Hocus Pocus is a 1993 American fantasy comedy horror film directed by Kenny Ortega and written by Neil Cuthbert and Mick Garris. The film stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker as a trio of witches who are resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween night.
The film was released to mixed reviews but was a commercial success, grossing over $39 million at the box office. It has since become a cult classic among fans of Halloween and Midler.
1. Hocus Pocus was originally going to be a Disney Channel Original Movie.
Hocus Pocus was initially developed as a made-for-TV movie for the Disney Channel. However, the project was eventually turned into a theatrical release after positive feedback from test audiences.
2. The film’s working title was “Disney’s Halloween House”.
The film’s working title was “Disney’s Halloween House”. This was later changed to “Hocus Pocus” to avoid confusion with another Disney property, The Haunted Mansion.
3. Bette Midler wanted to play all three witch sisters.
Bette Midler originally wanted to play all three of the Sanderson sisters, but she was ultimately only cast as Winifred. Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker were then cast as Mary and Sarah, respectively.
4. The Sanderson sisters’ costumes were inspired by Morticia Addams.
The costume designers for Hocus Pocus took inspiration from the characters of Morticia Addams and Wednesday Addams from The Addams Family when creating the looks for the Sanderson sisters.
5. The film’s opening sequence was shot on location in Salem, Massachusetts.
The opening sequence of Hocus Pocus was shot on location in Salem, Massachusetts. The rest of the film was shot on soundstages in Los Angeles.
6. “I Put a Spell on You” was not originally intended to be in the film.
“I Put a Spell on You” was not originally intended to be in the film. However, Bette Midler convinced the filmmakers to include it after she performed the song during a table read.
7. The cat in the film is actually a dog.
The “cat” that Winifred Sanderson turns into is actually a dog named Binx. He was played by a Jack Russell Terrier named Thackery Binx.
8. Hocus Pocus is the only feature film directed by Kenny Ortega.
Hocus Pocus is the only feature film directed by Kenny Ortega. He is best known for his work on television, including directing and choreographing episodes of Dirty Dancing and Pretty Little Liars.
9. The film’s budget was $28 million.
Hocus Pocus had a budget of $28 million. It was one of the most expensive films produced by Walt Disney Pictures at the time.
10. Hocus Pocus was released on July 16, 1993.
Hocus Pocus was released on July 16, 1993. It was released in conjunction with another Walt Disney Pictures film, The Nightmare Before Christmas.