WARNING! This article contains SPOILERS for Hocus Pocus 2!Hocus Pocus 2 has plenty of exciting callbacks to the original Hocus Pocus movie through references and Easter eggs. Hocus Pocus 2 is set 29 years after Disney’s 1993 movie, with the sequel following the 300-year-old Sanderson Sisters – Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy), and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) – after they’re resurrected again on Halloween night. Back for revenge on Salem, the witches from the 17th century face a slew of new foes in Hocus Pocus 2 while being confronted with many of the same tricks, characters, and misconceptions from the first movie.SCREENRANT VIDEO OF THE DAY
The Sanderson Sisters are accidentally brought back to life on Halloween 2022 by 16-year-old Salem teens Becca and Izzy. The girls have been obsessed with witches all their lives, with magic shop owner Gilbert tricking them into reviving the Sandersons with a Black Flame Candle. This time around, the Sandersons are intent on achieving eternal life through a dangerous spell that requires their enemy's blood. It just so happens that Becca and Izzy’s ex-best friend Cassie and her dad are the descendants of Reverend Traske, the Salem official who exiled the sisters back in the 1600s. Similar to Hocus Pocus, the villainous Sandersons are working against the advancements of the 21st century and some of their old acquaintances, with the new teens having the added advantage of Becca unknowingly being a witch herself.
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While the Sanderson Sisters and Billy Butcherson return in Hocus Pocus 2, the majority of the characters from Hocus Pocus (1993) are absent from the sequel. Since Hocus Pocus’s three leads Max, Dani, and Allison are missing from the 2022 movie, their involvement is only through clever Easter eggs and callbacks to Halloween night 29 years ago. Other characters, however, are more directly referenced in Hocus Pocus 2, such as the legendary Salem boy-turned-talking-cat Thackery Binx or the original bullies Jay and Ice. Not only are some original characters referenced in Hocus Pocus 2, but the sequel also repeats several iconic scenes from Hocus Pocus and brings back some of the 1993 movie’s best gags. Here’s a breakdown of all the Hocus Pocus Easter eggs and references featured in Hocus Pocus 2.
Flying Over 1600s Salem
Hocus Pocus 2’s opening flashback scene repeats the intro to the original 1993 movie. Both begin with a figure flying over the water and town of Salem before the camera pans down lower and reveals the characters are back in the 1600s. While it’s the Witch Mother flying as a raven in Hocus Pocus 2, it was Sarah Sanderson conjuring Emily as she flew over the village in Hocus Pocus.
The Useful Black Cat Transformation Spell
When Winnie opens Book in Hocus Pocus 2’s flashback, the first spell that she sees is for cat transformations. Mary suggests that Winnie use the spell on John Pritchett, but it seems Winnie saved it specifically for Thackery Binx. In the opening scene of Hocus Pocus, Thackery Binx chases after his sister Emily, who has been taken hostage by the sisters. When he tries to save her, Winnie turns him into a talking black cat with an added curse of eternal life. When Winnie, Sarah, and Mary see Gilbert’s black cat in Hocus Pocus 2, they automatically assume it’s Binx.
When In Doubt, Form A Calming Circle
Mary seems to be the only Hocus Pocus character who truly knows how to calm down Winnie during stressful situations, with Kathy Najimy’s Sanderson witch always suggesting a “calming circle.” The sisters first performed a calming circle in Hocus Pocus when they became trapped outside the cemetery, as the witches weren’t allowed to step on hollowed ground. Hocus Pocus 2 reveals that calming circles have been a frequent tactic for Mary since the Sandersons were children in Salem, such as when they escaped to the Forbidden Wood.
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The Devil & His Wife Are A Hit Costume
Two background actors are seen pretty often roaming Salem’s town center, which is due to their memorable costumes. The couple wears the exact same Devil and “Medusa” outfits worn by Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall’s characters in the popular Hocus Pocus. While Garry Marshall was purposefully dressed up as the Devil, Penny Marshall’s character wasn’t necessarily in costume, as she was simply getting ready for bed on Halloween night. It’s also curious as to why the Sanderson Sisters didn’t try to speak to them in Hocus Pocus 2; in the first movie, they ran up to Garry Marshall’s character calling him “master” because they genuinely thought he was the Devil. Since siblings and iconic Hollywood actors/directors Penny and Garry Marshall both passed away only a few years before Hocus Pocus 2, having two people dressed up as their characters was a nostalgic tribute.
Hocus Pocus Exists Within Hocus Pocus?
When Bette Midler's Winifred Sanderson is flying over Salem looking for the mayor, she peeks into a window where two guys are watching a movie. She may have been distracted by the advanced technology, but she more than likely recognized two people she met back in Hocus Pocus on the screen. The guys in Hocus Pocus 2 are, in fact, watching 1993’s Hocus Pocus, with the scene being that of the Devil and his wife. Considering Hocus Pocus 2 had already paid tribute to the Marshall siblings’ original Hocus Pocus characters through clever costumes, it’s unclear why the sequel decided to also have people watch their scene from the first movie. While it’s a fun Easter egg, it also messes with the fabric of the Hocus Pocus universe.
Mary Remembers Dani’s Old Nickname
When the Sanderson Sisters are trying to remember Becca’s name, Mary Sanderson refers to her as “shish-kebaby,” which is what she called Dani in Hocus Pocus. This is likely a humorous food-associated nickname that Mary gives to the children she wants to eat, but it’s also possible that she got mixed up between the two worthy Hocus Pocus foes. Sarah, on the other hand, was just confused in general, as she believed Becca’s name was “Edward” in Hocus Pocus 2.
The Sanderson Sisters Bewitch The Town Through Song
One of the most iconic sequences from Hocus Pocus (1993) is at the town’s adult Halloween party, where the Sanderson sisters decide to bewitch all the parents of Salem through the power of music. The voice of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins seemingly reached the Sandersons through the grave back in 1956, as the sisters walked up on stage for a theatrical rendition of “I Put a Spell on You.” Between verses, the Sandersons repeated their spell chant and cursed the Salem parents to “dance until they die” (or until the witches themselves die). Hocus Pocus 2 repeats this scene when the characters get on stage for a Sanderson Sisters costume contest, where they enthusiastically sing their rendition of “One Way or Another” by Blondie. This time, the Salem townspeople are bewitched into dancing their way to Mayor Traske.
Related: Hocus Pocus: All 3 Sanderson Sisters' Powers Explained
Sarah Loves The Word “Amok”
Another subtle callback to Hocus Pocus occurs when Winifred Sanderson mentions the word “amok.” Just as she did in the original movie, Sarah Sanderson begins repeating “amok” in a singsong voice to the annoyance of her sisters.
The Sandersons Find Modern Rides
Since the sisters were gone for 300 years in Hocus Pocus, their original broomsticks had already been taken away. In need of transportation, Winnie, Mary, and Sarah grabbed what they could find in the closet, which included a broom, mop, and vacuum. The Sandersons are presented with the same issue in the long-awaited Hocus Pocus 2, with Walgreens providing them with even more modern versions of the broom, Swiffer mop, and Roomba Robot Vacuums. In both movies, Mary is stuck taking to the skies on the uncomfortable vacuums.
Emily Binx’s Death Scene Flashback
Emily Binx was the first victim of the Sanderson Sisters seen on screen, with her death being depicted in the opening scene of Hocus Pocus (1993). Hocus Pocus 2 reuses the footage from this 1693-set scene, which saw the Sanderson sisters feeding Emily the potion that would transfer them her youth and life. Emily herself doesn’t return for Hocus Pocus 2, as she and her brother Thackery were finally reunited in the afterlife during Hocus Pocus’s ending.
Gilbert’s Candy Was Stolen By Two Familiar Bullies
When Gilbert recalls seeing the witches turn to dust on Halloween night in 1993, he explains that his candy had already been stolen by “bullies.” One of the best gags from Hocus Pocus (1993) was the recurring presence of Jay and “Ice,” two bullies from Max’s high school. After stealing Max’s shoes and trying to take his money, Jay and Ice spotted him taking Dani trick-or-treating on Halloween night. The bullies tried taking Dani’s candy, but Max ended up giving them his bag instead. The two original Hocus Pocus characters and their friends had already been stealing candy from children that night, with Hocus Pocus 2 subtly revealing that a young Gilbert was another of their victims. Hocus Pocus's returning Sanderson characters also reference Ice and Jay when trying to retrace their steps, as Mary last remembered seeing the “boys in cages.” Hocus Pocus's post-credits scene revealed that Ice and Jay were still stuck in the cages at their cottage after the sisters had died.
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Car Headlights Are As Powerful As The Sun
Max Dennison loved using the technological advancements of the 20th century against the Sanderson Sisters, with Hocus Pocus 2’s characters accidentally using the same tricks. When the witches are trapped in a salt circle in Cassie’s garage, Mayor Traske shows up in his car and slowly opens the garage door. As the door opens, the sisters begin panicking that the sun is out and they’re doomed, which is a callback to Max’s clever trick in Hocus Pocus. Omri Katz's Max Dennison trapped the sisters inside their cottage by using the headlights from Allison’s car, telling the Sandersons that it was the feared sun.
The Sisters Had A Memorable Bus Ride
After Mayor Traske turns off the lights on his car in Hocus Pocus 2, Mary is relieved and says the car was just a “very small bus.” This incorrect label is due to the Sanderson Sisters’ first introduction to automobiles in Hocus Pocus. The sisters were picked up by a flirtatious bus driver who took them around town, with their only description for a vehicle being a “bus.”