Disney’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time – or, as Rotten Tomatoes calls it, “the Oprah tesseract club” – hits theaters this weekend. Its source material is a story with deep Christian themes: Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved Newbery Medal-winning fantasy novel by the same name. Many have speculated that the film will strip away much of its explicitly Christian content – and, by doing so, jettison the soul of the story. So does it?

Alissa Wilkinson answers the question best in a thoughtful and even-handed review at Vox. Yes, adaptations can be different from their source material, she says, writing for a mixed audience, but they can’t “lose their most essential parts.” And in an effort to achieve “Disney-friendly broadness,” the movie misses the mark and lacks magic:

In the novel, Christianity lays thickly upon Wrinkle, influenced by L’Engle’s own beliefs. In that way and others, the book is like C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series: not blatantly preachy or too ponderously allegorical but integrating long quotations from the Bible and Christian theology into a story that still works whether or not you pick up on the Christian context.

Much of that Christian content has been excised from the film version of Wrinkle. It’s hard to tell precisely what the thinking was behind this… The movie seems fine with preserving and foregrounding other religious ideas: Figures like Buddha still get quoted in the movie, and there’s some religiously oriented language about becoming one with the universe, alongside a smidge of yoga…

But more importantly, it undercuts the story, preserving a more vague spirituality at the expense of any particulars in a tale that’s all about particularity. One wonders while watching the film if Disney underestimates young viewers’ ability to understand that there are different religions (something that L’Engle herself was clearly interested in), many of which are interested in the matters the film addresses, and whether the better choice for someone looking to make a religiously inclusive film might have been to preserve the film’s Christianity but add influences from other systems of belief, rather than smoothing them all out into a vague swirl of “love.”

Disappointing? Yes. Surprising? Perhaps not. Wilkinson also takes issue with the movie’s portrayal of its ultimate adversary: a being called IT. “The nature of IT has shifted in this movie, defanging one of Wrinkle’s most salient insights… [that] evil manifests as a kind of ideological groupthink.” It’s another crucial element of the story that stemmed from L’Engle’s worldview.

So what’s the best-case scenario for A Wrinkle in Time moviegoers, according to Wilkinson? “Those who see the movie will go home and read the books, and experience the bigger, richer, more brilliant world that L’Engle created.”