If you’re tired of the usual “Christmas Carol” holiday fare, Netflix is offering a fresh, song-filled surprisingly entertaining movie starring Forest Whitaker as Victorian-era toymaker, Jeronicus Jangle in “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey.”
Jeronicus is a successful inventor extraordinaire who owns Jangles and Things pawnbroker shop in the vibrant fictional town of Cobbleton. However, Jeronicus suffers a sudden twist of fate when the final component of his latest invention creates Don Juan Diego, a sentient matador doll.
Jeronicus leaves his store under the care of his jealous apprentice, Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key), who absconds with Diego and Jeronicus’ book of inventions to start his own toy-making empire – a move that puts Jangles and Things out of business. To add to Jeronicus problems, he falls on hard financial times and his wife Joanne dies.
Jeronicus withdraws from his daughter, Jessica (Anika Noni Rose), who eventually leaves the melancholy man and moves away. However, Jeronicus recaptures the inspiration as an inventor when his granddaughter Journey (Madelen Mills) comes to visit. Her arrival is just in time, because bank is demanding Jeronicus pays his debts or produce a new invention by Christmas or they’ll take his shop.
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is a magical rousing musical, that kids and family will enjoy. It has all the trimmings of bells, whistles and underlined by CGI animation which adds to the mystic of the story. Whitaker, known for his acting skills, demonstrates his marvelous singing voice. Who knew, right? The film’s choreographed songs and dance routines are reminiscent of a Broadway musical punctuated by music from Phillip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, Michael Diskint and John Legend.
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