It’s safe to say the TV rerun of the classic Hocus Pocus in 1993 was the reason that All Hallow’s Eve has never been the same. It remains at the top of the list of the best Halloween movies even after Halloweentown was released. The Sanderson Sisters, who were resurrected in Salem, Massachusetts, on Halloween night by a young lad remains a Halloween classic.
Now after a “virgin lit the black-flame candle” 22 years ago, cast members were asked how it felt like to be part of a film that was once tagged as a failure but turned out to be a classic loved by everyone and remains a source of ideas for the next-generation horror flicks.
Bette Midler as Winni Sanderson
Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson
Thora Birch as Dani Dennison
Thora Birch was only 10 years old when she played the sassy little sibling of Max, Dani Dennison.
More than two decades later, just like Vinessa Shaw, people still see Birch as that little girl in Hocus Pocus, even if she has already starred in several movies after the 1993 film, including American Beauty, which won Best Picture in the 72nd Academy Awards.
“I’m really surprised but humbled and happy to be a part of something like that. I had the best time on that film—maybe more than any other movie I worked on,” Birch said in an interview. She also stated that friendship with Shaw and Omri Katz became stronger throughout the production of the movie while Dani, her character, loved the immortal feline Binx, although she isn’t really fond of cats in real life.
“All three of us [Birch, Shaw, and Katz], we got along great.. . . Me and Vinessa, whenever we see each other, it’s like old friends getting back together. She’s just a wonderful person,” she continued.
Vinessa Shaw as Allison
“I don’t think any of us had any idea of the magnitude of how popular it would be till this day,” actress Vinessa Shaw told ABC News. “It just goes to show that when you are young you watch things over and over again and it gets in your head, and just sticks.”
Shaw and the whole cast couldn’t really fathom how their movie became popular. Now 39, was only 16 when she played the role of Allison, Max Dennison’s love interest.
She’s also happy to share how she and Omri remained good buddies since then. He was able to make her feel cool in the set, and they just laughed together whenever the scene grew a little tension-building.
“I’m remembered mostly for Hocus Pocus. When I grew up, they’d mostly say ‘Ohhh, Allison,’ but thankfully, they keep the yabbos comment to themselves,” she said laughing.
Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson
Sean Murray as Thackery Binx
Sean Murray played the role of Thackery Binx, the seventeenth-century boy who met an unfortunate fate and was turned into a black cat, making him incapable of rescuing his sister Emily from the three witches. Murray was 14 years old at the time. Jason Marsden was the voice-over actor behind Binx as the black cat
Murray recalled how the production had struggled about the vocals for Binx, although he did the voice on-set. At the age of 39, after 23 years, he could still say that it was the most amazing set he had ever seen.
Murray, who has been part of the CBS series NCIS since 2003, is also happy to have formed friendships with the rest of the Hocus Pocus cast. “Vinessa, I’d say, I was closest to, and Thora was the most wonderful thing ever.. . . We’d be on and off with the set teacher in the trailer, and she’d write little hearts on the paper I was working on. If you mention it to her today she’ll say ‘Oh no, I didn’t do that,'” he said laughing.
Murray said that he’s amazed that some people still remember his character in the nineties movie. He also relayed how other fans with their kids came up to him and say their kids were also growing up with the movie. This Halloween, Sean plans to dress his daughter up with Hocus Pocus as the theme, for the first time.
Sean Murray is currently residing in Los Angeles. He lives with Carrie James, his wife of 10 years, and two children.
Doug Jones as Billy Butcherson
The role of the wacky zombie, Billy, who was resurrected by his ex-lover and one of the three witches, was played by Doug Jones when he was 32.
“I felt like the goofy uncle.. . . Like the weird uncle that comes to a family reunion with a hand zapper. I was that guy,” Jones said in an interview.
Jones, who is known for starring in the movies Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth, said he was delighted with the idea of being part of the movie Hocus Pocus, not to mention that the movie was a product of one of his favorite filmmakers, Kenny Ortega.
After appearing in the movie, Jones continues to treasure the moments he had with the younger actors he worked with on the set. As the cast came together for the movie’s twentieth anniversary at Disney Studios in Burbank California, Jones was reminded with how loved the movie is to this day.
Jones, now 55, could still recall how people brought VHS copies of Hocus Pocus for the cast to sign. Some fans in their mid-20s would walk up to them, teary-eyed, happy to see someone they admired since childhood.
Stephanie Faracy as Jenny Dennison
Garry Marshall as Devil
Penny Marshall as Devil’s Wife
Tobias Jelinek as Jay