Monday Notes: 4 Things I Liked About Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

A few weeks ago, three friends reached out to me to ask if I’d watched Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey yet. I love Christmas movies and didn’t even know it was a thing, so I was super excited to run home and watch it as soon as I could. Here are four things I liked about the movie.

The cast is Black. Representation in media is important. I came of age in the ‘80s. At the time, the only Christmas film I had that included people who looked me was The Wiz with Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, and even that was an adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. As I grew older, I enjoyed watching Christmas movies…a lot, but there still weren’t many that included an all-Black cast. As of today, there are about eleven, including some fan favs, like The Preacher’s Wife, The Best Man Holiday, and Almost Christmas. So, I’m quite pleased to add another all-Black Christmas movie to the list.

There is a dysfunctional father-daughter theme. Most of you know I’ve edited and contributed to a book called Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships, so I was super happy to see this movie normalizes that theme, while not blaming the father or the daughter for the dysfunction. There was one part, in particular, with which I could relate. The narrator says, “Jessica didn’t just lose one parent, she lost two.” That’s exactly how I felt when my mother died and I think this film did a great job of demonstrating how dysfunction occurs, without centralizing the issue or overexaggerating events.

Jeronicus Jangle is a Black male professor. I’m a professor who has worked fulltime at three different institutions. I have encountered two Black male professors in each department. I’ve also graduated from three different universities in three different cities and have studied under three Black male professors in the English and education field. There aren’t a lot of professors who fit the demographic. I’m not sure what the statistic is for math and science, which is what Jangle’s character was, but I’m willing to bet it’s low. Kind of like having an all-Black cast, this type of representation matters, too.

The songs are inspiring and uplifting. I’m glad no one told me Jingle Jangle was a musical, because I probably wouldn’t have watched it. I absolutely loathe musicals. There’s something about people breaking out into song and dance in the middle of a script that’s uber annoying. But, as I prepared to write this blog post, I re-watched the movie and really listened to the songs. Each one is very motivational. My favorite is sung by Journey (Madalen Mills), Jangle’s granddaughter; it’s called, “Square Root of Possible.” And the chorus is,

It’s so possible
Watch me rise high above my obstacles
Watch me become who I’m supposed to be
Oh, the possibilities
‘Cause the squarе root of impossible
Is possible
In me
In mе

I mean, really. How much more inspiring can you get than this song???

Have you watched Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey? If so, let me know what you liked about it in the comments. If not, I suggest checking it out on Netflix. In the midst of a pandemic, it’s nice to have a new sunshiny movie to watch.

62 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 4 Things I Liked About Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

  1. Thanks for the review! I haven’t heard of this movie or seen it yet, but it does sound very good. And I agree that representation of all races is important, and so are real people in real situations in movies. (Nothing against fantasy, of course, but it’s so great when we watch a movie or read a book and think, “yes! I know exactly what they mean because I’ve felt that way too!” It’s so affirming.) Honestly, that’s why I can’t stand Hallmark Christmas movies: they are all exactly the same. Everyone is young, good-looking, white, heterosexual, and ultimately, successful in both love and life. Seen one, seen ’em all!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome! I think you’d like it too. Ya’ know I love a good Christmas movie, even the Hallmark ones, but you’re absolutely right about that theme they do. It’s absolutely predictable!!!

      Anywho, I do hope you’ll watch ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I’ll have to check this out. Btw, I LOVE musicals. The Five Heartbeats is one of my all-time favorites. And I will admit that growing up Saturday afternoons were often spent watching old Elvis movies on one of the few stations we had at home.🤣

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also don’t like musicals at all, but…since you recommend it and I trust your judgment, I will check it out. It sounds like it has some good layers to the story and you’re right, we could all use some positivity right now. Thanks, Kathy!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t see much advertisement so I didn’t know it was a musical until I tuned-in…I loved it!
    I loved that the cast looked like me, loved the legends in the cast, the brilliance of the characters, the songs, the drama and the natural hair. Did I say that I loved it? I’m sure I’ll watch it a few more times this coming month.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I felt like this was finally my soulmate holiday film. Filled with wonder, joy, quirkiness, great acting and outfits, and so many brown faces. David E. Talbert has been giving us magic for a long, long time, but this is my favorite of his works – hands down!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup. This is why I used to argue that every woman, especially every Black woman, should write her autobiography and that of her grandmother, for a book in the local public library (my old AbuelaVida/Grandmothers project).

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cool, thank you, Dr. G.! 🙂
        I hope that we can get local libraries to set aside enough space in their local history sections to encourage families to write their histories (even if it was hand-written and home-bound books, like the monks used to make…).
        First, we need more funding for Public Libraries!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I watched this with my nephew and he asked “why doesn’t he want to see his daughter and granddaughter??” and something about how he shouldn’t be so mean all the time 😢 So yea, we feel you on the dysfunction!

    The postal lady was my favorite, and her background singers who popped out of nowhere in the shop! The drama! And I just love all the juxtaposition of old and new, especially the super colorful 18th century clothing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww big hug…but yeah I felt like they did that part very appropriately so that even a child could see how crazy it was…and

      I liked her too! But Dwight and my youngest daughter pointed out that she was overweight and desperate, like the desperate woman in movies is always fat.

      You can tell watching movies with us is a big ole analysis lol

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is the first I’m hearing about it, but then, I just watched “This Christmas” for the first time over the weekend and it came out in 2007! 🤣🤣🤣

    Will definitely check it out – thanks for the heads-up! 😉😊

    Liked by 2 people

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