As if by magic, twenty two years have passed since this triumph of modern cinema, this epic tale of good and evil, this movie, Hocus Pocus, was first released in theaters. The film not only defined our childhoods, but is currently defining our adulthoods (itâ€™s no coincidence that we really want a black cat and Halloween is our favorite holiday.) Is it a little weird that this anniversary falls in the middle of summer? Sure, yeah, a little. Does it only add to the mystical power that this film possesses over us? 100% yes. So take a digital stroll with us (if you dare) to Salem in 1993 as we remember together, and learn something new, about one of our favorite films.
1. When filmmakers pitched Hocus Pocus to Disney execs they decorated the conference room with two hanging broomsticks, one hanging vacuum cleaner (all suspended from the ceiling with wire), and 15 pounds of candy.
3. Dozens of cats each lent their acting skills to the part of Thackery Binxâ€”each with their own special talent. Some could jump, some would sit still, and others would move their paws on cue. Audio-animatronic cats were also used.
4. Mark Shaiman (of Hairpsray! fame) arranged the now-iconic â€œI Put a Spell on Youâ€ number just for the film.
5. The film started as a bedtime story David Kirschner (Hocus Pocus producer) told his kids, which became a published story in â€œMuppet Magazineâ€ and grew into a feature from there.
6. Doug Jones (Billy Butcherson) ad-libbed his first line, â€œwench!â€ in an attempt to convey his charactersâ€™ emotional â€œthree hundred years of build-up.â€
7. Peggy Holmes (director Kenny Ortegaâ€™s assistant choreographer) gave Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy lessons on how to ride their broomsticks. She studied how they drove their cars and transferred their individual steering styles to their brooms.
8. In South America, the film was released under the title â€œAbracadabra.â€
9. The moths that come out of Billy Butchersonâ€™s mouth are real moths, not CGI moths.
[Image redacted because just the thought is scary enough. Yeesh.]