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Hocus Pocus (1993) Poster

(1993)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (7)
During a February 10, 2008 interview on the BBC show "Breakfast", Bette Midler stated that this was her favorite of all of her films. Her other favorite film role, according to her autobiography "Bette Midler: Still Divine," was voicing the poodle Georgette in Oliver & Company (1988).
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Disney bought the script in 1984, then sat on the project for eight years. The original title was "Disney's Halloween House" and was supposed to be much darker and scarier. Rumors that Disney considered turning it into a made-for-TV movie at one point have spread over the Internet, but have not been confirmed by the cast and crew.
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Sarah Jessica Parker plays a witch who was executed during the Salem Witch Trials. 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, MA 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."
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Sarah Jessica Parker has said that she found being in the flying broom harness so comfortable that, instead of being lowered back to the ground during the extended downtime between certain takes, she would stash a copy of the New York Times on her person to read while remaining suspended in the air.
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During a 20th anniversary screening of this film, Doug Jones revealed the moths that come out of his mouth at the end are real, not CGI.
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The role of Max Dennison was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio. He turned it down to appear in What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).
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The film grossed $39,514,713, although it became more popular over the years. It appears on television regularly during the month of October.
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Brother and sister Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall play husband and wife. He's the one dressed as Satan.
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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.
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The film was released in July 1993 so it wouldn't compete with The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993), Disney's other Halloween release that year.
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Sean Murray played the human Thackery Binx. He was dubbed over by Jason Marsden, voice of the cat Binx, for consistency.
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Contrary to popular rumor, the song Sarah Sanderson sings from the sky was not written by Edgar Allan Poe, nor does it carry the style or meters he would have used. It was written specifically for the film.
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The city of Salem, Massachusetts used the film as a theme for the opening parade of their 2018 Haunted Happenings, to coincide with the film's 25th anniversary. The local National Parks Service office made a doll of Winifred dressed in one of their uniforms, while the Saltonstall School made a float based on Thackery.
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Omri Katz was unwell at the time of his first audition, and was initially rejected for the role of Max.
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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?" 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.
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Rhythm and Hues, who created the CGI Thackery Binx, went to great lengths to ensure that his facial features were those of an actual cat. The studio found it too realistic, notably the fangs and teeth, and felt that he might be too scary and sinister. To make him appear friendlier, Rhythm and Hues made his fangs smaller and less pointed.
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Although not specified, it makes sense that Binx can't speak until the Black Flame Candle has been lit, and then, only with those involved in the lighting. Otherwise, he would've been able to talk to his father at the hanging at the beginning of the film, or at the Town Hall when Max tries to tell the crowd that the Sanderson sisters have returned.
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On The Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash (2018), Sarah Jessica Parker revealed that she actually ate the spider.
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In an interview on Today (1952), Kathy Najimy said she was initially reluctant to take the role of Mary, afraid she would offend real witches by stereotyping a fictitious fairy tale witch.
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Contrary to popular belief, this was not the first Disney movie to mention virgins; Dragonslayer (1981) was.
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Sarah Jessica Parker and Bette Midler co-starred together in The First Wives Club (1996). Parker's character played the younger woman Midler's husband left her for.
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Rosie O'Donnell was originally offered the role of Mary Sanderson. O'Donnell claims on her blog that she turned down the offer to work with Bette Midler because she didn't want to be a "scary witch."
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The three little girls who steal the witches' brooms from in front of the house are dressed as the sisters themselves: Winifred has red hair and a green cape, Mary has black hair and a red cape, and Sarah has blonde hair and a purple cape.
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The Devil's dog was Kathy Najimy's.
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Early in the film, Mary says to Winifred, "Winifred, thou art divine!" Bette Midler is known for her nickname, "The Divine Miss M."
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William "Billy" Butcherson died on May 1, 1693.
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Early in the film, after his teacher has finished telling the Sanderson Sisters' story, Max doodles on a piece of paper. The doodle reads "the grateful dead," with a marijuana leaf above it.
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Charles Rocket says to Max, "Watch your language!" Rocket is notorious for swearing on air at the end of Saturday Night Live: Charlene Tilton/Todd Rundgren/Prince (1981).
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The film takes place on October 31, 1693 and from October 31 to November 1, 1993.
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The ballad hit "Almost Unreal" by Swedish pop duo Roxette was originally meant to be included in the movie's soundtrack. It was dropped and used in Super Mario Bros. (1993) instead.
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Jennifer Lopez auditioned for the role of Sarah Sanderson.
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Allison's house is only two doors from the original Witch House.
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At Satan's house, the commercial with the baby playing is actually a commercial for stain-resistant carpet.
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When taking photos on the steps before trick-or-treating a painting of the Dennisons' house is behind them.
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Emily Binx died on October 31, 1693.
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A kid wearing a Michael Myers mask and clown suit is in front of the Devil's house.
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David Kirschner and Mick Garris, both of whom had collaborated with Steven Spielberg in the past, set the project up at Disney in the mid-1980s. Garris and Kirchner pitched "Hocus Pocus" to Spielberg, who turned it down. He had no intention of working with Disney, which he saw as his biggest competitor. Spielberg eventually collaborated with the Disney studios within a few years, but by the time this film was made, the filmmaker had long abandoned it.
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Disney Easter egg: a child is dressed up as Mrs. Potts trick or treating when the sisters get off the bus
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Cloris Leachman was the producers' first choice to play Winifred.
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In 2018 toy makers Funko produced a set of their popular Pop vinyl figures based on the film. The series includes all 3 Sanderson sisters and were sold exclusively through Spirit Halloween stores.
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Dani Dennison was born in 1985.
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Bette Midler worked with Garry Marshall on Beaches (1988), five years earlier.
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Kathy Najimy (Mary Sanderson) and Penny Marshall (the Master's Wife; the Master being played by her real life brother, Garry Marshall) also worked together on The Hard Way (starring Michael J Fox and James Woods). Marshall was Angie and Najimy was Lang's Girl Friday.
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The Dennisons car is a, 1991 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer [UN46].
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The colors of Max's tie dye shirt during the classroom scene are the same colors as each of the witches: green (Winifred), purple (Sarah) and red (Mary).
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The bus that the Sanderson sisters ride on was a, 1967 GMC TDH 5305.
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The fake cop's motorcycle is a, Kawasaki KZ 1000 P.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Dani and Allison dance after burning the Sanderson Sisters alive, the fountain in the background was also used in the opening credits of Friends (1994).
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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.
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In the final scene, when Dani is crying over Binx's cat body, he happened to die right on his sister's grave.
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After locking the Sanderson sisters in the school kiln, the three kids celebrate as they walk to the park. The house directly behind Max and Thackery while they talk was also used as Thora Birch's home in 1999's American Beauty (1999).
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After the witches are burnt in the kiln, Max celebrates in front of the house from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), down the street from the witch house used on Bewitched (1964)
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During the final fight in the cemetery, the background music imitates Miss Gulch's (the Wicked Witch) theme from The Wizard of Oz (1939).
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To free Dani, Max uses Daylight Saving Time (though he calls it "Daylight Savings Time") as an explanation for an early sunrise. Under US Daylight Saving Time rules in 1993, clocks were set back one hour to Standard Time at 2 AM on the last Sunday of October. The last Sunday of October in 1993 was Halloween. So, in one sense, he's correct: On November 1, 1993 Sunrise in Salem, MA was at 6:17 AM while on October 30, it was at 7:15 AM.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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