Plugged In Online's Cheryl Wilhelmi says "Coco" depicts a "spiritual worldview that's at odds with Christian teaching." Watch her review above.
Disney Pixar's "Coco" won the Thanksgiving weekend box office this year, bringing in $71.2 million and making it the fourth best all-time Thanksgiving opener.
But before you take your kids to see the animated film, Focus on the Family's Plugged In Online is cautioning Christians about the "spiritual worldview" depicted in the movie.
"The movie serves almost as a 'Sunday School lesson' of sorts in its detailed description of a spiritual worldview that's at odds with Christian teaching," Plugged In's Cheryl Wilhelmi reported in her review.
In the film, the main character, Miguel, loves music and hopes to be a musician someday, despite his family's objections. They banned music because Miguel's great, great grandfather left his family to pursue a music career.
"Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events," the official website of "Coco" states.
"...Miguel hopes to play his music nonetheless. First, though, he has to make it past the Día de Muertos celebration," Wilhelmi said. Instead, "he suddenly finds himself transported to the land of the dead."
Dia de Muertos, is the annual Day of the Dead in Mexico, a religious tradition where relatives honor their deceased ancestors at cemeteries by bringing pictures, gifts and food.
The New York Times reported that Pixar made sure "Coco" was "culturally accurate," and that led to a strong reaction from audiences and critics. CinemaScore exit polls showed ticket buyers giving it an A-plus.
However, Plugged In Online warns parents to be careful.
"Mexico's Day of the Dead — an indigenous belief system, the film tells us in the credits — plays a central role in everything that happens in 'Coco,'" wrote Plugged In Reviewer Adam R. Holz. "(And though that holiday has historically had links to Catholicism in Mexico, there's hardly anything here that deals with that connection.)"
"But there's another, deeper and more unsettling layer to these beliefs as well. Once no one alive remembers you any more, you fade into dust," Holz continued. "Annihilation, it would seem. 'The final death,' one character calls it."
He also says the film emphasizes an Aztec belief system, which goes beyond merely honoring past family members, but actually worships them.
"The presentation of this belief system is no doubt touching and beautifully rendered," Holz said. "But the beliefs we see earnestly depicted here nevertheless remain at loggerheads with orthodox Christian teaching in (a) long list of significant ways."
"So despite this film's eye-popping beauty and its heartwarming moments, Pixar's latest still packages a pagan worldview that's in sharp conflict with Christian beliefs," he continued.
For an in-depth review of this film, check out pluggedin.com.