I received this in an email, and did some research online about it. The Golden Compass, coming out in December, is by most accounts an anti-Christian, anti-religion movie that is aimed at children. It is based on a series of books written by an atheist. I wouldn't have expected that from a movie starring Nicole Kidman, but, apparently this movie is the first in a series, and the anti-religion themes are pretty watered down in this first one. The idea is that kids will love it, want the books, and read further into the series.
Snopes has a good article confirming most of the rumors I found elsewhere online. You can find more articles here: The Catholic League, Wikipedia (see controversy section), and even on MTV's website.
I'm not normally one to get too concerned about these things. I never saw the great harm in Harry Potter, myself- just thought it was a fantasy story. Surely most Christian children can recognize the difference between a fairytale wizard and his magic, as compared to real-life witchcraft and evil, right? My kids are too young for the Harry Potter stuff anyway, so it didn't really affect our family.
If my kids were a little older, I might let them see this new movie just so we could talk about those issues. After all, we can't protect them from everything that we disagree with in this world. DH and I might watch it when it makes it to cable tv, just so we can judge for ourselves what all the controversy is about.
At any rate, I thought I'd pass on the word about this movie so that parents can make an informed decision about whether it's right for their families or not.