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Parents' Guide to

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

By Jennifer Green, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Christmas musical has imagination, positivity, diversity.

Movie PG 2020 122 minutes
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 6+

Based on 26 parent reviews

age 5+

The talent is there, but too much exposition

The idea is a super cute movie, but it’s soooooo slow! Painfully slow, and what’s worse is there’s no joy. They pretend to have joy (except Ms. Johnston - she’s great) , but the rest isn’t joyful you don’t root for anyone in the cast because initially Mr. jangle was a jerk to his staff and daughter and then stays a jerk for most of the movie. The singing is there, the cast is talented, the costumes are spectacular - on the level of the greatest showman. The musical numbers are fun. The rest of the actors feel as if they need to make a point of “ what dramatic actors they are” it’s boring. It’s a shame because it could have been the newest Christmas musical to delight homes every year. Unfortunately it falls way flat. I guarantee you if they pulled the metrics on this thing 20/25 minutes and they lose most of their audience. I mean watch it, it’s okay but a bummer.
age 8+

6 year old refused to watch

So I liked it. Unfortunately I didn't get to watch it to the end because my 6 year old really didn't like it. I don't know why that was. I think the music wasn't really her thing (I had to fast forward through the music to get her to watch it as far as we did). From my point of view, it was a gentle, fantasy film which would have made lovely family watching. Jeronicus was really mean to his apprentice and quite cruel and unfeeling towards the doll, but that part was brushed over quickly and I think kids probably wouldn't notice. I had to explain a lot of the plot to my daughter though. It was a very strange (but good) experience to see a film with entirely black antagonists. Really made me realise how white all our films are, so was really eye opening. We will revisit the film again when child is older. Can't quite understand how she can be totally enthralled by The Sound of Music, and totally bored by this.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (26 ):
Kids say (16 ):

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is both modern and, at the same time, pleasantly old-fashioned in its magical tale, elaborate sets and wardrobes, and ensemble musical numbers. The diverse cast and some of the music give the film a decidedly contemporary feel, but the characters are played with an innocence that harkens back to an earlier era. Grown adults flirting with each other or concocting evil plans do so mostly harmlessly. Wide-eyed kids with names like Journey and Edison have active imaginations and are fascinated by inventions. All of their wardrobes are elaborate blends of plaid tweeds, jewel tones, and gadget-inspired hardware.

The film boasts an excellent, mostly Black cast, with Whitaker carrying the lead and a magnetic Mills as his granddaughter. Key and Martin are a bit over the top, but they all hold their own in song and dance pieces. Adult viewers could tire of some of the early shifts in tone from fantasy to drama to musical, then back again. At one point, the secondary characters all seem to have British accents for no apparent reason. But the two-hour movie has plenty packed in to make it enjoyable enough for the whole family. It's a professionally-produced and expensive-looking package, from the wardrobes and sets to the animated sequences and elaborate musical numbers, to the warm amber tones that ooze holiday spirit.

Movie Details

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