Everything I ever really needed to know – I learned from Hocus Pocus.
Hocus Pocus celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and even though it’s been two decades since its debut in theaters, the movie seems to be more popular than ever. Maybe it’s because in many ways, Hocus Pocus is the perfect Halloween feel-good family movie: it’s creepy, it’s kooky, it’s altogether spooky, but most importantly, it has heart.
Watching Hocus Pocus as a child, we revel in the spunk of a sassy little sister and have fun rooting against three delightfully devilish witches, but watching the film as an adult, we are moved as we realized Hocus Pocus not only celebrates childlike wonder, but also the maturity of sacrifice. Looking back as to how this funny little Halloween movie shaped a generation, we realize that Hocus Pocus never stops to patronize its audience, but instead encourages the promotion of individuality, courage, and love.
For many Millenials, twenty years later, Hocus Pocus still epitomizes a perfect Halloween. So for those of us who grew up wondering where we could fish out our own black flame candle, here are some hauntingly important life lessons you never realized you learned from Hocus Pocus:
Don’t trust women who wear exorbitant amounts of eye shadow.
If they hit you with the crazy-eyes, just walk away.
Sisters stick together.
Women get a bad rap for being overly competitive and catty with each other, but in truth, we know from real-life experience that female relationships are incredibly supportive and affirming. He broke up with you? It’s because he’s so insecure standing in the radiance of your greatness. They picked someone else for the position? It’s because they actually found it embarrassing that you could be so good.
So say what you will about the Sanderson sisters, but like a three-person magical mafia, they’ve got each other’s backs. They’re even generous sharing the souls they suck out of children with each other! Told you: no one really gets us like our homegirls.
Teenage boys act like idiots. This is especially true when they’re trying to impress a cute girl.
HE LIT THE BLACK FLAME CANDLE. No further evidence needs to be presented. Max clearly makes horrible life decisions all in the pursuit of some quality time with Allison’s yabbos.
Your cat is probably smarter than you.
Get it? Because in this movie, the talking cat is actually the voice of reason to Max’s continuous stupidity. It’s like a giant symbol for life. But it’s also been proven by science. Animals can sense stuff before it happens, so take heed. If your cat suddenly starts acting psychotic, maybe don’t light stuff on fire.
Your kid sister is definitely cooler than you.
Recently, we finally got definitive proof for what older siblings have been arguing for years: the eldest child is actually, probably smarter. What this study failed to mention however, is that younger siblings tend to be infinitely more socially adept than their big brothers and sisters. So, while the eldest neurotically tries to navigate the pathway to success, younger siblings get to keep it chill. Conditioned to be more laid back, your kid sister is generally just plain more pleasant to be around.
Books are powerful.
Books have all of the answers. Just ask our other favorite witch, Hermione Granger.
Peeping Toms are actually a real problem.
Remember those shoe-stealing creeps Jay and “Ice”? In a total throwaway line mostly meant to show us as an audience that they have absolutely no redeeming qualities as human beings, these two thugs mention that since it’s 3am and they’re bored, they should go “look in windows and watch babes undress.” For some reason, that disturbing thought really etched itself into my 8-year-old brain, and to this day, I consciously close the blinds lest there be men with states of water shaved into their hair wandering about.
Everyone looks good in the dark. It also helps to have a hot friend.
As Barney Stinson would say, “It’s The Cheerleader Effect.”
Let’s start this off by saying that Bette Midler and Kathy Najimy are two very beautiful women. With that being said, to comply with their ghoulish witch persona in this movie, the hair and makeup departments didn’t exactly do them any favors.
Despite their questionable hair choices however, these ladies get a lot of attention from gentlemen callers. Everyone from the bus driver to the devil himself finds them irresistible. That’s because things that seem a little strange in daylight come off as infinitely more charming in the dark. And it of course helps to have someone who looks like Sarah Jessica Parker hanging around.
Your parents have their own personal lives away from you… and they like it that way.
When I was a wee lass watching this movie, I would get legitimately angry every time the parents ignored their kids. How DARE they go out and party and dance and have merriment while their children were desperately trying to save the world? How DARE they not believe their eight year-old when she tried to explain to them that the cat can talk? And how DARE they wear such age-inappropriate costumes?
What’s so shocking then about Hocus Pocus is that unlike in most family-friendly movies, these parents actually have a personality and life away from their kids. They’re funny, three-dimensional people who unabashedly dress up as Madonna for Halloween. They obligated a generation of Millenials to come to the realization that Mom and Dad have a life too, and that, occasionally, they enjoy doing something other waiting on our every want and need.
Life-threatening situations heighten romantic emotions.
At the beginning of the movie, Allison was like, “Dude, you’re such a tool,” and by the end of the night, she was literally sleeping with him. (Literally. This is a Disney movie after all.)
So, even though this is all pretty much Max’s fault for being a virgin and lighting the BFC, Allison gets the warm fuzzies towards the kid when the impending threat of soul-sucking witches starts to dominate their Halloween night. But will she feel the same come Monday morning? It’s like The Breakfast Club mystery all over again.
Be nice to everybody.
Someday, they might just have the choice to leave you hanging. Literally.
People hold grudges for a LONG time.
Family is kind of the best.
You’ve made one too many horcruxes if you’re able to watch Max sacrifice himself for his baby sister without tearing up.
As soon as the kid drinks the potion, we know that he knows that Winifred’s about to go all Dementor on him. And suddenly, we realize that this isn’t a story about the hero fighting off the bad guys to get the girl, but rather it’s a story about the hero realizing he loves the annoying little girl he’s had all along. Finally, Max gets to do what Thackery Binx spent 300 years regretting he couldn’t: save his little sister.
Yabbos are a big deal.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about then I’m sorry. You’re just going to have to ask Dani.
What essential life lessons did you learn from watching Hocus Pocus?
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