- Disney’s “Hocus Pocus” was released in 1993 and it has since become a Halloween classic.
- Leonardo DiCaprio said he was offered the chance to play Max, but he turned down the role.
- Real moths fly out of Billy’s mouth in the film, and there is a sequel in the works.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In a 2014 interview with Variety, DiCaprio said, “I don’t know where the hell I got the nerve. You live in an environment where you’re influenced by people telling you to make a lot of money and strike while the iron’s hot.”
DiCaprio went on to star in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” and Omri Katz played Max instead.
“NCIS” star Sean Murray played the human version of Binx, and actor Jason Marsden voiced the character, both in his human and feline forms.
In 2017, Marsden told the Daily Beast that producers dubbed his voice over Murray’s because the actor sounded “contemporary” and they thought it would be more realistic if Binx had “an affected accent” from the same time period as the witches.
Holmes said, “Winifred is in charge and much more aggressive than the other two. She’s always leading the way and looking for children.”
“Sarah loves to fly. She’s always lifting up with her mop and can’t wait to get up in the air, whereas Mary is more cautious. Like a good driver, she signals with her hand. Mary is the safe and steady flier,” she added.
In a 2020 interview with Forbes, he spoke about his work on “Hocus Pocus,” saying, “It has always meant a lot to me. It was an incredible experience. It was only my second project as a feature-film director. It was extremely ambitious considering what we had to work with.”
Most recently, Ortega produced and directed the Netflix series “Julie and the Phantoms.”
Sarah’s dress was inspired by “Sleeping Beauty,” and Mary’s resembles a baker’s uniform.
But Bette Midler herself inspired Winnie’s look.
Vogt recalled, “When I talked [to Ortega] about my vision for Bette, I said, ‘You can’t put her in some black witch outfit. You have to put her in something that’s colorful and fun and has a little sparkle to it.'”
“So when I did sketches and talked to Kenny about it, he responded, ‘Now let me talk to Bette, because this might not be what she was thinking of,'” she continued. “So he talked to Bette, who said, ‘Well, of course. I’m not going to wear some black dress.'”
According to Humane Hollywood, “When the children first meet Binx at the witches’ house, Binx surprises Max by jumping on him and Max falls down. To achieve this scene, one trainer released the cat, while a second trainer called the cat by way of a buzzer hidden in the actor’s clothing.”
For some scenes, animatronics were used in place of a real cat.
In a 2018 interview with Bloody Disgusting, makeup and special-effects designer Tony Gardner said that the actor wore a “mouth rig” — a latex pocket attached to dentures that blocked off Jones’ throat — to make the moths come out
“There was a small hole in the very back of the pocket so that Doug could cough some air through it … An animal wrangler would place several moths in the pocket with tweezers … Then the stitches would be glued shut, and we’d run out of frame so that they could get to the shot as fast as possible,” Gardner said.
“Halloween is a huge deal in our home, and it has been since our daughters were little,” Kirschner told Yahoo in 2015. “It speaks to me in a way that becomes so emotional for me and always has.”
Kirschner went on to pitch the plot of the spooky story to Walt Disney Studios in 1984.
And the title wouldn’t have been the only difference — the first draft Mick Garris wrote in the 1980s was much darker than the final version.
What I had written originally was about 12-year-olds,” Garris told Entertainment Weekly in 2017. “The kids being younger and in more jeopardy was certainly something more explicitly frightening.”
Thora Birch, who played Max’s younger sister Dani Dennison, said in a D23 and Creature Features 2013 panel, “Bette had two people running around behind her with dictionaries of old curse words.”
Ortega spoke about the film’s initial flop in that same 2020 interview with Forbes.
He said, “Honestly, at that point, I thought it’s all over for me. I thought to myself, ‘I’m never going to get a chance to do this ever again. My career as a filmmaker was all over.’ Then, over the years, everything changes.”
He continued, “What I’ve learned is don’t give up. I believed in Hocus Pocus, the girls believed in it, and even though it wasn’t found by audiences immediately, the generations have believed in it.”
Kathy Najimy, who played Mary Sanderson in the film, told SYFY Wire in 2018 that the movie originally was centered around the witches, but was later edited to be more kid-friendly. As a result, five major Sanderson sister scenes were cut.
One of the deleted scenes found in the trailer involved Mary being set loose in a supermarket, Najimy said.
The 20-minute show is performed on the Cinderella Castle stage. The Sanderson sisters come back from the grave to perform alongside other famous Disney villains like Maleficent and Dr. Facilier.
Currently, a film sequel is in the works for Disney+.