19 Crazy Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Hocus Pocus

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With a sequel out THIS FRIDAY, 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!

1.

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.

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“It was cut and edited completely differently than it was filmed”, Kathy revealed to SyFy Wire. “It was really more about the witches and less about the kids”, but apparently Disney wanted to make it more kid-friendly. So the decision was taken to focus on a group of kids trying to defeat three witches with evil intentions.

Of the scenes that were cut, Kathy recalled a sequence in a grocery story, which can still be seen one of the trailers for the film. “That was a good one. That was so fun… Mary got to be set loose in a supermarket!”

2.

The plot came from a bedtime story David Kirschner told his daughter one night!

3.

The film was initially a flop, potentially because it was released in the summer of 1993 to coincide with children being off from school.

4.

The film was originally going to star a young Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of Max Dennison.

5.

The part of Winifred Sanderson was actually written for Cloris Leachman.

6.

Kathy Najimy was initially reluctant to play Mary as she didn’t want to offend real witches with a stereotypical portrayal of one.

7.

Kathy thought of her character Mary as “half bloodhound”, hence why Mary barks every now and again and has a crooked mouth.

8.

Sarah Jessica Parker would often spend her downtime in between takes reading while suspended in the air on her flying broom harness.

9.

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.

10.

Ralph the dog was played by Kathy Najimy’s real life dog!

11.

Thackery Binx, the cat, was actually played by 9-15 real cats.

12.

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.

13.

And yes, one of the animatronic cats used for Thackery Binx was also the animatronic used for Salem on Sabrina the Teenage Witch.

14.

The moths that flew out of Billy Butcherson’s mouth at the end were not CGI, they were real!

15.

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!

16.

And the costumes everybody wears in the party scene are actually Disney hand-me-downs!

17.

Sean Murray, who plays the human Thackery Binx, had his voice dubbed over because he sounded too “contemporary”.

18.

Bette Midler suggested a line change in “I Put A Spell On You”.

19.

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.

I was today years old when I found out that the fountain from Hocus Pocus is the same as the one shown in Friends


Twitter: @mollie_luise

If you thought this fountain was in NYC, you’d be wrong. It’s actually located on the Warner Bros. studio lot in Burbank, California where both Hocus Pocus and Friends were filmed. For the former, they added colourful trees and leaves to indicated Autumn-time, and for the latter, they edited in the NYC skyline!

Did any of these surprise you? Are you excited for Hocus Pocus 2? Let us know in the comments!





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