• The iconic Disney movie “Hocus Pocus” starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy was released in 1993 and has become a Halloween staple.
• The original title of the movie was “Halloween House” before it was changed to “Hocus Pocus.”
• Bette Midler had a requirement in her contract that her feet had to be shown on-screen in the movie.
Here is what happened:
Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the iconic Disney film Hocus Pocus is still casting its spell on audiences. Starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy as the wicked Sanderson sisters, the movie has become a Halloween staple. Last year, the long-awaited sequel was released, bringing the original trio back together and introducing a new generation of witches. To commemorate the milestone, director Kenny Ortega and some of the film’s stars, including Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, and Doug Jones, shared behind-the-scenes secrets.
One interesting fact is that the original title of the film was “Halloween House,” but it underwent several changes over the years to become the more kid-friendly “Hocus Pocus.” The production started in Salem and later moved to sound stages in Los Angeles. The cast had to convince local residents to take down their Christmas decorations for the Halloween-themed filming. Another intriguing detail is that Bette Midler had a unique requirement in her contract: her feet had to be shown on-screen. This led to the inclusion of two shots featuring Midler’s feet.
There were also some interesting anecdotes from the young actors. Thora Birch, who played Dani, admitted to not being a cat person despite her character’s affection for Binx. She also shared a crush on Elijah Wood, who had a small role in the film. Vinessa Shaw, who portrayed Allison, revealed that the teen actors formed a close bond on set. The crew went above and beyond by building the Sanderson sisters’ iconic cottage and the surrounding graveyard.
In terms of casting, there was a rumor that Leonardo DiCaprio was considered for the role of Max, but ultimately, Omri Katz was chosen. The bullies in the film, Ernie and Jay, played by Larry Bagby and Tobias Jelinek, became close friends during filming. Bagby even had to shave the word “ICE” into the back of his head, which caused some trouble when attending church. Both actors were in awe of Sarah Jessica Parker and had great admiration for her. Additionally, the flying scenes in the movie were achieved with practical effects, with four crew members moving the witches instead of using CGI.
Overall, these behind-the-scenes secrets provide fans with a deeper understanding of the making of Hocus Pocus and highlight the enduring popularity of the film even after 30 years. The iconic moments, memorable characters, and talented cast have solidified Hocus Pocus as a beloved Halloween classic.