Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020) Review
By Spoiler Steve
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is the perfect holiday musical-film for the entire family. Filmed on an exceptional sound stage that takes you back to an imaginary Victorian-era land, this movie deserved a theatrical release. The film is jam-packed with amazing performances from beginning to end.
As one would expect, the movie is a bit corny, but it’s creative with it’s combined use of animation, CGI, clay-animation and live-action special effects mixed together that makes the world feel massive. The music is engaging and entertaining with excitement I haven’t felt since watching The Greatest Showman for the first time.
While the film is great, especially for children, most grown-ups will not be able to overlook some of the ridiculous story plots used for “amazing” resolutions only suitable in a Whoville type of setting.
Full spoilers below;
I was wondering through most of the movie who Journey grew up to be. Was it Felicia Rashad’s character or possibly Jeronicus’ daughter? Once we do find out Rashad is in fact Journey all grown up, we’re supposed to believe this is her grandchildren’s first time at her place, and they had no idea what kind of family legacy they had. Is this some vindictive family tradition that all Jangle children are not allowed to know they’re part of a toy dynasty until they understand the meaning of Christmas?
Though the film does have some flaws, there’s no denying there’s some great parts including Keegan Michael Key. Key has an amazing time chewing up the scenery and it’s nice to see him out of his element and play a different type of role.
Another great standout is the costume design by Michael Wilkinson also deserves a lot of credit in the production. The use of colors mixed with the ‘Afro-Victorian’ vision is something to behold.
What’s also great about this film is every character, including a talking toy, are portrayed as full three-dimensional characters with backstory and drive that allows the viewer to immediately understand their point-of-view. That’s the best part of this movie. The first act. The “before setting” where we’re introduced to most of the main cast portrayed by younger Broadway singers is powerful. Instead of the movie having done a normal Disnified introduction used with exposition and a tear-jerker score to have the audience connect with the main characters, we get most of the first act to take it’s time and allow the audience to organically relate to the story. It was a bold decision and it paid off.
Hear our full spoiler review on Movie Reviews episode 209 here.