On July 16 the Disney cult-hit “Hocus Pocus” was released…

On July 16, 1993 the Disney horror-comedy film “Hocus Pocus” was released.

Theatrical poster for

Theatrical poster for “Hocus Pocus”
Walt Disney Pictures

The movie tells the story of three sisters (The Sanderson Sisters) who are put to death in Salem, Massachusetts during the 1600s, and who are then accidentally raised from the dead 300 years later. Once brought back from the dead, their mission is to re-continue what they have always done: suck the lives of out of children (i.e. steal their souls) to be “young and beautiful” forever, while gaining immortality. The movie stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Hocus Pocus – The Sanderson Sisters (Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker)
Walt Disney Pictures

The Witches being sentenced to death during the 1600s in Salem, Massachusetts:

Bette Midler stars at Winifred “Winnie” Sanderson, the oldest sister, and leader of the coven. She’s portrayed as being the strongest and most intelligent of the group, as well as having the power of electrokinesis. Kathy Najimy stars as Mary Sanderson, and is the second oldest of the sisters. While not as intelligent as Winifred, she is useful when it comes to casting spells, and serves as Winifred’s emotional support. She has a keen eye for attention, and has the power to “sniff” out children. The word “sniff” is used simply because that’s what she does, she uses her sense of smell to located children. Sarah Jessica Parker plays Sarah Sanderson, the youngest of the sister. She’s portrayed as the most beautiful one, often acting naïve and having a child-like mentality. She tends to annoy her sisters through her constant lack of paying attention, yet is very useful when  it comes to capturing children. Her power is essentially acting like a “siren”(i.e. mesmerizing) and luring individuals, mostly children, through her voice. She tends to mesmerize those around her using her voice, mostly through song, allowing children to be lured and eventually killed by the sisters.

Sarah Sanderson performing “Come Little Children” in order to lure children to their death:

Since it’s released, the film has gained a cult following, especially during Halloween, becoming one of Disney’s most popular Halloween movies.

Random Pop Culture Fact:

The song performed by Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker) has been said to been inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s work. Many online individuals said the song was originally a poem by Poe, which was later transformed into song.

A few of the lyrics of the song:
Come little children
I’ll take thee away, into a land
of Enchantment
Come little children
the time’s come to play
here in my garden
of magic… 

Unfortunately, many scholars who have studied Poe’s work show no traces of this poem in his works. Instead, individuals close to the film have mentioned the song was just more than likely inspired by Poe based on its context. 

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