With a sequel out TODAY, what better time to look back on the masterpiece that is Hocus Pocus and share some of the best behind-the-scenes facts we could find? Let’s get into it!
The whole film was supposed to focus more on the witches, but Disney ended up cutting a lot of their scenes and reframing the narrative.
The plot came from a bedtime story David Kirschner told his daughter one night!
The film was initially a flop, potentially because it was released in the summer of 1993 to coincide with children being off from school.
The film was originally going to star a young Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of Max Dennison.
The part of Winifred Sanderson was actually written for Cloris Leachman.
Kathy Najimy was initially reluctant to play Mary as she didn’t want to offend real witches with a stereotypical portrayal of one.
Kathy thought of her character Mary as “half bloodhound”, hence why Mary barks every now and again and has a crooked mouth.
Sarah Jessica Parker would often spend her downtime in between takes reading while suspended in the air on her flying broom harness.
According to Thora Birch, who played Dani Dennison, Bette carried a dictionary of old curse words around on set so she could improvise historically accurate insults.
Ralph the dog was played by Kathy Najimy’s real life dog!
Thackery Binx, the cat, was actually played by 9-15 real cats.
And for scenes where Binx speaks, filmmakers either used a real cat and then replaced its head with a CGI version, or they would use one of six animatronic cats to get the job done.
And yes, one of the animatronic cats used for Thackery Binx was also the animatronic used for Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.
The moths that flew out of Billy Butcherson’s mouth at the end were not CGI, they were real!
Sarah Sanderson’s costume was inspired by Sleeping Beauty, Mary Sanderson was supposed to look like a baker, and Winifred’s costume was inspired by Bette herself!
And the costumes everybody wears in the party scene are actually Disney hand-me-downs!
Sean Murray, who plays the human Thackery Binx, had his voice dubbed over because he sounded too “contemporary”.
Bette Midler suggested a line change in “I Put A Spell On You”.
The fountain that appears in the film when Max et al are celebrating the demise of the Sanderson sisters is the same fountain in the iconic opening credits of Friends.
Did any of these surprise you? Are you excited for Hocus Pocus 2? Let us know in the comments!