Currently streaming on Disney+ from director Anne Fletcher and Walt Disney Pictures is the return of three iconic sisters that are just a little bit magical with HOCUS POCUS 2.
It has been twenty-nine years since the Sanderson sisters, Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy) was around because of the Black Flame Candle. Now in Salem, Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) and Becca (Whitney Peak) are getting ready to throw a combination 16th birthday and Halloween party.
Going to the local magic shop, owner Gilbert (Sam Richardson) gives Becca a candle for her birthday ritual and when the girls light it, they discover it is a Black Flame Candle. Well, two virgins and a full moon can mean only one thing – the Sanderson sisters are back!
Not hip to the ways of the modern world, the sisters go on a journey with the two young girls and when things start to turn, Gilbert steps in. He is so excited to see the sisters telling them he saw what happened on Halloween in 1993 and that he has the candle and book.
Well, when they see a flyer with the name Mayor Traske (Tony Hale) on it, Winifred decides its time to even the score with the Traske family and make Salem pay as well but, they need a little Traske blood. Gilbert is more than pleased to help the sisters, while Izzy and Becca spend a little basement time alone.
Winifred is so determined to wreak havoc that she doesn’t listen to the Izzy and Becca when they try to warn her of the consequences of her spell. But sometimes you have to let a witch do what a witch is going to do.
Midler as Winifred is back to her old tricks but, it is missing something and I’m not sure what that something is. Winnie is such a grand character and the matriarch of the three that, besides her wanting revenge, and I was happy to see her back in her buck teeth again.
Najimy as Mary is still the go-along-to-get-along sister and looks fabulous. Watching her character grow a little bolder is always a good thing. Parker as Sarah is still the sweet voiced sister that continues to drive Winnie crazy but that’s what sisters are for.
Escobedo and Peak as the teen girls who did not expect to be dealing with the Sanderson sisters are pretty clever until they aren’t and then they are again. Let’s face it, the Sanderson sisters are as about as easy to deal with than two-year-old triplets so they had their work cut out for them. They are sweet in their roles and even funny.
Richardson as Gilbert is a bit of comic relief to the story as he is obsessed with the sisters and knowing their history. He is basically the historian of their lives and proud of it.
Other cast include Lilia Buckingham as Cassie Traske, Froy Gutierrez as Mike, and Hannah Waddingham as Mother Witch. Shout out to Ginger Minj, Kornbread Jete and Kahmora Hall who give us Winifred, Mary and Sarah in drag!
Walt Disney Studios continues to bring quality programming to kids and kids at heart. Home of the most beloved animated features including SNOW WHITE, PINOCCHIO and SLEEPING BEAUTY to name a few is what keeps families coming back for more.
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I suppose the studios was put under a lot of pressure by pretty much everyone in the world wanting a HOCUS POCUS 2. Mainly we wanted it because of the garbage that has been coming out of Hollywood for a while now has made us all nostalgic for fun films that took us away from the world’s issues.
The thing is, if you are going to make something like HOCUS POCUS 2, writers, directors and such need to ask themselves ‘how do we get that feeling back?’. This missed the mark for me and I have no problem saying so. I’m glad to see the actresses coming back and reprising their roles but dang girls, if you are going to do that – perhaps you should have watched the original about ten times to find that mojo we were all looking for.
Truth of it is this, you can wait too long to bring characters back and that might be the Sanderson sister’s case. Even though there could potentially be room for another, once again the question the studio should asked is – should we? Of course, my answer would be ‘nope’, you did it now let it go.
HOCUS POCUS is the film my family waits for every year. Kind of like THE WIZARD OF OZ coming to the home screen every spring – it becomes tradition. The Sanderson sisters are iconic, beloved and will always be part of the lives of those who came to know and love them in 1993!
In the end – it is a wickedly glorious return!