’s book. At a party, Gustafson unveils a toy that he has since been trying to perfect called the Twirly Whirly, though it malfunctions and attacks one of the guests. Diego convinces Gustafson to steal another invention of Jeronicus’s.

Jeronicus is busy working on his next toy, The Buddy 3000, which Journey discovers was conceived and designed by Jessica, and she resolves to get it to work. That night, she is caught in Jeronicus’s workshop by his assistant Edison. Together, they find Buddy’s body in Jeronicus’s workshop, and after putting in the mechanism that Jeronicus was working on, Buddy comes to life. Jeronicus hears the commotion and enters, causing Buddy to shut down. After sending Journey to bed, he laments about his estrangement from his daughter, the loss of his wife, and the memories he used to share with them.

Journey and Edison discover that Buddy has been stolen by Gustafson. They manage to infiltrate Gustafson’s factory, where he conducts a failed unveiling of Buddy. Gustafson orders Buddy destroyed, though Journey and Edison are able to retrieve it before it can happen. After realizing Journey and Edison have gone missing, Jeronicus goes to the factory. With help from Jeronicus and Buddy, Journey and Edison are able to escape the factory, though Buddy is severely damaged as a result. Ms. Johnston arrives to help them escape Gustafson and his guards.

Journey reveals to Jeronicus that she wrote to Jessica on his behalf, wanting to get to know him. Wanting to do right by Journey and Jessica, who arrives in town to retrieve Journey, he gets to work on fixing Buddy. Jessica confronts Jeronicus over his neglect for her, though he unveils hundreds of unsent letters to her that he couldn’t bring himself to send. After making amends, Jessica helps Jeronicus fix Buddy over night.

Jeronicus and his family are confronted by Gustafson, Diego, and the police, and accused of stealing Buddy from him, though Journey disproves this. Jeronicus removes the life-giving component from Diego for reprogramming. As Gustafson is arrested, Jeronicus gives Gustafson the missing component for his Twirly he wanted to give him years back which he would've been given if he was patient. Mr. Delacroix arrives in the store and sees Buddy, and promises to give Jeronicus funding for any invention he desires to make.

The story is shown to be told by an older Journey to her grandchildren and she unveils a still functional Buddy to them. He flies them to the Jangles-owned factory where Gustafson’s factory once stood.

During the credits, there is a book montage of Jangles and Things going back into business, Gustafson finally perfecting his Twirly Whirly in his cell, Diego's doll being mass-produced, and the opening of Jangles' factory.

Cast[edit]

  • Forest Whitaker as Jeronicus, a toymaker and inventor who has fallen on hard times.
  • Madalen Mills as Journey, the granddaughter of Jeronicus.
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Gustafson, the struggling apprentice of Jeronicus who betrays him and becomes a successful toymaker despite not being able to perfect his Twirly Whirly.
    • Miles Barrow as Young Gustafson
  • Hugh Bonneville as Mr. Delacroix, a banker.
  • Anika Noni Rose as Jessica, the daughter of Jeronicus and the mother of Journey.
    • Diaana Babnicova as Young Jessica
  • Ricky Martin as the voice and motion capture of Don Juan Diego, a sentient matador doll who manipulates Gustafson into betraying Jeronicus so that he would not be mass-produced.
  • Lisa Davina Phillip as Ms. Johnston, a postwoman who sympathizes Jeronicus' plot.
  • Kieron L. Dyer as Edison, the assistant of Jeronicus.
  • Sharon Rose as Joanne, the wife of Jeronicus who dies sometime after Gustafson's betrayal.
  • Abraham Popoola as Rogers
  • Tobias Poppe as the voice of Buddy 3000, a toy robot and creation of Jeronicus that feeds off belief.

Production[edit]

On December 7, 2017, Netflix bought a pitch from David E. Talbert entitled Jingle Jangle, with Talbert signed on to write and direct the Christmas musical.[1] On September 17, 2018, it was announced that John Legend and Mike Jackson signed on as producers alongside David E. Talbert, and Lyn Sisson-Talbert for Brillstein Entertainment Partners. Ty Stiklorius will executive produce.[2] In October 2018, Forest Whitaker joined the cast of the film.[3] In April 2019, Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose and Madalen Mills joined the cast.[4] In July 2019, Hugh Bonneville joined the cast.[5] In October 2020, it was revealed that Ricky Martin joined the cast.[6]

The film's musical score includes songs by John Legend and Philip Lawrence.[7]

Principal photography began in June 2019 in Norwich.[8] The film includes stop-motion and CGI animation.

Music[edit]

The score was composed by John Debney.[7]

Song list[edit]

All tracks are written by Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, Michael Diskint and John Legend.

No.TitlePerformer(s)Length
1."This Day"Justin Cornwell and Sharon Rose3:33
2."Borrow Indefinitely"Ricky Martin1:48
3."Miles and Miles"Marisha Wallace2:33
4."Not The Only One"Madalen Mills2:00
5."Magic Man G"Keegan-Michael Key3:32
6."Square Root of Possible"Mills4:04
7."Over and Over"Forest Whitaker3:07
8."Grandpa Me Nie' (Asew Jingle Jangle Remix)"Bisa Kdei and Mic Flammez1:41
9."Make It Work"Whitaker and Anika Noni Rose3:50
10."This Day – Reprise"Jingle Jangle Choir2:54
11."This Day (End Credits)"Usher and Kiana Ledé3:48
Total length:32:50

Release[edit]

The film was released on November 13, 2020.[2][9]

Reception[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 60 reviews, with an average rating of 7.1/10. The website's critics consensus reads, "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey celebrates the yuletide season with a holiday adventure whose exuberant spirit is matched by its uplifting message."[10] On Metacritic, it has a weighted average score of 69 out of 100 based on 13 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3.5 out of 4 stars and wrote, "So much movie packed into one story, but the universally appealing performances and the show-stopping musical numbers carry the day."[12] Leah Greenblatt of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B+ and described it as "a sprawling musical extravaganza whose candy-colored, dandily overstuffed revelry spills over with joy and jubilance and every other happy J-word."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (December 6, 2017). "Netflix Buys 'Jingle Jangle' Pitch From 'Almost Christmas' Filmmaker David E. Talbert". Deadline. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike; Patten, Dominic (September 17, 2018). "'Jesus Christ Superstar's John Legend & Mike Jackson To Produce David E. Talbert Netflix Holiday Film 'Jingle Jangle'". Deadline. Retrieved September 17, 2018.
  3. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (October 30, 2018). "Forest Whitaker To Star In David E. Talbert's Netflix Holiday Family Musical 'Jingle Jangle'". Deadline. Retrieved October 30, 2018.
  4. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (April 11, 2019). "Netflix 'Jingle Jangle' Musical Adds Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni Rose & Madalen Mills". Deadline. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  5. ^ White, Peter (July 11, 2019). "'Jingle Jangle': 'Downton Abbey's Hugh Bonneville To Star In David E. Talbert's Netflix Holiday Family Musical". Deadline. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  6. ^ Hipes, Patrick (October 2, 2020). "Ricky Martin Suits Up For Netflix's 'Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey'". Deadline. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  7. ^ a b Scheck, Frank (November 5, 2020). "'Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 12, 2020.
  8. ^ Lawes, Ruth (June 10, 2019). "Netflix film Jingle Jangle leaves Norwich street 'cleaner than ever before'". Norwick Evening News. Retrieved June 11, 2019.
  9. ^ Coggan, Devan (September 29, 2020). "Get a festive first look at Netflix's holiday musical Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 8, 2020.
  10. ^ "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 23, 2020.
  11. ^ "Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey". Metacritic. Retrieved November 18, 2020.
  12. ^ Reoper, Richard (November 11, 2020). "'Jingle Jangle': Oh what fun it is to revel in a rousing holiday musical". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved November 13, 2020.
  13. ^ Greenblatt, Leah (November 11, 2020). "The holidays find a fresh angle in Netflix's joyful Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey: Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 23, 2020.

External links[edit]