It may only be November but many people are already starting their Christmas celebrations – and what better way to get in the mood than with a big festive musical?
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is now available to stream on Netflix, telling a whimsical story about a genius toy inventor and his inquisitive young granddaughter.
Early reviews are coming in and the verdict is looking relatively bright, with most critics agreeing that the film has enough charm to compensate for its shortcomings.
For musical fans, one of the highlights is sure to be the Jingle Jangle soundtrack, which features music legend Usher as well as several other members of the star-studded cast.
Here’s everything you need to know about Jingle Jangle:
When is Jingle Jangle’s Netflix release date?
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is available to stream on Netflix right now, following its release on Friday 13th November.
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Jingle Jangle cast
The Jingle Jangle cast is certainly star-studded, with Academy Award-winner Forest Whitaker (Black Panther, The Last King of Scotland) playing toymaker Jeronicus Jangle, and comedian Keegan-Michael Key (Toy Story 4, The Lion King) playing his trusted apprentice, who steals his most prized creation.
Newcomer Madalen Mills portrays Jeronicus’ inventive granddaughter Journey, while Phylicia Rashad (Creed, Empire) and Anika Noni Rose (The Princess and the Frog) also star as members of the Jangle family.
The film’s first trailer, released on Sunday 4th October, gave our first look at Downton Abbey’s Hugh Bonneville as banker Mr Delacroix and singer Ricky Martin (American Crime Story) as tiny matador toy Don Juan Diego.
Behind the camera, Grammy-winning musician John Legend is involved in the project as a producer.
What is Jingle Jangle about?
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a musical adventure set in the festive town of Cobbleton, home to legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Whitaker).
When Jeronicus’ formerly loyal apprentice steals his most prized invention, it’s down to his bright and inventive granddaughter Journey (Mills) to “heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within” with a long-forgotten invention – a magical robot named Buddy.
American playwright David E. Talbert, best known for films First Sunday and El Camino Christmas, directs the festive film, which features original songs by John Legend, Bruno Mars’ collaborator Philip Lawrence and music producer Davy Nathan.
A brand new song – This Day – from Usher and Kiana Lede will also feature in the film.
Jingle Jangle reviews: Is it any good?
It’s difficult not to be charmed by Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey. While the songs aren’t hugely memorable and the script is rather basic, the message of hope and optimism it projects is undeniably heartwarming – especially after such a difficult year.
It’s a classic tale of a lonely figure whose heart is opened by the love of those around him and the magic of the festive season, so in that sense it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
However, its message to young children couldn’t be clearer or more important. Journey Jangle (Madalen Mills) is a young girl with a passion for maths and invention who encourages kids at home to pursue whatever it is they find fascinating, doing so through the medium of song.
That said, it is very much a children’s movie. While the likes of Disney and Pixar have found a significant level of appeal across several age demographics, adults might not be too keen to come back to Jingle Jangle for repeat viewings.
Other publications have come to similar conclusions on the film, with The Guardian praising its dance choreography and overwhelming positivity, but wishing that the lead character had more depth.
Meanwhile, Empire Magazine took issue with the pacing and some of the cliche story elements, but hailed the colourful production design and “enormously charming” cast.
Is there a trailer for Jingle Jangle?
Netflix released the first trailer for Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey on Sunday 4th October, teasing appearances by Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose and Ricky Martin in the film and new music from Usher.
Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey will be available to stream on Netflix from Friday 13th November. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.