By: Annette M. Lesure
Netflix’s new release “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is the perfect way to head into the holidays.
This feel-good Christmas movie is a musical, with a genre mix of steampunk, fantasy and romance. It follows the life of toy inventor Jeronicus (Forest Whitaker), who after an unforeseen calamity, meets his adventurous granddaughter, Journey (Madalen Mills) who teaches him to believe again.
The triple-threat cast may have little fans jumping to their feet without containment. The dancing and singing will put the entire family in the Christmas spirit.
Director David E. Talbert of “Almost Christmas” and “El Camino Christmas” tells an original holiday fairytale full of wonder and delight.
Academy Award winner Whitaker showcases his versatility and charm in his role as Jeronicus. Whitaker, who had some musical theatre experience early on in his career said playing this character was a big difference and said he was nervous about playing the part. “It was a really big deal to try to play a character that would be able to break into song. And you say, ‘okay, this is a reality’. That was special. It was a big challenge for me,” said Whitaker in a Cinemablend interview.
Newcomer Mills shows off her talents in her breakout role as Jeronicus’ granddaughter, Journey. The vivacious, mature 11-year-old got her start in the Broadway musicals Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical” and “School of Rock.” Mills said she was drawn to the project because of the script’s messages and her character. “’Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” has a lot of great themes and messages that audiences might take away. Some of these messages and themes include being yourself, never giving up, the importance of family, love, magic, and hope. I think that these messages are especially important with everything going on in the world right now,” said Mills in a Pop-Culturist interview.
Toni Award winner Anika Noni Rose gives a strong vocal performance as Jessica, Jeronicus’ estranged daughter.
Comedian Keegan-Michael Key also sings and dances while playing Jeronicus’ foe after an act of treachery against him.
It may surprise the audience to see Phylicia Rashad, who played Clair Huxtable on “The Cosby Show,” in what may be one of her sweetest rolls yet. Her on-screen passion and love exude her gusto for the role. Fans will have to watch to find out who she plays in the film.
While “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Story” is a little lengthy, it is a beautiful family film that fills the audience’s heart with love and may even bring tears to eyes.
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey’s” melodies will keep everyone on their toes with music by Philip Lawrence songwriter and record producer for music artist Bruno Mars, and legendary artist John Legend, who also serves as an executive producer.
The film’s visual effects and mystery leaves viewers curious for more in the first few minutes of the film. For adult fans, it will have viewers feeling like a kid at Christmas time.
The witty script is filled with excitement as it uses some genius qualities to enhance the film’s intrigue, as it lures fans into watching the film.
The entire cast is well-versed and does not disappoint viewers in this perfect Christmas experience.