Family

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a New Classic

When I first saw the trailer of Jingle Jangle, I knew that I wanted to see it with my family. It looked like a fun Christmas movie. It looked like something different from what you normally see at Christmas.

I was given a chance to preview the Netflix movie last month and I couldn’t wait to share my thoughts on this beautifully written and filmed movie. It debuts on Netflix on November 13. 

Jingle Jangle is a story written and directed by David E. Talbert about an imaginative toymaker, Jeronicus Jangle (Forrest Whitaker), who creates something that would change his life. Unfortunately, his trusted apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) steals from him and it changes his whole world for years until he meets his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (Madalen Mills) 

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (2020)

What I loved about Jingle Jangle

  1. The visuals – this movie is visually stunning. The colors, the outfits, and the hairstyles are beautiful. It made me wonder what time period did this movie take place because there were so many modern styles mixed with classics.
  2. The music. Jingle Jangle isn’t an ordinary Christmas movie, it’s also a musical. The musical songs and performances add personality to the movie. The singing is soulful and the dances keep your attention.
  3. The lessons. There are many life lessons for children and adults that you could apply to your everyday lives. It’s more than just a movie, but a story rich in culture, love, and values.

As a media influencer, I was given the opportunity to interview David E. Talbert, his wife Lyn Sisson-Talbert, and cast members Madalen Mills, Kieron Dyer, and Lisa Davina Phillip.

JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY (2020)

What was your favorite part about going to set while doing this role?

Madalen: Seeing and meeting all of these amazing people, Forest Whitaker, Lisa, and the friendships and bonds I made with everyone was my favorite part. 

Lisa Davina Phillip: It was everything. Being transformed when you put on the costume. The set was warm and inviting. It was just fun, even when the cameras stop rolling, it was always fun.

What do you want children to take away from this movie?

Madelen: I want kids older and younger than me watch my character and see it’s ok to be yourself. You see Journee tries to fit in but eventually comes into herself. Sometimes you will fit it and sometimes you won’t and it’s ok. 

Finally, a movie that doesn’t involve a girl being a princess. What do you want young girls specifically to take away from this movie?

Madelen: Journee loves things all things STEM, it’s a trait that is typically attributed to boys. Young girls just be yourself no matter what you like to do. Follow your passion and do what you want to do.

There were so many pieces from different films, tell us a little bit about what you brought in from other films?

David E. Talbert: I grew up watching films. My favorite was Willie Wonka, the Wiz, and more. I just wanted to have something for this generation to see. I wanted people of all colors and backgrounds to represented in worlds of wonder. When I was young I didn’t see anyone who looked like me with pixie dust or could fly. As a father of a 7 yr old black boy, I want him to see people who looked like him in worlds of wonder.

I heard you were inspired to write this story because of a poem you wrote. Can you share more?

It is from a poem called Love in the air. It’s a film about love, humanity, family and finding your mojo again. Love is the inspiration for most of the work I create. 

The choreography was amazing. Why did you decide to mix in African dancing with classic theatre?

Lyn: We wanted to make sure you could identify the dances right away. We had stepping from the fraternities. It was important to bring in classic and modern elements, so it would be really relatable for people today. We shot it in a way that you could see the full dance so you could learn the dances as well. 

David: I went to an HBCU and there is nothing like going to a step show. We have to make this a little soulful. Go online and look at these fraternities and let’s infuse traditional dance with stepping which originated from Africa. We mixed a lot of dance styles and it turned out really well. 

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