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Hocus Pocus (1993)

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A curious youngster moves to Salem, where he struggles to fit in before awakening a trio of diabolical witches that were executed in the 17th century.

Director:

Kenny Ortega

Writers:

David Kirschner (story), Mick Garris (story) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
513 ( 33)
2 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bette Midler ... Winifred
Sarah Jessica Parker ... Sarah
Kathy Najimy ... Mary
Omri Katz ... Max
Thora Birch ... Dani
Vinessa Shaw ... Allison
Amanda Shepherd Amanda Shepherd ... Emily
Larry Bagby ... Ernie 'Ice' (as Larry Bagby III)
Tobias Jelinek ... Jay
Stephanie Faracy ... Jenny
Charles Rocket ... Dave
Doug Jones ... Billy Butcherson
Karyn Malchus Karyn Malchus ... Headless Billy Butcherson
Sean Murray ... Thackery
Steve Voboril Steve Voboril ... Elijah
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Storyline

300 years have passed since the Sanderson sisters were executed for practicing dark witchcraft. Returning to life thanks to a combination of a spell spoken before their demise and the accidental actions of Max, the new-kid-in-town, the sisters have but one night to secure their continuing existence... Written by anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's just a bunch of Hocus Pocus!

Genres:

Comedy | Family | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some scary sequences, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

16 July 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Hocus Pocus See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,125,471, 18 July 1993

Gross USA:

$39,514,713

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$39,514,713
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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." See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Winnie hears Thackery peeking in the house. She looks out the window and says, "Oh look, another glorious morning..." Moments later, the town folk arrive to confront the sisters, and Mary exclaims they are "spending a quiet evening at home." See more »

Quotes

Dani: [to Winifred] It doesn't matter how young or old you are, you sold your soul! You're the ugliest thing that ever lived, and you know it!
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, the parents finally stop dancing and leave the building, exhausted; Jay and Ernie have been forgotten about and are still dangling in their cages, singing Row Row Row Your Boat, then the camera pans over to the spell book as the eye opens once more. See more »

Alternate Versions

When aired on the Disney channel in the UK, several places were edited for mild language. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hollywood vs. Religion (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Sabre Dance
Arranged by George Wilson
Written by Aram Khachaturyan (uncredited)
(Incorrectly credited as written by George Wilson)
Courtesy of Associated Production Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Hocus Pocus' Cute Energy And Halloween Spirit Make It A Sweet, If Familiar Treat.
26 October 2017 | by jaredpahlSee all my reviews

In the years since its release in 1993, thanks to annual showings on television, Hocus Pocus has become something of a Halloween classic. I didn't grow up with the movie, and I don't think it is an especially well-crafted work, so I can't necessarily vouch for Hocus Pocus' "classic" status, but what I can vouch for is the movie's wholesome family spirit. This is a lovable little movie, the kind that renders any faults moot by the sheer charm of the production. I guess it's not a very good film, but its black magic worked on me.

I'll keep the summary short. Three witches (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) are resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts and they wreak havoc on Halloween night. A small band of kids try to stop them. That's really all the plot you need to know. What's important to consider is that the movie takes place on Halloween, and it makes the most of that setting. I've always had a soft spot for Halloween and Halloween-related accoutrement: Monsters, ghouls, jack-o-lanterns, and the like. So Hocus Pocus appeals to me on the basis of simply being about the holiday, and relishing in the spirit of Halloween. It is also one of the few Halloween movies to capture that specific "spooky, but not scary" feeling Halloween night had as a kid. For someone who has long outgrown trick-or-treating, it's an inviting bit of nostalgia.

Let's talk about the cast. Has there ever been a more likable bunch of actresses than the three witches here? Midler, Parker, and Najimy show no pretenses. They are just out there goofing around and having fun. Their performances aren't anything special, of course, but you can't tell me they didn't add more than their share of cute energy to the proceedings. Speaking of cute energy, I have to give a special shoutout to Thora Birch as the young sister, who gushes with charm. She's the heart of the movie, she's got screen presence, and she's a good little actress.

Not everyone will see Hocus Pocus the way I do. I have a pesky habit of rooting for movies because they are silly and innocent, rather than in spite of. Others find that sort of thing unbearable. In this case, Hocus Pocus has two things that distract me from its formulaic, kids- save-the-day plot: A lovable cast, and Halloween spirit. As dumb as it is, I still get the urge to revisit it every October. You could say I fell under its spell.

66/100


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