The Disney movie “Hocus Pocus” first got released July 16th, 1993. I had just graduated high school that summer & didn’t see it until it was on video one night when I was house sitting for my aunt. My cousins’ had it so one night I figured, with nothing going on, I’d give it a look see. The idea for the movie itself started out as a bedtime story the producer of the movie, David Kirschner, used to tell his kids, which then became published in an issue of Muppet Magazine & then a feature film.
I found it pretty funny, something that fit in Disney’s resume of being not scary but scary enough for children to enjoy. The Sanderson Sisters each had their own quirky personalities which I think helped make it more Disney friendly. Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson & Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson. The movie had pretty cool special effects, was funny, & directed by Disney veteran Kenny Ortega.
What I always found interesting though was that they never made a sequel. Once I watched it I thought a Disney Channel TV series would have been a good idea, continuing the adventures of Max, Dani, Allison & the cat Thackery Binx (voiced by voice artist Jason Marsden) as they battled whatever else might be living in their hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, as well as the inevitable return of the Sanderson Sisters for a season finale.
I kind of envisioned it as Disney’s own version of the popular Nickelodeon series “Are you Afraid of the Dark?” which ran from 1990-2000, as well as the TV series “Eerie, Indiana”, which ran from 1991-1992 for 19 episodes & starred “Hocus Pocus” actor Omri Katz as Marshall Teller in the series (he played Max in “Hocus Pocus”).
The series for Disney was never obviously made, but I still think it’s a good idea.
“Hocus Pocus” seemed to be forgotten by Disney for the most part with the only showings on the Disney Channel during Halloween. It would be 22 years later before Disney brought them back in 2015 when the Sanderson Sisters were involved in the new show for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary-Halloween-Party (which is where I proposed to my wife at sunset 16 years ago) in the show called “Hocus Pocus Villain Spelltacular”. The show proved to be a hit since the Sanderson Sisters look remarkably like the actress who created their roles. In 2016 the Sanderson Sisters returned to Mickey’s party, this time with their own merchandise.
Today you can walk into any Halloween store & find outfits of the Sanderson Sisters for Halloween.
A few weeks ago it was announced that a new iteration” of “Hocus Pocus” & the Sanderson Sisters is in the works. It will be Executive Produced by David Kirschner, the producer of the original. What they mean by new “iteration” is that this is to be a reboot of the original movie with new characters & an updated story.
The new version, whichever it might be, will be exclusive to the Disney Channel, much like I wished they made a TV series of it back in the 1990’s.