Disney's Hocus Pocus
An overlooked kids Halloween movie
Hocus Pocus was released in 1993 by Disney. Hocus Pocus is a spooky trip through Salem, Massachusetts. It features 3 witches known as the Sanderson sisters, played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Against these witches are 2 teenagers played by Omri Katz and Vinessa Shaw, plus a child played by a very young Thora Birch.
We watch this every year to help us get into the Halloween spirit. You have to look at the movie for what it is: A silly, slightly spooky, Halloween kids movie.
Rated: PG for a few scenes that might startle kids, and some language (I didn't recall any language standing out, and it is cleaner than a lot of what is on TV - they do say "damn" "virgin" and "yabos" but nothing worse) For full reasons for PG rating, go to this IMDB page.
A few scenes might scare the younger kids a bit, but nothing like a true "horror" movie.
Photo: Fair Usage
A perfect setting
Salem is the perfect setting for this movie. Salem is already known for the Salem Witch Trials, which also featured three witches, though the ending there was much less kid friendly.
Hocus Pocus was actually partially filmed on location in Salem.
Halloween is big in Salem every year, and many people travel there for the holiday. This party atmosphere is present during certain scenes in the movie.
Hocus Pocus doesn't take itself seriously
Hocus Pocus is a fun, but slightly spooky trip through Salem. You have evil witches, a zombie, magic, and a talking cat (voiced by NCIS' Sean Murray/McGee). There is even a musical number performed by Bette Midler that is really great, and could be played along with Monster Mash and other Halloween classics.
I put a spell on you
This is a clip from the movie featuring Bette Midler singing "I put a spell on you."
It takes about a minute to really get the music going, but it's worth the wait.
Hocus Pocus 2: Rise of the Elderwitch
There is some conflicting information regarding a possible sequel to Hocus Pocus.
The Huffington Post reports that a Disney representative denied any Hocus Pocus Sequel.
Movie Hole, however, reported that "Disney is quietly developing plans for a sequel to the rather popular '90s flick."
I personally hope they do release a sequel, keeping the same tone and feel of the original. Done right, I think it could be a great movie.
Considering the lack of buzz surrounding Hocus Pocus 2 this year, I think it would be fair to presume that Hocus Pocus 2 is not in development.
Hocus Pocus at Amazon