Fan Begs Disney, No Hocus Pocus 3

Hocus Pocus 3 is still a possibility – but Disney, as someone who liked Hocus Pocus 2, I’m asking you not to make a third movie. In 1993, Disney brought the fantasy comedy movie Hocus Pocus, directed by Kenny Ortega. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and being a box-office bomb during its initial release, Hocus Pocus became a cult classic and a must-watch during the Halloween season. The success of Hocus Pocus spawned a franchise with a sequel novelization, a TV special, and more. Almost three decades later, Hocus Pocus got a proper movie sequel titled Hocus Pocus 2.

Hocus Pocus introduced viewers to the Sanderson Sisters – Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) – who were hanged in 1693 but not before Winifred cast a spell to ensure their return if a virgin lit the Black Flame Candle on a full moon on All Hallow’s Eve. That’s exactly what happened three centuries later, and so Max Dennison, his sister Dani, and his crush Allison had to stop the Sanderson Sisters. Unsurprisingly, Hocus Pocus 2 sparked talks about a potential third movie, and as much as I love these movies, Hocus Pocus 3 shouldn’t happen.

At the end of Hocus Pocus, the Sanderson fail to make the potion they need to continue living after Halloween night, and they disintegrate once the sun comes out. In the end, Winifred’s spellbook opened its eyes again, hinting at the sisters’ possible return at some point. It only took almost 30 years and a lot of patience to see the Sanderson Sisters back. After much speculation and theories on how they would be returned in the sequel, Hocus Pocus 2 repeated the first movie’s method: the Black Candle, a virgin, a full moon, and Halloween night.

This time, the Sanderson sisters were unintentionally brought back by teenagers Becca and Izzy, who magic shop owner Gilbert gave the Black Flame Candle for their birthday ritual. To get revenge on all modern Salem, Winifred cast the Magicae Maxima spell (despite being warned not to), but the spell required giving up what they cherished most in exchange for power. As a result, Mary and Sarah faded to dust, and Winifred begged the girls to help her, so they cast a reuniting spell for her, causing Winifred to fade away to be with her sisters.

The Sanderson sisters’ ending was so definitive in Hocus Pocus 2 that even Billy (Doug Jones) faded away as all of Winifred’s spells had finally been undone. Hocus Pocus 2 gave the Sanderson sisters a perfect ending as Winifred learned that power isn’t what’s most important, and she gave it all up so she could be with her sisters. Billy’s freedom was the cherry on top and showed that the sisters were finally defeated, and Winifred reuniting with Mary and Sarah made it a heartwarming ending.

Hocus Pocus 3 would need a solid reason to return the Sanderson sisters, as they no longer have some pending revenge.

The biggest problem I see with Hocus Pocus 3 is how it would bring the Sanderson sisters back because they already returned through the same method twice. Hocus Pocus 2 set it up again with the reveal of more Black Flame Candles at Gilbert’s shop, but another virgin lighting the candle on a full moon on Halloween night would be too repetitive and boring. Indeed, there are other ways the Sanders sisters can return in Hocus Pocus 3, but none of them would make sense after their perfect ending in Hocus Pocus 2.

Hocus Pocus 3 would also need a solid reason to bring the Sanderson sisters back, as they no longer have some pending revenge as they did in the first movie. At the end of Hocus Pocus 2, Winifred only wants to be with her sisters, so there isn’t a reason to bring them back again.

The Sanderson sisters deserved the ending they got, so instead of resurrecting them again, Hocus Pocus 3 should explore their past.

If Disney insists on making Hocus Pocus 3, I think the best way would be as a prequel. After all, and despite their actions, the Sanderson sisters deserved the ending they got, so instead of resurrecting them again, Hocus Pocus 3 should explore the sisters’ past. Hocus Pocus 2 showed the Sanderson sisters’ backstory, showing them running away after Winifred was banned for refusing to marry a guy and “defying church authority”. The sisters met Mother Witch, who gave Winifred the spellbook, warned them about Magicae Maxima, and taught them how to stay young by using children.

I would be a lot more interested in seeing what the Sanderson sisters did between meeting Mother Witch and their first death (or even what they did before they met Mother Witch) than seeing them return to the present day again. The future of Hocus Pocus 3 isn’t clear, but the best thing Disney can do with it is not making it – or, if they truly insist, make it a prequel.

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