By Daniel Gray
Special to The Windham Eagle
Released Nov. 13 on Netflix, “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” might be a film you have heard about but from the only brief clips seen through commercials, and not many knew what the film is actually about. The film follows a famous toy maker Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) and his sad tale of betrayal, but is also the story of a happy ending with just a bit of believing.
The toymaker runs his own store dubbed Jangle and Things, where he sells his inventions to the public as toys for children. He runs the shop with his wife (Sharon Rose), daughter Jessica (Anika Noki Rose), and apprentice Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key). The townsfolk love to roam into his shop to buy and see his inventions, but they won’t be visiting too much longer.
After finishing one of his newest inventions that will be sure to make him famous, Gustafson steals it, along with Jeronicus' book of inventions. This made Gustafson very wealthy and rich, while it left Jeronicus and his family in shambles.
Jessica and Jeronicus cease talking with one another once she is old enough to be on her own, having a family and a lovely daughter, Journey.
Years later, Jeronicus invites Jessica to come back to the shop and instead, Jessica sends Journey. She is a bit of an inventor as well and she hopes that she can spark a little bit of belief in him. Their relationship was rocky at first, but soon Jeronicus and Journey warmed up to each other.
While exploring Jeronicus' old work room, Journey and Eddison find an unfinished robot and get him to start working again, with the robot running off of people believing it can work. Gustafson looks on through a telescope and, soon after, he steals the robot to claim it as his own design.
The two children go to his rescue and save him from Gustafson however the bot suffers from damage trying to save the kids in the process.
So, Jeronicus fixes it up with the unlikely help from his daughter, Jessica. She had come to pick Journey up early and instead the two made up after years of silence between them.
The movie ends with Gustafson getting arrested for stealing all of Jeronicus' ideas and Jeronicus gets to be a famous inventor once more.
The movie was much more musical than I had thought it would be, having eight songs squeezed into the two hours. Despite this, they were very well scored with amazing dance sequences to match.
Not to mention that “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” has a mainly black cast, which isn't something you see very often from the movie industry. While this wouldn't trump classic holiday movies such as “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” the film “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” can easily slide into your family's traditional holiday movie list. <