Book Review for “Hocus Pocus in Focus” by Aaron Wallace

Few things make me feel quite as nostalgic as Hocus Pocus. The movie released in 1993. I was one year old at the time so it was a few years after its release that I was introduced to the Sanderson sisters and all the mayhem they caused in Salem. I loved, and still love, this movie and it’s a must watch every year. I mean, obviously I love it because I named my cat Thackery Binx.

I was browsing Amazon and happened across a book called “Hocus Pocus in Focus: The Thinking Fan’s Guide to Disney’s Halloween Classic” by Aaron Wallace. I couldn’t resist picking it up and seeing what behind the scenes info I might have missed. I’ll get into my thoughts below after the synopsis.

Synopsis

The Hocus Pocus “BoooOOOoooK” Fans Have Been Waiting For…
In the first and only book ever written about the beloved 1993 Halloween movie, Aaron Wallace takes readers deep into the world of Hocus Pocus to learn everything they never knew. He provides a lighthearted but scholarly look at the film in its all spooky-kooky glory.

You’ll learn:
– The fascinating history behind “Come, Little Children (Sarah’s Song)” and “I Put a Spell on You”
– How Steven Spielberg shaped the movie
– Why there’s all that talk about yabbos and virgins
– How Hocus Pocus got away with being the edgiest Disney movie ever made
– Whether a sequel could really happen
– And much, much more

Featuring a foreword by Golden Globe nominee Thora Birch(Hocus Pocus’ Dani), afterword by Mick Garris (the film’s writer and producer), and the largest collection of Hocus Pocus fun facts and trivia ever assembled, this is the ultimate unofficial fan guide for Halloween and movie lovers everywhere. Finally, Hocus Pocus is celebrated as the classic it’s become. You’ll love the movie more than you ever knew you could.

My Thoughts

This book is a fun read for any fan of Hocus Pocus. It contains a lot of information about behind the scenes, the actors/actresses and the popularity of the movie when it released compared to today. There is also a lot of analysis (over analyzation in my opinion) of the significance of sex and virginity in this movie. I am not naive. I’m fully aware that Disney loves to hide little naughty jokes and innuendos in their movies. Hocus Pocus definitely is no stranger to this, especially anything involving our dear Sarah Sanderson. However, there is one key point that I disagree with the author on.

On page 67 Wallace begins to explain what he thinks Sarah’s song (“Garden of Magic”) really means. Basically, he thinks that the line from Sarah’s song “come, little children” is not necessarily calling to actual children, but to virgins. This is why in the beginning of the movie Emily Binx is drawn in by the witches and her older brother, Thackery, and his friend are not. This is assuming both boys are no longer virgins. Wallace also assumes that after Max lights the black flame candle, which can only be lit by a virgin, that Allison and he have sex which is why toward the end of the movie neither are affected by Sarah’s song but other teens are.

I think this is looking WAY too deep into a Disney movie. I think the very simple reason that Thackery, his friend, Max and Allison are not affected by the song is because they know the truth. They know what the witches are and can’t be drawn in by the song. There’s also a strong chance that there is no real reason for it and it was just an oversight. Of course, this is just my opinion and the author is entitled to his.

If you love this movie and it’s a Halloween staple for you every year like it is for me, I recommend this book. I may disagree with a few points but overall it’s a really good and informative read. I’d love to know your thoughts on this book or Hocus Pocus in general! Thanks for reading and have a great day!

 

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