2018 marked the 25th anniversary of Disney’s Hocus Pocus. For over two decades fans have been watching the Halloween themed movie repeatedly during the month of October. Even the most die-hard fans can miss details in their favorite movies.
Throughout the ninety-minute adventure, Max Dennison, his little sister Dani, and their new friend Allison spend their Halloween night taking on the witches the Sanderson sisters and stopping them from ruining the lives of children all over Salem, Massachusetts. During all of the action and comedy, there were a lot of details fans could overlook.
10 Max’s Note To Allison Changes
When the movie kicks off, Max Dennison is busy doubting the truth behind the witchy stories about the Sanderson sisters. His history class gets the tale recounted by their teacher, and when Max balks at the idea of Halloween being a real holiday at all, he gets corrected by Allison. Max’s response is to give Allison his phone number. Allison gets one over on him by returning the note to him when they next meet up outside the school.
Eagle-eyed fans will notice that the placement of the number on the paper as well as aspects of the writing change. There were two different notes! Of course, modern fans will also notice in tv viewings that the phone number was blurred out. Though 555 numbers are typically used for fictional numbers, telephone companies started issuing those numbers as the amount of people with cellphones grew. Someone actually has Max Dennison’s phone number today.
9 The Sanderson Sisters Were Not Witch Trial Victims
Though Hocus Pocus presents itself as a kid-friendly tale of witches marked by the Salem Witch Trials (if there is such a thing), the Sanderson sisters were not women affected by the trials. The Hocus Pocus opening was set in 1693, exactly 300 years before Max and Dani’s part in the story. The Salem Witch Trials were put to a stop in 1692.
That’s not to say that women couldn’t have been persecuted after 1692 in the colony. The governor of Salem, however, saw his own wife accused of witchcraft in 1692 and ordered the trials, the tests, and the hangings to stop.
8 Billy Cheated On Winifred Only Six Months Before Her Death
Thackery Binx tells Max, Dani, and Allison the story of Billy Butcherson’s death to bring home how vindictive Winifred Sanderson can be. What fans might not notice on Billy’s headstone is just when Winifred sewed Billy’s mouth shut and murdered him.
Billy Butcherson’s date of death is May 1, 1693. That means he cheated on Winifred with Sarah only six months before the Sanderson sisters decided to steal the life of Emily Binx and cursed the town of Salem. Billy liked the witches before Winifred decided to make them “young and beautiful” again.
7 Siblings Played A Married Couple
These days, adults will be quick to spot this odd bit of casting. Kids watching the movie for the first time, however, will have no idea that “satan” and his “little woman” were actually played by siblings.
Gary Marshall played the man in a devil costume that the Sanderson sisters mistook for their master. His wife was played by his real-life sister Penny Marshall. Both have a storied career in the industry as actors, directors, and producers, but they haven’t played a married couple since (or before Hocus Pocus).
6 There’s A Witchy Police Badge
After Max lights the black flame candle and brings the Sanderson sisters back, he tries to go to the police for help. Unfortunately, the gag is that the police officer isn’t really a police officer at all. The guy dismisses Max for playing a prank, but reveals himself to be in costume in the same scene after Max leaves.
If the audience is paying attention, they would be in on the gag before the reveal. The man’s “uniform” doesn’t have a real Salem Police Department patch on the sleeve. Instead, the patch features a witch riding a broomstick.
5 Filming Produced A Lot Of Continuity Errors
If this was a list of filming mistakes the audience missed, it would be even longer. Fans might not have noticed some of these on the first watch, but they can be easy to spot on repeat viewings.
In some scenes of the witches flying, the cables holding the actresses up can still be seen. Sarah’s hair changes styles throughout the movie. In some scenes it’s curly, in others wavy, and in still others, blow dried straight. Mrs. Dennison’s wedding ring disappears and reappears during her party scene, just like Ernie’s hat does when he first encounters the Sanderson sisters. Spotting all of the mistakes can take away from the movie magic for kids, but it makes for a fun party game for adults.
4 Binx Dies On Emily’s Grave
Though Binx is cursed to spend immortality as a cat, when the Sanderson sisters are destroyed, his spirit is able to move on, and the cat “dies.” When Binx dies, it’s in the same graveyard where he took the kids to give them background on the witches.
His place of death, however, is even more significant because it’s not on Billy’s grave, where he first told them stories. Instead, it’s on his sister’s grave, who then meets him to take him to the afterlife.
3 Winifred Couldn’t Have Heard The “Hocus Pocus”
“It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus” is one of the often-quoted lines from the movie. One of the things most people remember first, it was originally said by Max when he lights the black flame candle. Winifred then quotes it back to him later in the movie.
Winifred’s snide quote to him is meant to mock him for doubting the existence of magic. The trouble is, her quoting him is impossible. She wasn’t yet brought back to Earth and couldn’t have heard him. If the audience buys that she heard him from beyond the grave, she would have already known that Dani, Max, and Allison were all present in the house as well.
2 Binx Was Played By Two Actors
Like the Marshall siblings appearing as a married couple, this detail is more likely to be noticed by adults than kids watching the movie for the first time. Sean Murray, who starred as the human version of Thackery Binx, wasn’t the only actor to play the role.
James Marsden, famous for voicing Max in A Goofy Movie, voiced the role of Binx the cat. When realizing that Marsden and Murray’s accents sounded nothing alike, producers had Marsden record Murray’s lines as well. Murray still read Binx’s lines on set for the cast to react to, but all of the lines heard in the film are Marsden’s.
1 Hocus Pocus Occurs On An Impossible Day
We can all rest easy knowing that the Sanderson sisters will never return to our Earth because Hocus Pocus has to be set in some other reality. In our world, the events of the movie occur on an impossible day.
The movie is set on October 31, 1993. During the movie, the kids go to school, then go home to attend Halloween parties or trick-or-treat. The trouble is, that day was a Sunday in 1993. Likewise, there was no full moon on that day. The last time Salem, Massachusetts saw a full moon on Halloween was in 1974. The next one won’t happen until 2020.