Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey was written and directed by David E. Talbert. He and his wife, Lynn Sisson-Talbert, produced the film. Talbert describes the movie as “A love letter to his childhood.” This project took twenty years to bring to the big screen. I’m glad he made the movie happen.
Phylicia Rashad, who portrays the grandmother, narrates this Christmas bedtime story. It is the story of the warm-hearted and giving protagonist Jeronicus Jangle, a genius inventor and toymaker played by Justin Cornwell. Jeronicus leads a happy and exciting life surrounded by his wife, daughter, and his prosperous shop “Jangle and Things: A World Of Wishes and Wonders” where he records all of his secret formulas in a special journal for his enchanted inventions and toys, and his once trusted assistant Gustafson. That bliss soon turns into chaos and heartbreak causing the once optimistic and talented young Jeronicus to morph into the reclusive and self-pitying older man; Forest Whitaker.
Here are three reasons why I enjoyed the film:
1. The music really caught my eye.
The music really caught my eye. Original songs by John Legend and Philip Lawrence gave an Afrobeat rhythms and the choreographed dances leapt from the screen. This is the only Black musical with a Christmas theme that I’ve ever seen.
2. The magical aspect of the movie tingled my insides.
The magical aspect of the movie tingled my insides. There were puppets, enchanted flying machines and people. Talbert allowed his mind to explore the possibilities of giving the viewers a fantasy-filled experience.
3. The whole storyline catered to the family.
The whole storyline catered to family and the connections therein. When Phylicia Rashad opens the movie with reading the Christmas story, it draws in both children and adults alike. In the main character’s journey, family continued to be a theme running throughout the movie.
A film that explodes with positive and captivating energy from beginning to end.
I would like to give an honorable mention to Jeronicus’ granddaughter Journey portrayed by Madalen Mills. She depicts a feisty, smart carbon-copy of her grandfather. Her performance provides elements of love, imagination, and believing in yourself. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, is a film that explodes with positive and captivating energy from beginning to end. It is definitely an unforgettable and must watch Christmas movie for years and years to come that not only broke barriers but broke them in style.