Photo by Sašo Tušar on Unsplash
Halloween time, and we all know what that means: candy, costumes, and the time-honored annual viewing of Hocus Pocus.
It was kind of a smaller scale production for Disney, but it now has a cult following. Our generation’s slightly more appropriate Rocky Horror Picture Show, if you will. There’s t-shirts, costumes, and always rumors of a sequel in the works. If someone says, “amok amok amok” and you don’t start instantly joining in and jumping around, twirling your imaginary petticoat, then you don’t get it. It’s a millennial (or maybe Xennial?) thing.
But WHY. Why are millennials so very obsessed with this movie?
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In honor of its 25th anniversary (and just for fun), let me fill you in on all the reasons why Hocus Pocus is the best.
1. First of all, it’s probably one of the three movies your parents actually let you watch for Halloween. (The other two being Mary Kate and Ashley’s Double Double Toil and Trouble, and The Nightmare Before Christmas.)
2. “It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus.” Really, though. It’s creepy enough to get your scare fix, but silly enough to know it isn’t real. (Right?)
3. Obviously the CGI of the ’90s was just on point.
4. Because we all had a bit of a crush on pre-cat Zachary Binx.
5. I mean, there are witches. What school-aged kid doesn’t get fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials unit in history class? (Well, other than Max Dennison.)
6. Bette Midler, who is just scary enough to be a true villain, and an artful witch, but also kind of like a crazy and sweet aunt you just love anyways. Oh, Aunt Winnie, stop zapping the houseguests.
7. Kathy Najimy, because “I smell children,” her infectious laugh, and all her mishaps.
8. Sarah Jessica Parker, in her star turn as the ditsy baby sister. (Kidding about the star turn.) She is so fabulous that we forgive her for being rather inappropriate throughout the whole movie.
9. Classic Disney original movie trademarks, like the adventurous music, the relating to us kids (calling school a “prison for children”), and the clueless parents.
10. Of all kid’s movie characters, Allison was the girl you wanted to be. She was pretty and cool and apparently knew all there was to know about Halloween, which is just awesome.
11. Also we all feel the burn when Allison hands Max’s number back to him. It probably sparked women’s empowerment in elementary school girls all over.
12. Max was a dweeb, but he definitely had the coolest room in the world.
13. Thanks to this movie, we realized that houses out there really do offer the jackpot that is king-size candy bars. (Cue all of us planning the fancy neighborhoods into our trick-or-treating route.)
14. We learned all kinds of new vocabulary, like “virgin” and “yabbos”. (Snicker snicker snicker.)
15. Alllllll the good quotes. “Oh look, another glorious morning. Makes me sick!”
16. You know you too put on a few performances of “I’ve Put a Spell On You.”
17. It really is a snapshot of the cool Halloween costumes and pop culture of the ’90s. You almost feel like the Sanderson Sisters watching it, re-discovering what life was like then.
18. The moments that are only hilarious to 10-year-olds, which now make you laugh because of how dorky the humor is. Like for example, the bullies swinging around in the hanging cages.
19. You didn’t want to be the witches, but you kind of wanted to be the witches.
20. Street smart lessons, courtesy of that sassy Dani Dennison. “So take her to the movies like a normal person.”
21. The art of bribery, also from Dani Dennison. “Next year, we go trick-or-treating as Wendy and Peter Pan…with tights, or it’s no deal.”
22. So many unanswered questions. Like, why did it take 300 years for someone to light the candle? How did Winnie know what a driver’s permit was? And what’s with the name “Thackery”?
23. You live your parents a little more, due to the fact that no one, not even your own parents, could possibly be as embarrassing as Max and Dani’s parents.
24. Another nod to our generation – the same fountain that is used for the credits of Friends is in this movie. Can you find it? (Hint: It’s after the witches try to hunt down the kids at the school.)
25. Basically because despite the fact that it isn’t particularly horrifying, and it’s actually rather cheesy, we grew up watching it, and we’ll always love it.
So are you a fan? What do you love about Hocus Pocus?