No matter who you are, no matter what you do, the magic lives inside of you.
In a true 2020 collision of holidays, we were streaming Christmas music and watching holiday movies before putting away our Halloween costumes. ‘Tis the season! And while I can guarantee you that I’ll be binge-watching my my favorite Christmas classics, Netflix just debuted a brand new Christmas musical you do not want to miss. Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey, debuts Friday, November 13 and has all the warmth of a holiday classic combined with the magic and wonder of Christmas.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey
The very last live musical I saw was in March of this year. And while I miss the theatre immensely, Jingle Jangle filled that musical void. The film features an acclaimed cast, including Forest Whitaker, Hugh Bonneville, Phylicia Rashad, and Ricky Martin.
Jingle Jangle is set in the fantastical town of Cobbleton and follows the story of Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker), whose fanciful inventions are filled with whimsy and wonder. The death of his wife, estrangement from his daughter, and the theft of his most prized creation by his trusted apprentice results in his downward spiral. With his store now facing closure, Jeronicus becomes despondent. A visit from his smart, inventive granddaughter is the inspiration Jeronicus needs to heal past wounds and reawaken the magic within him.
Visually, the film is spectacular. I can imagine seeing this story depicted on a Broadway stage one day. The costumes and set design are extravagant and hearken back to an earlier era in history. The fusion of stop-motion and CGI animation, Broadway-worthy choreography, and original score with music from John Legend and Philip Lawrence showcases the creative talent of writer/director David E. Talbert.
The story, while simple, is one of imagination and possibility, and love is the tie that binds. My daughter was drawn to Journey’s character, who is smart with a vibrant imagination and a gift for STEM. As a family, we talked about the importance of forgiveness, the strength of family, and the belief that anything is possible.
As a minority woman, I found it inspiring to see a diverse cast star in a film written by American playwright, author, and filmmaker David E. Talbert. This is Talbert’s third Christmas film, preceded by El Camino Christmas and Almost Christmas. After previewing the film, we sat down with the filmmakers for a virtual press conference and happy hour to discuss the twenty year journey that brought this film from the pages to the screen.
Talbert’s inspiration for the film came from a poem he wrote, which reflected on the healing power of love. The question that weighed on him had to do with time. “How do you recapture it? How do you recapture your magic.” For Talbert, the answer is love.
I didn’t find it surprising that the story was originally intended for the stage. Talbert continued to draw inspiration from Dreamgirls and The Wiz. After the birth of his son, Talbert felt the story was better suited for film. Some of Talbert’s favorite childhood films, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and the original Doctor Doolittle all had a common theme…magic and wonder. What was missing from those films is representation. Talbert wanted to revisit the joy, magic, and wonder of his childhood, infused with people who look like him.
Jingle Jangle Watch Party
Netflix would like to invite you to join the for a Virtual Red Carpet + Watch Party for their new Holiday film – JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY this Friday, November 13th to celebrate the film’s opening. To join, simply log on via Twitter and use the hashtag #JingleJangle.