Starring: Forest Whitaker, Madalen Mills, Keegan-Michael Key, Hugh Bonneville, Anika Noni Rose, Phylicia Rashad, Ricky Martin
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Netflix’s family fantasy musical directed by David E. Talbert. Set in the vibrant town of Cobbleton, the story follows eccentric toymaker Jeronicus Jangle’s (Forest Whitaker), who after his trusted apprentice (Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his adventurous granddaughter (Madalen Mills), and a magical invention, to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within.
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Our Favorite Quotes:'Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.' - Journey (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey) Click To Tweet 'The magic isn't just in what you've lost. It's in what you still have.' - Ms. Johnston (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey) Click To Tweet 'Never be afraid when people can't see what you see. Only be afraid if you no longer see it.' - Jeronicus (Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey) Click To Tweet
Young Girl: You never read us that story before.
Grandmother Journey: [reading from the book] I’ve never read anyone this story. “Once upon a time, many, many years ago, lived the greatest inventor in all the land, Jeronicus Jangle. From humble beginnings, his mind never stopped spinning. More gadgets. More gizmos! The whole town was abuzz. Excited to see the most magnificent shop that ever there was Jangles and Things.”
Grandmother Journey: Everything was alive. Even things that shouldn’t be. Jeronicus was inspiring to all, none more than his most trusted apprentice, Gustafson.
Grandmother Journey: For his most fantastical invention, he had been waiting for its final ingredient to arrive. And then one day…
Postman: Package for Jeronicus Jangle!
Grandmother Journey: The key to unlock his wildest dreams and change his life forever.
[as the sentient matador doll comes to life]
Don Juan Diego: It is I, Maestro Don Juan Diego. When the bull sees me, he slays himself. It is an honor for you to finally meet me.
Young Jeronicus: And I…
Don Juan Diego: You?
Young Jeronicus: I’m Jeronicus. And this, this is my wonderful family.
Don Juan Diego: I like when people stare at me. I give them something to stare at in the form of a dance.
Young Jeronicus: Everything we dreamed of. Everything I promised you, will be ours now.
Joanne Jangle: I believe in you, Jeronicus.
Young Jessica: I believe in you the most.
Young Jeronicus: And I believe in you. That’s why I got you an early Christmas gift.
Young Jessica: My own inventor goggles. They’re perfect!
Young Jeronicus: Now you’re an inventor.
Young Jessica: I am, daddy. Just like you.
Young Jeronicus: Soon, there’ll be a million of them.
Don Juan Diego: Huh? A million of me?
Young Jeronicus: One for every child in the world.
Don Juan Diego: Uno, dos, tres… But, but I am one of a kind!
Young Gustafson: I am an inventor too.
Don Juan Diego: Clearly not a good one. Stinky? Yes. Good? No.
Don Juan Diego: Who could conceive such a thing? This is absurd. I am singular. I am spectacular!
Don Juan Diego: It must feel good to be such an integral part of bringing something so amazing to life.
Young Gustafson: It was, well, the professor’s work really. I’m just his apprentice.
Don Juan Diego: Si, pero. I am sure you’ve created something of your own almost as amazing as me. After all, you’re an inventor too.
Young Gustafson: [referring to his own invention] I’ve been telling everyone just a few tweaks is all it needs. The professor promised to look at it tomorrow.
Don Juan Diego: The bull waits for tomorrow! But by then, he is dead. We wait for no tomorrows.
Don Juan Diego: [referring to Jeronicus’s book of invention] Those are your inventions. Those pages bear the sweat of your fingers. They are as much yours as they are his.
Young Gustafson: But that would be stealing.
Don Juan Diego: Borrowing. Indefinitely. Together, we can build an empire. And the name Gustafson will shine brighter than a thousand Spanish skies!. And I, Don Juan Diego, will remain one and only one of a kind.
Don Juan Diego: [singing] It’s easy. It’s not stealing, when you borrow indefinitely.
Grandmother Journey: Jeronicus tried to convince the constables of what Gustafson had done, but he had no proof. And so, Jeronicus, ever the optimist, returned to what he knew best. Only, things weren’t quite the same. He couldn’t seem to find the right screw, or turn the right gear.
Grandmother Journey: And year after year, the crowds grew less, the bills stacked high, and Jeronicus watched as his stolen book of inventions, turned his once loyal apprentice into the richest toy-maker in the world.
Grandmother Journey: But Jeronicus refused to give up. Once a great inventor, always a great inventor. But the magic, it seemed, had escaped him. And soon, so would everything else.
[we see the untimely death of Joanna]
Grandmother Journey: Jessica tried to fill the space left behind. But the loss was too great. And Jessica, too small. Eventually, it became clear. She hadn’t lost just one parent, but two. Broken, defeated, Jeronicus insisted she’d be better off without him. And finally, she granted his wish. And Jangles and Things, once a world of wishes and wonder, was no more. And Jeronicus Jangle, the greatest inventor of all, vowed never to invent anything ever again.
Ms. Johnston: How’s my favorite pawnbroker? Hm? Who’s not really a pawnbroker. Who wants everyone to believe he is. Hm? Jerry?
Jeronicus: I’d be better if you called me by my name.
Ms. Johnston: Aren’t you just the cutest little thing?
Jeronicus: Do you have something for me today, Mrs. Johnston?
Ms. Johnston: It’s “Ms.” I’m widowed. Remember? He’s dead. Gone. Never coming back.
Jeronicus: I’m sure he’s in a better place.
Ms. Johnston: Jerry the Jokester.
Ms. Johnston: [referring to the letter] You might want to open this one. You’re three months late on your gas. Actually, it’s four. You overpaid the month before, so they gave you a credit.
Jeronicus: Mrs. Johnston, I would appreciate…
Ms. Johnston: Ms.
Jeronicus: If you refrained from opening my mail.
Ms. Johnston: It’s just a sixth sense I have. A gift. Knowing what’s inside, without seeing it.
[as he finds Ms. Johnston in Jeronicus’s arms]
Mr. Delacroix: I suppose if times are tough enough, one will sell just about anything, Jangle.
Jeronicus: Mrs. Johnston was just delivering my mail.
Ms. Johnston: Expressing my affection. In the most respectful way I know how.
Jeronicus: Would you mind expressing it somewhere over there?
Ms. Johnston: Anything for you, Jerry.
Jeronicus: Mr. Delacroix.
Mr. Delacroix: Jangle.
Jeronicus: Just the person I’ve been waiting for.
Mr. Delacroix: Yes, which is why you haven’t answered any of my inquiries.
Mr. Delacroix: Jangle, for the last thirty years, you’ve been promising something sensational.
Jeronicus: Yes, and I have a thought.
Mr. Delacroix: Yes, something spectacular. Hm?
Mr. Delacroix: Either come up with the money you’ve borrowed by Christmas.
Jeronicus: That’s just a few days away.
Mr. Delacroix: Or show me the revolutionary invention you once promised.
Jeronicus: Something revolutionary?
[makes the calculation on his machine]
Jeronicus: Take the circumference of spectacular. Divided by the second derivative of sensational. It’ll take approximately…
Mr. Delacroix: Two thousand years.
Mr. Delacroix: The invention, or the bank will seize Jangles and Things and all its assets.
Jeronicus: Wait. Wait. Mr. Delacroix! Mr. Delacroix! I would lose everything.
Mr. Delacroix: I’m sorry to say it, old friend, but it looks like you already have. Merry Christmas.
Grandmother Journey: He had found the one thing that could change everything. But still something was missing. Someone was missing. Many times he sat to write. But Jeronicus
couldn’t figure out the words. I suppose “I’m sorry” hadn’t quite been invented yet. And though she had moved far away, the heart, it seems, isn’t bothered by distance, only by what it loves and wishes loved it in return. And Jessica grew weary of the wait. She had a life of her own now, and a daughter. A peculiar little girl. Curious. Magical, even, some might say. Journey.
Jessica: [as Journey sets off to see Jeronicus] It’s only a couple of days, so remember to mind your manners, and eat your dinner. All of it. No matter how it tastes. Be kind to your grandfather. Even if he isn’t everything you’ve imagined he’ll be.
Journey: He’ll be more. I just know it.
Grandmother Journey: She couldn’t wait. Living up to her name, a most magical journey was about to begin.
Journey: Are you Mr. Jangle?
Jeronicus: Depends on who’s asking.
Journey: I’m Journey, your granddaughter.
Jeronicus: My granddaughter’s name is Jackie. Something with a U. Justice. Jupiter. June. July.
Journey: It’s Journey.
Jeronicus: That’s a J-O-U. That’s with a U. Okay.
Jeronicus: My real granddaughter would never want to visit me anyway.
Journey: But I have nowhere else to stay.
Jeronicus: Would you speak a little quieter? Because I’m having a hard time hearing you.
Journey: [louder] I have nowhere else to stay.
Jeronicus: You can’t stay here. Not now. Maybe next year, or year after. Maybe five, or ten years from now. You know what they say about children? They’re a creative vacuum. And I can’t have that right now. I’m working on something. Goodbye.
Jeronicus: You can stay.
Jeronicus: After you sign this. All clauses of confidentiality to protect the specialty of the personality whose mentality transcends the continuum between fantasy and reality. Which means, you don’t touch, you don’t move, you don’t bust, you don’t break, you don’t take anything from this shop. You understand?
Journey: Is it alright if I call you Grandpa Jeronicus?
Jeronicus: Could you not?
Journey: I guess you’re right. Grandpa J sounds so much better.
[she kisses his cheek]
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