May 19, 2022

The Movie Man: ‘Jingle Jangle, A Christmas Journey – Perhaps a ‘Cult Classic,’ But No Way a ‘True Classic’

Kevin Ganey is ‘The Movie Man.’

While Jingle Jangle A Christmas Journey provides spectacular visual effects, catchy songs, and lovable characters, I fear it will go down in film history as only a cult classic that is adequate at best.

The reason for this being just another Christmas film is the plot: Journey Jangle, granddaughter of legendary toymaker/inventor Jeronicus Jangle, seeks to restore faith in her grandfather, who has become disenchanted after his apprentice Gustafson had stolen his ideas decades earlier.

This is a recycled plot that has been used on a myriad of productions over the years. I could see each detail coming around its respective corner.

For the most part, the casting was great, except for one character: our antagonist, Gustafson, played by legendary comedian Keegan-Michael Key. Because Key has left such a wonderful impression as a goofy comedian, it was difficult for me to accept him portraying a driven villain.

While there are plenty of comedians who have triumphed in dramatic roles (think Robin Williams and Peter Sellers), I do not believe this is the role for which he will achieve that feat.

Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed watching this flick, and I am sure that there are many who will want to screen it again each holiday season, but I have learned there is a clear difference between enjoying a movie, which is based on reaction, and praising it, which is rooted in artistic criticism.

I elaborated on this in one of my earlier reviews for Hubie Halloween.

Years from now, critics will not lump it together with other Christmas classics such as It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Elf, Home Alone, or even Die Hard.

So for those seeking simple entertainment, indulge … but for those seeking something bigger, look elsewhere!

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on, follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment.

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