‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Gave Us Witches Our Kids Can Look Up To
Are you a good witch or a bad witch?
The first Hocus Pocus movie came to theaters in 1993. In the nearly twenty-year time span since then, the film has become a cult classic. Its popularity is stronger than ever before. This year, there is more Sanderson Sister-related merchandise on the market, and Disney+ released the long-awaited sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. I say the more witchy media, the better.
Disney is no stranger to using witches as villains. Some of the most famous Disney villains are witches. But these villains have slowly matched (or eclipsed) the popularity of the movie’s protagonist. The Sanderson Sisters (played by Kathy Najimy, Bette Midler, and Sarah Jessica Parker) are just one example. There is also the Evil Queen and Maleficent (who ended up with two live-action films). And one of the best witches of all time, Ursula, my octopus queen.
Audiences have a tendency to fall for these female villains because of their strong personalities, magical abilities, and amazing fashion sense. (There is usually a catchy song in the mix, too.) Even though they are the “bad guy,” we root for these witches. However, in Hocus Pocus 2, Disney actually gave us some good witches to fall in love with.
Witches for the win
Yes, I loved the return of my beloved Sanderson Sisters as much as everyone else did (and their reworked take on an Elton John classic). But I also loved the addition of the three new characters, Becca (Whitney Peak), Izzy (Belissa Escobedo), and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham). The three friends are relatable to so many women and witches out there.
At the start of the movie, Becca doesn’t identify as a witch, ut after watching these young women for a short time, they are basically what real-life witches look like. Becca has an affinity for crystals and uses them as good luck charms. They frequent a magic-themed store where they buy crystals, herbs, and candles. (That is actually all witches spend their money on.) My favorite detail was their matching Moon phase necklaces. If you look closely at the jewelry, the center looks like the triple goddess symbol commonly used in several neopagan practices.
The friends have a set tradition for Becca’s birthday (which is on Halloween) where they go to their special place in the woods, light a candle, and say a manifestation spell. Again, this accurately depicts what real many real witches do (including the plan to end the night with candy and scary movies). This year, they encounter the Sanderson Sisters, which pushes the girls to recognize their personal power. In the end, they win through kindness, compassion, and sharing with each other—good lessons for people of all ages to learn. Becca, Izzy, and Cassie use their powers for good while remaining strong and interesting characters.
(featured image: Disney)
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