Cast: Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Anika Noni Rose, Hugh Bonneville, Phylicia Rashad, Ricky Martin
Director: David E. Talbert
Genre: Christmas Musical
Duration: 122 Minutes
Now Streaming: Netflix
This week’s Christmas offering is not the cliched love story but it has music in it. So it has that joy we look for in movies. The plot is also heartwarming. In Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker) is a toymaker who has a grumpy outlook to life. Think of a total Christmas grinch and you have the idea. His grumpiness is not unfounded. Someone he had taken under his wings betrayed him and so his hope in people is a low point. However, his perspective changes when his granddaughter, Journey (Mills), gets close to him and they get to work on an invention together.
This is the kind of movie you watch on a cold morning with family and a hot cup of tea or hot chocolate. The story reminds us why this time of the year calls for getting close to family. Whitaker surprises us with very good singing so that is a treat to look forward to. While Mills is a new face, she manages to capture our hearts with her performance. The production and music are so good that it is no surprise to learn that John Legend had a hand in putting some of the songs together. You want to watch this on a big screen. The only downside to the movie is that over the top drama that usually comes with movies targeting children. You know those movies that make you feel that some things should have been toned down a bit. This can be overlooked though since we cannot have too much joy this season.
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