By Michal Yefet
Published: November 1st, 2017
“Sistas!” It’s been 24 years since Disney Channel released its classic movie “Hocus Pocus,” but for the Sanderson Sisters, it’s been 300 years.
Since the classic aired, it has been an annual tradition to watch the movie around Halloween, especially for those who grew up watching the wicked-witch sisters Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson (portrayed by Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy). Does Halloween really happen if the Sanderson Sisters aren’t out causing chaos trying to be young again?
After all theses years, or should I say centuries, the Sanderson Sisters will finally be “young again…well, younger,” as Winifred puts it, in an all-new TV movie remake. Finally, we might get the chance to see what happens after the Sanderson Sisters are turned to dust, as well as the long anticipated reunion for the Binx children. More than two decades later, this Halloween tale continues to surprise in countless ways.
A continuation for one of the movies that framed a millennial’s childhood is thrilling; however, there’s only one problem. The original cast and director won’t be starring in it, which has its pros and cons. The original cast, and Director Kenny Ortega (“High School Musical” franchise, “Descendants”) made the movie known for what it was, and without them, the movie wouldn’t have been the same. Every child who grew up watching “Hocus Pocus” pictures the Sanderson Sisters as Midler, Parker and Najimy, and the other main characters as their original actors – Omri Katz as Max, Thora Birch as Dani, Vinessa Shaw as Allison and most importantly, Sean Murray as Thackery, also known as Binx.
A new cast can bring more gratification to the young generation that is slowly starting to join the annual tradition of watching “Hocus Pocus.” For this young people in this generation, faces who’ve they seen in other movies might give an overall better experience of the classic. Recognizable actors will give the remake more of an opportunity to rise to the level of the classic picture. For instance, Helena Bonham Carter, who people will know from the “Harry Potter” and “Alice in Wonderland” movies, will do the remake justice, especially as a Sanderson Sister – Winifred specifically.
While the works for a remake are very exciting, remakes tend not to be played as well as the original. We often find that remakes lack a certain quality found in the original production. Most often, remakes tend to look like a ‘cry-for-help’ to try and continue what was, even though the story has faded out years before. Remakes try too hard to copy their originals when they should actually be focusing on how to make the original the same – but with a new twist.
With any luck, the “Hocus Pocus” TV remake will be a copy of the original film with a slight twist. Numerous aspects of today’s world have changed in the more than two decades since the original; the new movie can have a twist on any of these aspects. The twist can be the foods of today’s world, the difference in costumes or even the technology of the 21st century, since the only technology that was really introduced to the sisters was a bus, or a “contraption,” as they call it. Of course, there is no set rule for a remake. “It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus,” as Max says.
The original cast and director will not be present, and the new “Hocus Pocus” will also have a new writer Scarlett Lacey (“The Royals”), but the movie will still have the original producer, David Kirschner, on board. We can only hope that some parts of the original still remain; after all, it is tradition…and our childhood.