38 Things You Probably Don't Know About "Hocus Pocus"
Dead man's chungs?
1. The idea for Hocus Pocus came from David Kirschner, who was a producer and came up with the story. He created it as a bedtime story for his daughters.
2. Max Dennison (Omri Katz) was named after Kirschner, whose middle name is Max. He likes to think of the character as his alter ego.
3. Leonardo DiCaprio was offered "more money than [he] ever dreamed of" to play Max, but he instead decided to do What's Eating Gilbert Grape.
4. But seemingly, he has no regrets. "I don't know where the hell I got the nerve," he said recently. "You live in an environment where you're influenced by people telling you to make a lot of money and strike while the iron's hot. But if there's one thing I'm very proud of, it's being a young man who was sticking to my guns."
5. Rosie O'Donnell was offered the role of Mary Sanderson, but she felt "uneasy" about playing a character who kills children.
6. Before doing Hocus Pocus, Kathy Najimy, who won the role of Mary, was a huge fan of Bette Midler, who played Winnie Sanderson. She had snuck backstage at two of her concerts to try to meet her (once dressed as a bunny for a singing telegram).
7. During filming, Midler had two people running around behind her with dictionaries of old curse words.
8. Choreographer Peggy Holmes had lessons with Midler, Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker — who played the third Sanderson sister, Sarah — to choreograph how they'd ride their brooms/vacuum.
9. Holmes would ride with them in their cars to see how they drove and then she incorporated that into their broom/vacuum-riding.
10. According to makeup artist Tony Gardner, they had to tone down some of the makeup after Disney deemed it too scary in early tests.
11. When Winnie takes the stage to sing "I Put A Spell On You," she says, "Hello, Salem! My name's Winifred. What's yours?" It's a reference to a line from Mama Rose in Gypsy: "Hello, world. My name is Rose. What's yours?" Midler played Mama Rose in a TV version of the musical in 1993.
12. Marc Shaiman, one half of the songwriting duo behind Smash, did the arrangement for "I Put a Spell on You," originally written by Screamin' Jay Hawkins.
13. "Come Little Children" was written by James Horner, who co-wrote (and won an Oscar for) "My Heart Will Go On."
14. He was supposed to compose all of Hocus Pocus, but had to back out at the last minute, and John Debney was brought in. He went on to score Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Hannah Montana: The Movie.
15. In the script, Billy was supposed to call Winifred a "bitch" when he finally cut his mouth open.
16. Doug Jones, who played Billy, thought it was too racy so he changed it to "wench."
17. He also wrote the rest of that monologue himself. "I thought, He's had 300 years of buildup... He's got a lot to say," Jones recalled.
18. Those were real moths flying out of Jones' mouth after he cut his stitches open. They used a dental dam–like device to keep them from going down his throat.
19. The cast took a trip to Salem, which fell on the 300th anniversary of the witch trials.
20. Larry Bagby, who played Ice, went on to recur as Larry Blaisdell on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and then played Marshall Grant in the Oscar-winning film Walk the Line.
21. Norbert Weisser, who played Thackery Binx's dad, was recently seen in a Pepsi Mini Can commercial.
22. Kathleen Freeman, who played Max and Allison's teacher, also voiced Carl's teacher, Ms. Gordon, on As Told By Ginger. The episode "No Hope For Courtney" was dedicated to her after she died of lung cancer at age 82 in 2001.
23. Charles Rocket, who played Max's dad, Dave Dennison, achieved Jenny Slate-like notoriety when he said "fuck" during the final moments of a 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live. There's an in-joke referring to the moment in Hocus Pocus: When he asks Max how school was, Max says, "It sucked," and Dave tells Max, "Watch your language!"
24. Emily Binx was played by Jodie-Amy Rivera, aka YouTube star VenetianPrincess.
25. Michael McGrady, who plays the cop who fools Max, Dani, and Allison, starred on Southland as a detective for the show's first three seasons.
26. Tobias Jelinek, who played Ice's sidekick, Jay, guest-starred on two episodes of Southland, but only after McGrady had left the series.
27. "Satan" and his wife are played by brother and sister Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall.
28. The funny baby commercial Mary watches at "Satan's" house is a real DuPont Stainmaster commercial from 1991.
29. There were about nine cats who played Thackery Binx. Each had a different skill — one swatted, one slept, etc.
30. Jason Marsden, who also voiced Max in The Goofy Movie and
played D.J.'s rich boyfriend Nelson on Full House, voiced Thackery Binx.
31. He initially read for the role of Max.
32. Katz and Marsden had previously worked together on Eerie, Indiana, and are still good friends today.
33. Sean Murray, who plays the human version of Thackery Binx in the film, was the voice of the cat version of Thackery Binx first. But he had a contemporary voice, and they decided to dub him over with a voice that was more true to the time period.
34. Marsden had to dub over Murray's lines as well so that both the cat version and human version of Binx had the same voice.
35. Murray has been starring on NCIS as Timothy McGee for more than a decade.
36. After they think they burned the Sanderson sisters to death in the school kiln, Max, Dani, and Allison celebrate as they walk to the park. The house shown directly behind Max and Thackery while they talk looks a lot like the home in American Beauty, which also starred Thora Birch.
38. In 2010, a Hocus Pocus porn parody was released. :(