In the prime of the 90s, when people were swooning over Arnold Schwarzenegger’s action roles, he showed his fans that he could be equally good in comedy. That’s how we got some of the most raucous comedies of the 90s featuring the former Mr. Universe, like Twins, Junior, and the almost cult-like holiday movie, Jingle All the Way. It’s full of classic family fun, laugh-out-loud scenarios, as well as a generous dose of heartwarming moments, all of which make it just about right for this season. The plot follows Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston, a mattress salesman who desperately tries to buy a Turbo-Man action figure for his son, but has tough competition from the postal worker, Myron Larabee (Sinbad) who also wants to buy the same toy for his own kid. The movie is said to have been inspired by the real-life trend of the high sell-out of popular toys/games of its time, like the Cabbage Patch Kids, Tamagotchi, Tickle-me Elmo, et al.
Jingle All the Way is directed by Brian Levant, who is best known for his other projects like The Flintstones and Beethoven, and written by Randy Kornfield. Besides Schwarzenegger and Sinbad, the Christmas comedy also stars Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Jake Lloyd, and Jim Belushi in various roles. It was the last film of Hartman that was released during his lifetime before he passed away in 1998. The movie’s soundtrack album, featuring original compositions by David Newman and Brian Setzer Orchestra, also went on to become quite popular.
More than 18 years later, in 2014, a sequel, titled Jingle All the Way 2 was released as a direct-to-video film. It had no connection to the story of the 1996 film, or its characters, and featured a completely new cast and crew. Directed by Alex Zamm (Tooth Fairy 2), the sequel became popular for featuring Larry the Cable Guy in the lead role, along with Santino Marella, Brian Stepanek, and Kennedi Clements in various roles. The plot is similar to the 1996 film and follows truck driver, Larry Phillips who wants to give his daughter Noel a toy she covets a lot. But his ex-wife’s wealthy husband Victor races for it to show that he is a good stepfather to Noel.
Despite mixed reviews and controversies attached to the original film, Jingle All the Way remains a fan-favorite and always ends up on people’s Christmas watchlist. So, why not give this retro family holiday movie a shot? Check out when, where, and how you can watch Jingle All the Way.
When Was Jingle All the Way Released?
Jingle All the Way had its world premiere on November 16, 1996, at the Mall of America, Minnesota, where the film was partly shot. On its release, the movie became a box office hit and was right behind other big releases of the year like Space Jam, and Star Trek: First Contact. The sequel, Jingle All the Way 2, produced by 20th Century Fox and WWE Studios, was released in December 2014 as a straight-to-video film.
Is Jingle All the Way Available on Streaming?
Both Jingle All the Way and Jingle All the Way 2 are available for streaming on different platforms. You can watch Jingle All the Way on Starz. The streaming service is available for a monthly plan of $3 per month or a semi-annual plan of $25 for six months. Starz is also available via Roku and Prime Video hubs. Alternatively, you can also rent the holiday movie on Amazon for $3.99.
Jingle All the Way 2, on the other hand, is available for streaming only on Disney+. You will need to subscribe to Disney+ for a basic plan of $7.99 per month or get the bundle with Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN for $69.99 per month. There’s also the option of renting the family comedy on Amazon for $3.99.
Is Jingle All the Way Available on DVD and Blu-ray?
Jingle All the Way had its VHS release in October 1997, one year after its theatrical release, and its first DVD was released in November 1998, followed by another DVD release six years later, in December 2004. In 2007, a director’s cut edition DVD was released titled Family Fun Edition, which includes extra footage, behind-the-scenes content, and other featurettes. In 2008, the same special edition was released on Blu-ray.
What Is Jingle All the Way About?
Jingle All the Way portrays the heavy commercialization of the holiday season with frenzied shoppers vying for the most sold-out items. Based on this idea, the plot is set within a Minnesota family where Howard, a mattress salesman, barely has time for his wife, Liz, and son, nine-year-old son Jamie. After missing a few important events in Jamie’s life, Howard decides to make it up for the holidays by buying his boy the raging action-hero figure of Turbo Man. But the most-sold-out toy of the year is nowhere to be found and Howard runs all over the town to get his son’s Christmas gift. But he has tough competition from the local postal worker, Myron, who also has the same plan for his own son. The two desperate fathers race against time and each other to get their children their most desired gifts.
In the sequel, Jingle All the Way 2, the cast and characters are completely new and bear no relevance to the 1996 holiday comedy although the 2014 movie is also a Christmas comedy and set around a similar premise. It follows Larry, a truck driver who wants to get Noel, his daughter the Harrison The Talking Bear that she really desires, just like the Turbo-Man of 1996. But being the most popular toy of the season, Larry finds it hard to get hold of one. It’s also because his ex-wife’s current husband and Noel’s stepfather, Victor, a wealthy businessman, has stockpiled all the bear toys, so he can win over Noel and make Larry lose. And so, the two fathers compete with each other to get to the toy.