Put a Spell On You: ‘Hocus Pocus’ Came Out More Than 20 Years Ago & Yes, the Cast Has Completely Grown Up
By Jennifer Maldonado
It’s still summer but the fall will be here soon enough and with that time of year comes Halloween. What better way to celebrate than by watching a classic Halloween movie, like the one and only Hocus Pocus? Yes, we’re talking about the movie that focuses on the Sanderson Sister witches being resurrected on Halloween by Max Dennsion after he lights a black flame candle, and then it’s up to him, his little sister Dani, his crush Allison and a talking cat the witches cursed named Binx to save all the children of Salem. It plays every single year on every channel basically because it is that legendary.
C’mon, you’re going to tell me you don’t sing along when Bette Midler, Winnie Sanderson herself belts out “I Put a Spell On You?” We ALL do and there’s nothing wrong with that! Since the movie lives on every year, reaching a new generation each Halloween season and there are even new costumes you can buy to dress up like these iconic sister witches, you kind of tend to forget that this movie was actually released in 1993. As in 24 years ago. And it came out on July 16 during the summer. Interesting. Oh, and it was directed by none other than Kenny Ortega, the man who directed all the High School Musical and Descendants movies? SO MANY LAYERS OF AMAZINGNESS. And yes, all of the young stars in the cast have of course grown up and changed a lot since their appearance in this movie. So let’s take a look, shall we?
Dani Dennsion was played by Thora Birch.
Dani was the fearless little sister with all the sass who simply just wanted to spend some time with her brother. She never thought they would spend Halloween together trying to avoid having their souls sucked out of them by witches! But she of course captured all of our hearts, especially when it came to those scenes between her and Max and the beloved Binx. So what about the actress, Thora, now?
Well, Thora is 35 years old and she’s still acting too. She’s starred in other classic movies like Now and Then and American Beauty and currently has a role on the USA series, Colony. Plus, she had a black cat that looks very similar to Binx, which she named “Panther Dani.”
Allison was played by Vinessa Shaw.
Vinessa is now 41 years old and she just recently announced she is expecting her first baby. She shared the news on Instagram, with a cute pic of her and her husband looking as happy as ever together. “Great News! We are proud and excited to share that we are expecting a little one early next year!…My hubby is a graphic designer, so I hope you appreciate his cheekiness ????????????,” she wrote in the caption.
Since her time as Allison, Vanessa has starred in tons of movies and television shows, most recently in the series Ray Donovan, so she’s clearly kept busy.
Max Dennsion was played by Omri Katz.
Omri has lived a rather low-key life since his days playing Max. He’s had acting roles in TV shows throughout the ’90s and early ’00s, such as in Freaks & Geeks and General Hospital, but he hasn’t acted in anything since 2002. Fun fact about the role of Max: it was originally offered to Leonardo DiCaprio. Yes, as in the legend who played Jack Dawson in Titanic. But he declined the part of Max despite being offered “more money than I ever dreamed of,” Leo told Variety. Instead, he decided to focus his efforts on another role, the part of Arnie in the indie movie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, which co-starred Johnny Depp as his brother and earned Leo an Academy Award and Golden Globe nomination. But we digress.
Back to Omri, he did have a *HP reunion with Vinessa and Thora back in 2015, so nice to know they OG squad is still as close as ever.
Thackery Binx was played by Sean Murray.
Although we don’t get to see Thackery in his human form for too much of the movie, the fact that he sacrificed his soul to save his little sister Emily and was there for Dani too (in cat form) was nothing short of adorable. IRL, Sean has continued acting in tons of shows and TV movies over the years, with a main role on the series JAG and on NCIS, which he’s starred in since 2003. Another fun fact about Sean is that his step-sister is Pretty Little Liars star, Troian Bellisario and she plays his character’s sister on NCIS.
Sean has been married since 2005 and has two children too. Wonder if all they watch Hocus Pocus when it airs on TV every year…
As for the other main stars, the Sanderson sisters themselves, Bette, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy, they’e all continued acting, currently being the fabulous actresses and singers they always were. They really did put a spell on all of us in this movie. There has been talk of a possible sequel for years now with no real confirmation, so we’ll just have to wait and see. If anything, at least we have tis gem of a movie to get us through All Hallows’ Eve every year in-between eating all that candy, right?