There are a lot of films, Disney and otherwise, that I remember watching fondly as a kid. Most of the time, when revisiting them, I can recall how much I enjoyed them and carry out that feeling. Other times, I’m surprised I was able to sit through it to begin with.
Hocus Pocus lies somewhere in the middle.
Released in 1993, the film was a Halloween-themed comedy that centered on Max, who accidently resurrects The Sanderson Sisters, a trio of witches who were hanged for their crimes in 1693. The witches return to steal all the children in Salem, and what better time to do so than Halloween?
I was 10 at the time of the film’s release, and Halloween had just become (and still continues to be) my favorite holiday, so of course I was all about this film. Not to mention that Max was played by Omri Katz, who also starred in my favorite television show at the time, Eerie, Indiana.
My rose colored nostalgia glasses didn’t hold up too well when watching this film again. It certainly shows its age and its corniness, but not in the endearing way that most Disney films do. Even Binx, the cat, looks like a cheap imitation of Salem from Sabrina the Teenage Witch…and even HE looked cheap. This is obviously a movie that is aimed at kids, so I have no doubt that your little ones will undoubtedly enjoy every minute of it. Adults, on the other hand, may not be so thrilled.
The lead kids, played by Omri Katz, Thora Birch, and Vinessa Shaw, act just like you’d expect kids too. There is nothing spectacular about their performance quite honestly. But, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Sanderson Sisters. Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Bette Midler all seem to be having the most fun in their roles. They really let loose and get silly. I think the dialogue between them is the best in the entire film, and it really shows off their comedy chops.
Since this is the film’s first time on Blu-Ray (available now), I was curious to see how the transfer looked on High-Definition. I was mildly surprised, considering some film stock from the early 90s isn’t the best. The picture looked fairly crisp, but wasn’t anything spectacular. Still, it looked better than I expected it to be.
The pack is bare bones, though, with no special features of note.
Bottom line, if your kids like movies based around Halloween, then you should pick this up. Otherwise, it may be better to revisit this one as a rental, or perhaps not at all.
By Jeff Heimbuch
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
Other places you can find George and Jeff:
You can also see us EVERY week on Communicore Weekly on the Mice Chat Youtube Channel.
You’re invited . . .
Many of you know that George Taylor and Jeff Heimbuch are hosting a 30th anniversary celebration for Epcot. Unfortunately tickets have completely sold out. HOWEVER, some of MiceChat’s finest have created two new events with plenty of room for everyone . . . a FREE scavenger hunt at Epcot and a Food and Wine Festival event. We’d love to see you!
Epcot 30th Anniversary FREE MiceQuest – Sept 29, 2012
Join MiceChat’s Kevin Yee and the Communicore Weekly crew for a FREE fun-filled scavenger hunt game celebrating Epcot’s 30th Anniversary. The Quest, designed by Kevin Yee, is fun for the whole family and will take place on the Mexico side of World Showcase from 3:30pm until 6:30pm on September 29th, 2012. Create a team of 1-4 people, and compete for the title of biggest Epcot geek. Fun prizes will be awarded to the winning teams.
Sip and Nibble at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival – Sept 30, 2012
Enjoy a leisurely stroll around World Showcase with your favorite MiceChatters, sampling the food and wine offerings of Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival along the way. You will be given a lanyard with a marker attached so that you can record your progress as you tour the world of food and drink! Guests who desire to partake of the adult beverages will also be given a small glass to conveniently share “sips” during our journey. Come spend some quality time with other foodies and the best online Disney community on Earth! To reserve your place at this year’s Sip & Nibble event purchase your ticket today for just $3.99. Please click through for full event details.