The movie is adapted from the old Hispanic tale "La Llorona" (The Crying Woman). It starts with Beto and his little sister Kika trick-or-treating in the village. The streets were deserted, dark and foggy. Kika was very loudly asking for candies, which made Beto very nervous. While waiting for Kika to come back from a house that was far down the street, Beto spotted an eerie figure going in her direction. In order to save his sister, he called out the ghost's name, "La Llorona"; she heard and went after him, he runs off and on reaching the bank of a river. Kika finds Beto missing, looks for him and finds him only to orders her not to come, immediately afterwards is kidnapped in front of the astonished eyes of this while listening to the heartbreaking cry of "Oh my children!"
Some time later, a balloon with ship basket carrying five companions is flying over Xochimilco. The companions are Leo San Juan, a young boy, Don Andres, an old knight (similar to Don Quijote), Alebrije, a fire-breathing colorful dragon-like creature and Moribunda and Finado, two skeleton-like kids resembling calavera (sugar skulls). They're heading toward the village, Xochimilco, in response to Padre Tello's letter which asked for their help. They summoned a ghost friend Teodora, who helped them in previous adventure (La Leyenda de La Nahuala), but she disappeared right before the storm after teasing Leo. During the storm Moribunda fell out of the basket, and Leo saved her, but fell from the balloon into Kika's boat (she'd been sailing down a river at the time, possibly looking for Beto). Kika accidentally knocked Leo into the water, then discovered his letter from Padre Tello, and then accidentally hit him with her paddle, knocking him out (she pulls him out of the water offscreen). Kika sees the damaged balloon he'd fallen from heading toward La Isla de las Munecas (Puppets' Island).
San Juan wakes up at Kika's house under her mom's care. Kika's mother told him a story of La Llorona, whose name was actually Yoltzin instead of María. Yoltzin moved to Xochimilco with her two kids: Ollin and Tonatiuh. She sold flowers to provide for her family, and became well-liked in the village. Everything changed one day when they were coming back home to find their house on fire. Yoltzin jumped off the boat, desperate to save the house, but forgot her kids on the boat, which drifted away with them still on board. When she realized that it was too late and they disappeared without a trace. Villagers helped her searching for the kids. Days later, though, Ollin and Tonatiuh were found dead near a channel. Yoltzin didn't accept her children's death. She was driven crazy with grief and remorse. After her death, the villagers started to hear ghostly moans. Yoltzin had become La Llorona, a specter who came out at night to kidnap children, though with no intent to harm them; rather, she seemed to want to take care of them, maybe to make up for failing to take care of her own children. Padre Tello followed La Llorona for years, trying to find out how to appease La Llorona, until he disappeared. San Juan left Kika's house to find his friends, and figure out the mystery of where Beto and the other kidnapped kids were with help of Padre Tello's journal. Kika followed him, telling Leo that he needs her. La Llorona attacks Leo and Kika, injuring Leo, but Kika helps him and listens to his plans to find the old church where Ollin and Tonatiuh's graves are. Padre Tello's book says that "Yoltzin has to see" the graves to be at peace. Once again, Leo and Kika were chased by La Llorona, but this time Kika is kidnapped and Leo loses her trail.
Meanwhile, at the island of the puppets, Andres was tangled in vines. After lot of screamming he was rescued from the puppets by Alebrije, who was all covered in green slime after falling in the lake. Andres and Alebrije freed an old man from a cursed hand puppet named Pecas, who was animated by the tears of La Llorona, and had been forcing the old man to make puppets for him. The old man thanked them and told them where to find La Llorona.
Leo San Juan asked Teodora to help him seek La Llorona and distract her while he looked for the old church where Yoltzin's kids were buried. Leo went into a sunken church, and inside he found Kika and other kids sleeping. He saw that La Llorona was taking care of them and that they were unharmed. He ran deep down in the church until he found the church's crypt and searched for Ollin and Tonatiuh's graves. He finds a broken part of the kids' graves when he's looking for his dropped necklace (with a picture of his mother inside) and puts it back into the grave, fixing it. Kika angers the La Llorona, telling her to let the other kids go, and she almost has her soul taken by La Llorona but Leo saves her. La Llorona grabs Leo and starts taking his soul, causing him to pass out, then captures his friends by animating vines that had overtaken the sunken church. When she is about to hurt them, Leo called out to her and showed her kid's name in the grave. When La Llorona saw their names, she became reunited with her kids and thanked Leo for his help. Leo saw his mom one last time while he was unconscious. Other kidnapped kids woke up including Beto. Back in the village Leo and his friends said farewell to the villagers, then get ready to go back to their hometown when Padre Godofredo appears and urges them to help another town in distress. He explains that Xochitl a friend of theirs, was taken captive by mummies in Guanajuato. They then sail off to Guanajuato in order to save her.
This film has earned $2,910,573 at the domestic box office, while it earned $3,898,653 at the Latin American box office.
This film received mixed reviews. It does not have an available Rotten Tomatoes raking, but it did score a 5.4/10 rating based on 39 users on IMDB.