Hocus Pocus (1993) Poster



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During a February 10, 2008 interview on the BBC show "Breakfast", Bette Midler stated that out of all of her films, this live action Disney Halloween-themed film was her favorite. Her other favorite film role according to her autobiography "Bette Midler: Still Divine" was voicing the poodle Georgette in Oliver & Company (1988).
The script was written as a Disney Channel Original Movie; however, it caught the eyes of a few bigger studio heads at Disney, and they felt it was strong enough to carry a good theatrical performance.
In this film, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a witch who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials in the late 1600s. While researching her family history for the show Who Do You Think You Are? (2004), Parker was shocked to discover that her 10th great-grandmother Esther Elwell was arrested in Salem in the late 1600s for committing "sundry acts of witchcraft" and choking a neighbor to death. Esther's case never went to court, she escaped with her life and the accusation ended the Salem Witch Trials. Parker said: "It has changed everything about who I thought I was."
The role of Max Dennison was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio, but was given to Omri Katz when DiCaprio turned it down to appear in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).
During a 20th anniversary screening of Hocus Pocus, Doug Jones ("Billy Butcherson") revealed the moths that come out of his mouth at the end of Hocus Pocus are real and not CGI.
Several scenes appear in the original trailer that are not included in any theatrical, VHS, or DVD version of the film. They include the kids attempting to push the witches into a pool, the witches being surrounded by trick-or-treaters holding out their hands, and Mary snacking in a grocery store only to be dragged out by Winifred.
The film grossed $39,514,713, although it became more popular over the years. Not only is it a cult favorite but it also can be viewed regularly on television during the month of October.
Sean Murray played the human Thackery Binx, but was dubbed over by Jason Marsden, voice of the cat Binx, for consistency.
Brother and sister Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall play husband and wife. He's the one dressed as Satan.
When Bette Midler takes the stage at the town Halloween Party, she says "Hello Salem, my name is Winifred. What's yours?". This is a take-off of the famous line, "Hello world, my name is Rose, what's yours?" that is spoken by Mama Rose in the musical "Gypsy". Midler played Mama Rose in the television version, Gypsy (1993), the same year this film was released.
Omri Katz was unwell at the time of his first audition, and was initially rejected for the role of Max.
Strangely, the film was released in the Summer of 1993 rather than in the Autumn.
Neither Omri Katz nor Kathy Najimy were originally supposed to appear in the film. Those roles were originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio and Rosie O'Donnell, respectively.
It is often incorrectly reported that the song Sarah Sanderson sings from the sky was written by Edgar Allan Poe. It isn't by him, nor does it carry the style or meters he would have used. It was written specifically for the film.
During the final fight in the cemetery, the background music imitates Miss Gulch's (the Wicked Witch) theme from The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Rhythm and Hues, who created the CGI Thackery Binx, went to great detail to ensure that his facial features were a realistic representation of a cat. However, when the studio saw what Rhythm and Hues had created, they found that it was too realistic, notably the fangs and teeth, and felt that he might be too scary for certain members of the audience, as well as appearing slightly sinister. So R & H made his fangs smaller and less pointed in order to make him appear friendlier to the audience.
Sarah Jessica Parker has said that she thoroughly enjoyed being in the flying harness, so much so that she would stash a copy of the New York Times on her person and would read in the air between takes.
Rosie O'Donnell was originally offered the role of Mary Sanderson, but it was ultimately given to Kathy Najimy. O'Donnell claims on her blog that she turned down the offer to work with the Divine Miss M (Bette Midler) because she didn't want to be a "scary witch".
October 31st, 1993 was a Sunday-but the film has the kids in school on Halloween.
The first Disney movie that mentions virgins.
Charles Rocket acquired a certain notoriety for swearing on live television during the final moments of the 21 February 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live (1975). There's an in-joke in connection to this, where he says to Max, "Watch your language!".
Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler co-starred together in the movie First Wives Club. Parker's character played the younger woman Midler's husband left her for.
William "Billy" Butcherson died on May 1, 1693.
The film takes place on October 31, 1693 and from October 31 to November 1, 1993.
Early in the film, Mary (Kathy Najimy) says to Winifred, "Winifred, thou art divine!" Bette Midler, who plays Winifred, is known for her nickname, "The Divine Miss M."
The ballad hit "Almost Unreal" by Swedish pop duo Roxette was originally meant to be included in the movie's soundtrack, but it was dropped and used in Super Mario Bros. (1993) instead.
The three little girls who steal the witches' brooms from in front of the house are dressed as the sisters themselves: Winifred with red hair and green cape, Mary with black hair and red cape, and Sarah with blond hair and purple cape.
Kathy Najimy revealed in an interview with 'The Today Show', that she was initially reluctant to take the role of Mary for fear she would offend real witches by stereotyping a fictitious fairy tale witch with this role.
The bus that picks up the witches is a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus. There's a posted sign behind their heads when exiting the bus.
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Emily Binx died on October 31, 1693.
When taking photos on the steps before trick-or-treating you see a painting of the Dennisons' house behind them.
A kid wearing a Michael Myers Mask and Clown Suit was seen out the front of the "Devils" house.
The commercial playing with the baby in "Satan's" house is actually a commercial for stain resistant Carpet.
Early in the film, after his teacher has finished telling the Sanderson Sisters' story, Max can be seen doodling on a piece of paper. The doodle reads "the grateful dead," and also depicts a marijuana leaf above it.
Dani Dennison was born in 1985.
This was a career starting point for a future NCIS special agent Timothy McGee (since 2003).Sean Murray played in Hocus Pocus, exactly 10 years before the NCIS,a role of Thackery Binx, a kid from 1693, in his human form who got turned into an immortal cat.
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The lyrics song Sarah sings to lure children is mainly the words the words of the first verse of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe called "Come Little Children".
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the final scene, when Dani is crying over Binx's cat body, you can see that he happened to die right on his sister's grave.
There were seven statues made of Bette Midler for the scene in which she bursts in the sunlight toward the end of the movie. One of the statues, along with Winnie's spell book, is housed at the Planet Hollywood restaurant in Orlando, Florida.
After having locked the Sanderson sisters in the school kiln, the three kids celebrate as they walk to the park. The house shown directly behind Max and Thackery while they talk is the residential edifice used as Thora Birch's home in 1999's American Beauty (1999).
The fountain you see in the background where Dani and Allison are dancing after burning the Sanderson Sisters alive is the same fountain and set used in the opening credits of "Friends"
After the witches are burnt in the kiln, Max is seen celebrating in front of a house, which is the same house from Christmas Vacation and is down the street from the witch house used om the "Bewitched" television series.

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