By Julia Duggan
“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is a lighthearted movie designed around one idea: to get something to work, all you need to do is believe. The movie is a Netflix film, features a diverse cast and is a great holiday movie to lift your spirits after a long day of classes.
The main protagonist Jeronicus Jangle (Forest Whitaker) is a brilliant toymaker who owns a shop with his family that’s believed to be full of magic. Everything changes for Jangle when he invents a living matador toy named Don Juan Diego (voiced by Ricky Martin). Diego convinces Jangle’s apprentice Gustafson (Keegan-Michael Key), to steal a book of toy ideas so Diego can avoid having more of himself exist in the world. Gustafson succeeds in stealing the book and creates a giant factory while a lot of hardships fall upon Jangle.
A refreshing thing about this movie is how diverse the cast is. Throughout the movie, viewers can find a mix of actors from various backgrounds. It is nice to see that a holiday movie can be made that represents diversity equally, without having to remake an already famous holiday movie. All but one of the main characters is Black, so it was really exciting to see a fantasy story led by a strong Black cast. Jeronicus Jangle’s daughter Jessica Jangle is played by Anika Noni Rose, who has also voiced Tina from Disney’s The Princess and The Frog. She has won several awards including a Tony for Best Featured Actress.
To enjoy this movie, the science used in most of this movie has to be ignored. There are several theories used about finding the square root of the impossible. They also use the “circumference of spectacular” and the “second derivative of sensational.” It might catch some viewers off guard a little, but the theme of this movie is just to believe that something can happen and it will.
Another interesting science feature of this movie is the ability to visualize equations seen throughout the movie with a character appearing to draw in the air. Where viewers can see glowing numbers and shapes and understand why the character will suddenly shout a solution out to a problem. The visual effects for this are stunning as the viewers are then taken into the character’s head.
Some great benefits this movie has are the impressive song and dance scenes. The choreography was done by Ashley Wallen, best known for working on the movie-musical “The Greatest Showman.” Throughout the movie, there are several Broadway-style songs and dance scenes that are catchy and enjoyable. You can definitely count on seeing at least one backflip in every group number. It makes sense why these dramatic scenes would be included to continue to follow the idea that magic is all around.
This movie relieves the stress of finals. It has elements of fantasy and reality, the perfect combination to distract the mind from studying. The giant song and dance numbers are extraordinary and just fun to watch, even if the science does not add up. “Jingle Jangle” is a great movie to laugh at with friends or enjoy with a younger relative. While the ending of the plot might be a little bit predictable, you can still leave with an elevated sense of believing in yourself.