Column: The 10 best moments of ‘Hocus Pocus’

8:00 pm EDT, October 31, 2012

In honor of Halloween, I’d like to take a moment to remember a spooky and sexy trio that changed the meaning of “hocus pocus” forever: the Sanderson Sisters. Below are my top 10 moments from the Disney Halloween classic Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker.

There are movies from your childhood that you re-watch as an adult and cringe because it’s awful, and therefore a tiny piece of your childhood purity has just died. Then there are films that you watch, and they are just as magical and glorious as the first time you watched them, and it rekindles your hope that maybe, in fact, you do have good taste in entertainment! Hocus Pocus is one of the chosen few that remains just as good with every subsequent viewing.

The Disney classic, in case you are unfamiliar, stars a trio of witches: The Sanderson Sisters. The leader, Winifred – or Winnie (Bette Midler) – works with her sisters, the salacious Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and the bumbling Mary (Kathy Najimy), to suck the life out of children in order to stay young. They are brought back to life for one night 300 years after their death by new-boy-in-town and Salem skeptic Max Dennison (Omri Katz), who is out trick-or-treating with his sister Dani (Thora Birch) and the girl he wants to impress, Allison (Vinessa Shaw). Along with the vengeful and adorable cat-form of Thackery Binx (Sean Murray), the children must battle the sisters to save the town of Salem!

For those that haven’t seen it (go out and buy it) there are spoilers following. If you have seen it, please let me know what your favorite moment is, because I’m sure there are arguments for many other moments from this childhood classic. Please note: they are in chronological order, not order of importance.

1. Dani’s wiser-than-her-years line: “Then take her to the movies like a normal person.”


Dani, who is devilishly clever, has oodles of incredibly witty moments throughout the film, but the exchange between her and Max at Allison’s mansion is the most impressive. While angst-riddled Max tries to woo Allison by agreeing to go with her to the house of the Sanderson Sisters, Dani steps up with some much-needed advice:

Max: Dani, this is the girl of my dreams.
Dani: So take her to the movies like a normal person.
Max: Dani! Look, just do this one thing for me, and I’ll do anything you say. Please? Please? Please?
Dani: Okay, okay. Next year, we go trick-or-treating as Wendy and Peter Pan… with tights or it’s no deal.

The girl is a master of manipulation. She keeps up her antics as the movie continues, most notably when she pretends to have summoned the Sanderson Sisters herself.

2. Sarah the witch, just in general.


Okay, okay, I’ll admit I cheated. This isn’t a moment, but more an entire character, but still. How can you pick just one moment? Sarah Jessica Parker is magical as Sarah. The fact that she repeats everything that is said countless times as she dances about combined with the fact that she is constantly flirting with men, even at the dance when they are chasing the children… great. And of course the line, “I am BEAUTIFUL! Boys will love me”… irresistible.

3. This exchange between Winnie and the bus driver.

Winnie: We desire… children.
Bus Driver: Hey, it may take me a couple of tries, but I don’t think there will be a problem.

Re-watching this as an adult, I definitely had that double-take moment until it finally dawned on me: Hocus Pocus just made a sexual innuendo. While the entire bus driver scene is hilarious from the moment he flirts with them to Sarah sitting on his lap and driving, this small moment is a treasure that reminds us all: Disney is not just for kids!

4. Mary’s facial expression.


Okay, okay, I cheated again, because this isn’t a moment but a ubiquitous occurrence, but the way she keeps the bottom right side of her lip down like that is incredible. How did she keep that up throughout the whole film even as she spoke? Did make-up help? The lip slip just makes her dowdy character all the more comical.

5. The song and dance number, “I Put a Spell on You.”


It’s the most iconic moment in the film, so how could you not include it on a list such as this? The ladies take the stage, and it is by far Winnie’s shining hour! Winnie is hilarious throughout the film, but she comes to life (pun intended) that evening when she takes the stage.

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Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Read full article

Your wish is Marvel’s command. Fans have wanted to see a live-action Squirrel Girl adaptation, and it looks like it might actually happen thanks to New Warriors.

If you don’t know who Squirrel Girl is, do yourself a favor and look her up. Her name is Doreen Green and, shockingly, she can talk to squirrels. (Who would’ve guessed?) But it doesn’t stop there! She’s also got super strength and speed.

Fans have been fantasy casting the role for a while, but when Anna Kendrick said she wanted to play the character, the internet went wild.

Shannon Purser has also declared her interest in the role. You’ll know her as Barb from Stranger Things, but she’s also just been added to Riverdale.

Before we can start casting, however, we need a show, and according to TV Line, that show is New Warriors.

Marvel and ABC Studios are currently shopping the project around, which would be a half-hour comedy based on the character. One of the tell-tale signs of a Squirrel Girl story line is its lighthearted and humorous nature, so this sounds like a perfect fit.

TV Line reports that the show is being described as “the junior version of The Avengers,” and that “the New Warriors are a superhero squad made up of teenagers.”

Marvel has, of course, brought plenty of its characters to the small screen and to great success. There’s even a chance that this project could be tied to some of the Netflix properties, as Doreen acts as a nanny to Luke Cage and Jessica Jones’ daughter, Danielle, in the comic books.

Just think about that crossover potential.

Are you looking forward to this ‘New Warriors’ show if it stars Squirrel Girl?

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

Read full article

Shannon Purser plays fan-favorite character Barb on Stranger Things and now she’s joining a new project on The CW.

A lot of people instantly fell in love with Barb the moment she graced our screens in the Netflix hit series Stranger Things, and who can blame them? She was cool, confident, and not at all worried about what the popular kids thought of her.

Then the Demogorgon arrived. But that’s a tale for another day.

EW is now reporting that Purser has joined Riverdale, the television show based on the Archie comics.

Purser will be portraying Ethel Muggs for at least three episodes.

Don’t expect her to follow in the footsteps of her comic book equivalent, however. Ethel may have a crush on Jughead in the source material, but EW is reporting that she’ll have her heart set on someone else.

Ethel will also be teaming up with Veronica and Betty as they set out to get revenge on Reggie Mantle, Archie’s nemesis.

In July, we brought you our thoughts on the Riverdale pilot after we saw it at San Diego Comic-Con. It’ll be premiering midseason next winter on the CW and provides a darker spin on the original Archie characters as they become wrapped up in a murder mystery.

Though the pilot has already been shot, the remaining 12 episodes have yet to be filmed. Production on the rest of the season will begin in early September, and the show is expected to premiere in early 2017, barring any complications.

Are you looking forward to seeing Shannon Purser on ‘Riverdale’?

The Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Dwayne The Rock Johnson-led Jumanji sequel/reboot/whatever has completed its family with the addition of Karen Gilan.

In a Facebook post on Monday, The Rock announced that the Doctor Who alum will be joining Jumanji 2 and rounding out the cast. The Rock bills her character as having “the most important role in our movie.”

“We had to find a girl,” The Rock wrote of casting Gillan in Jumanji 2, “but not just any girl.” He continued:

Read full article

The Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Nick Jonas, Dwayne The Rock Johnson-led Jumanji sequel/reboot/whatever has completed its family with the addition of Karen Gilan.

In a Facebook post on Monday, The Rock announced that the Doctor Who alum will be joining Jumanji 2 and rounding out the cast. The Rock bills her character as having “the most important role in our movie.”

“We had to find a girl,” The Rock wrote of casting Gillan in Jumanji 2, “but not just any girl.” He continued:

A girl who has “Chutzpah”. Guts and talent to stand her ground and hold her own against Nick’s cool rockstar ways, Jack’s relentless energy and genius, Kevin’s masterful timing and skills and the big, brown, bald tattooed guy who just simply stands there and oooooozes smoldering, captivating, sizzling, can’t take your eyes off this brilliant manly man… never mind I got drunk on the ol’ DJ kool aid again.

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m proud to announce a girl who’s playing the most important role in our movie – the talented, beautiful and down for a Scottish fight at any time, Ms. Karen Gillan.

And yes, this is the girl who is so bad ass she shaved her freaking head for Guardians of the Galaxy.

The Rock goes on to promise that “this isn’t a remake or a reboot, but a continuation of the awesome Jumanji story we love.”

Filming begins next month in Hawaii and is slated to hit theaters next year.

Gillan is best known for her role as Amy Pond in Doctor Who and, as The Rock notes, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

original-jumanji-movie

The Jumanji “continuation” has been met with lots of skepticism since the original was led by the late Robin Williams. It just seems like an unnecessary, unoriginal idea.