“Hocus Pocus: 25th Anniversary Edition” – Maggie’s Thoughts
Out now on Blu-Ray and digital is the Anniversary Edition of Disney’s “Hocus Pocus,” the 1993 Halloween classic starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. One of the few Halloween movies that’s not a horror movie, “Hocus Pocus” is a Fall necessity and fans of the movie will appreciate the extras on this new edition.
“Hocus Pocus” takes place in Salem and focuses on Max Dennison (Omri Katz), a new arrival in the historic town, and his Halloween misadventures. Max encounters three 17th century witches, the Sanderson sisters, as portrayed by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker. This new release features two Anniversary Edition Bonus Extras.
The first is the “We *Heart* ‘Hocus Pocus’: Trivia and Treats Edition.” This extra is a full play of the movie featuring behind-the-scenes trivia and fun facts on the bottom of the screen, as well as concept art, cast/crew interviews and extended scenes in a corner pop-up box. The trivia and facts are a fun edition, especially for fans who have seen the movie many times, and the concept art is nice addition as a side-by-side with the final scenes. There are current interviews with director Kenny Ortega, as well as contemporary ones with the cast, that add something extra. At times these interviews are cut in over transition scenes, but also sometimes are superimposed over the dialogue in the scene, making everything hard to understand. If you are watching it for the first time now or in a while, this extra should be saved for later as there is a lot going on that distracts from or covers the movie itself.
The second is an original 1993 production featurette, which is just under five minutes long. This extra was produced when the film was first made, and mostly focuses on the special effects and technology that went into creating the movie. The main appeal of this extra is the slightly corny nature of ogling over things like “making actors fly with wires” and “a talking cat” that feel commonplace in TV and movies now.
For those who either saw this movie in theaters or watched it on TV, this edition is a good purchase to share with kids, tap into nostalgia, or just get into the Halloween spirit.