Behind The Scenes Saturday: Hocus Pocus

Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! This is my third behind the scenes post for Spooky Season, and I believe I chose the perfect film this week: Hocus Pocus! This is one of the best Halloween films of all time. It’s iconic, packed full of jokes that went over my head as a kid, and the ending still makes me cry!

(Trivia provided by IMDb.com)

(Pictures provided by google.com and IMDb.com)

(SPOILER ALERT!!!)

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  • The harness that Sarah Jessica Parker (Sarah) had to wear for when she flew on her broom was reportedly very comfortable. Instead of being lowered to the ground between takes, Sarah would just stay up in the air and read a copy of the New York Times she stashed in her costume.
  • While looking up her family history, Sarah Jessica Parker actually found out her 10th great-grandmother, Esther Elwell, was arrested for “sundry acts of witchcraft” and for choking a neighbor to death in Salem, MA in the late 1600s. The accusation ended the Salem Witch Trials, and Esther’s case never went to court, so she wasn’t executed. It’s pretty ironic that Sarah Jessica Parker played a witch executed in Salem long before she even knew about Esther.
  • The moths that were kept inside Billy’s (Doug Jones) mouth were real and NOT CGI.

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  • Leonardo DiCaprio was originally offered the role of Max Dennison (Omri Katz). However, DiCaprio turned down the role to be in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993).
  • The couple that the Sanderson sisters confuse for Satan and his wife were actually played by real-life brother and sister, Gary and Penny Marshall.
  • Sean Murray played the human Thackery Binx, but after he’s turned into a cat, Jason Marsden takes over the voice work of Binx.

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  • It was once rumored that the song that Sarah sings, Come Little Children, was written long ago by Edgar Allan Poe. This rumor has since been debunked. The song was written specifically for Hocus Pocus.
  • Omri Katz was initially rejected for the role of Max. He didn’t feel well during his first audition, that might’ve affected his performance.
  • If you think the Binx animatronic cat looks awfully familiar, that’s because the animatronic cat was later used for Salem in Sabrina The Teenage Witch (1996)!

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  • It’s speculated that Binx indeed couldn’t talk until the black flame candle was lit. Even then, he could only be heard by those involved with the candle lighting. That’s why he couldn’t speak to his father at the beginning of the film, and why he had to jump on Max to prevent him from lighting the candle. He couldn’t just tell him.
  • At first, Kathy Najimy (Mary) was reluctant to be a part of the film. In an interview, she stated that she was afraid of offending real witches by playing a stereotypical fairy tale witch in Hocus Pocus.
  • Rosie O’Donnell was offered the role of Mary, but she turned it down because she didn’t want to be a “scary witch.”

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  • It’s recently been pointed out that the fountain that the cast of Friends dances in front of in their show intro is indeed the same fountain that Max, Dani (Thora Birch) and Allison (Vinessa Shaw) celebrate in front of after burning the Sanderson sisters.
  • The producers of the film originally wanted Cloris Leachman to play Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler).
  • During the final scene, Thackery Binx happened to die right in front of his sister, Emily’s (Amanda Shepherd) grave.

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