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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bette! You Witch!
Youve gotta love Hocus Pocus! Its a classic Disney film, Great to watch at anytime of the year...not just halloween (Thats a note for you, the TV Companies that only show it at Halloween Time) With great characters, great actors, humourous storyline, brilliant songs and just a plain old disney classic for any age! Must watch! Buy it now if you dont own it!!!
Published on 29 July 2006 by T. Hazelhurst

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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cut version - not the same as the VHS release
The film itself deserves five stars, fantastic story, fantastic acting, great special effects and starring the imitable Bette Midler. What lets the DVD down is that it is cut by about 5 minutes from the VHS version. These cuts are by Disney themselves and NOT the BBFC. These scenes were not shocking or violent but added comic genius to the plot. One of the scenes cut...
Published on 8 Oct 2007 by Amazon Customer


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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cut version - not the same as the VHS release, 8 Oct 2007
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
The film itself deserves five stars, fantastic story, fantastic acting, great special effects and starring the imitable Bette Midler. What lets the DVD down is that it is cut by about 5 minutes from the VHS version. These cuts are by Disney themselves and NOT the BBFC. These scenes were not shocking or violent but added comic genius to the plot. One of the scenes cut shows you how the witches decide what to use as broomsticks, such as a vaccum cleaner, to fly on when it becomes obvious to them their broomsticks, al but Winnie's, have dissapeared.

It would be interesting to discover why Disney choose to edit these scenes out rather than just release the VHS version, with the same certification.

However this said Hocus Pocus is a fantastic family film and you could do worse than buy this DVD. Enjoy it for all it has to offer. Good clean fun!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bette! You Witch!, 29 July 2006
By 
T. Hazelhurst "Tom" (Merseyside, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Youve gotta love Hocus Pocus! Its a classic Disney film, Great to watch at anytime of the year...not just halloween (Thats a note for you, the TV Companies that only show it at Halloween Time) With great characters, great actors, humourous storyline, brilliant songs and just a plain old disney classic for any age! Must watch! Buy it now if you dont own it!!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Come little chilren, I'll take thee away!, 2 April 2006
By A Customer
I absoloutly love Hocus Pocus, even now in my 20th year of life its still a favourite to watch on Hallowe'en night.

Winifred (Bette Midler), Mary (Kathy Najimy) and Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker)Sanderson are the three wicked Witches stalking Salem, Massetchuses and sucking the lives out of the little children in a bid to make them young again. However, they are eventually caught and hanged by the Salem townfolk after sucking the life out of Emily Binx and turning her brother Zackery (or Thackery) into a talking, immortal cat.

Fast foward 300 years and a young sceptic and new kid on the block Max Dennerson along with his eight year old sister Danni and school friend Alison, goes to the old Sanderson house in order to impress Alison, whom he really fancies. However, despite Alison's warning, Max manages to resurrect the witches by lighting the black flame candle that brings them back to life when lit by a virgin on Hallowe'en night...

A thrilling chase around the town ensues as Max, Alison and Danni must stay one step ahead of the witches in order to save the Salem children from having the lives sucked out of them. If the witches can steal the lives of children they will live forever, but if not, then when the sun rises they are dust. But how can Max, Danni and Alison make the sun rise and rid Salem of the Sanderson Sisters once and for all...?

This great spooky Disney Hallowe'en film but I'd recommend it for slightly older children as Billy, the long dead lover of Whinnie Sanderson being summoned from his grave is actually quite scary, and this spooked me out even aged 10 when I saw it for the first time (OK I admit I'm a whimp!) However, it's worth a look just to see the witches wonderful resourcefulness when young children steal their brooms and instead they ride a mop, a broom and ...a hoover! Yes a modern day vacuume cleaner The story it's fabulously fun and funny, and Sarah Jessica Parker also sings in the film, (unless she is dubbed?) albeit briefly. If you want a thrill on Halloween night then watch this film, wonderfully entertaining, but not designed to give you nightmares (unless you are of a particularly sensitive disposition - or a total wimp like me). A wonderful Disney Classic to add to your collection. A nice touch at the end where the spirit of Thackery or whatever he's called (the cat)is released and he and his sister walk hand in hand to heaven. His final parting line being "I'm sorry Emily, I had to wait 300 years for a Virgin to light a candle!" A delightful film to spook up your Hallowe'en or even any day of the year!
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It'll put a spell on yoooooooooooohooooooooooooo, 21 Jun 2006
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I recently re-discovered this film and have to say that I enjoy it just as much now, aged 16, as I did when Bette Midler's showstopping rendition of "I'll Put a Spell on You" was first imprinted on my brain at the tender age of six. Sure, it does drag in places (the child actors are not exactly brimming over with charisma...) and the marked, albeit supremely camp, wickedness of the witches may be too much for some younger children to handle, but for sheer entertainment value this film is hard to beat.

It has a surprisingly interesting plot and all three Macbeth-style witches (the mythical "Saunderson sisters") light up the screen whenever the camera falls on them. In particular, the incomparable Bette Midler is outstanding as the eldest witch (she steals the show with the aforementioned rendition of "I'll Put a Spell on You"), although Sara Jessica Parker (of Sex and the City fame) is also fabulous as the child-tempting youngest sister- I really didn't have to suspend much belief when her creepy "Come Little Children" siren song lured the entire youngest generation of Salem from its beds!

I babysit for a great many children and have yet to come across one whom this film is unable to charm.

So, if you're looking for a fun Halloween (or indeed, any time of year) movie that the whole family will enjoy, you can't go far wrong with this one

And it stars BETTE MIDLER... as a WITCH!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars In 5 words? Quirky, Spooky, Family, Bette Midler!, 28 Aug 2007
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
I watched this film alot when I was younger, now I'm 20 and I watched it again on TV yesterday. Suprisingly enough I still enjoyed it. Full of decent effects, music and some hillarious dialogue between the three witches. Plot revolves around Max, a new kid in town whose moved with his family. On Halloween night, he, his sister and his new friend Alison obliviously ressurect the Sanderson sisters, witches of the 17th Century who were hung.

It is obvious that the witches have such good chemistry together off film because it shows on screen. If you watch this film for one reason, watch it for them, particularly Bette Midler's performance is Winefred Sanderson, which is her on top form in my opinion, including her rendition of 'I put a spell on you'.

I never found this film scary even as a child, and if I can still enjoy it at 20, it makes good viewing for everyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well...well...well another good film, 19 May 2007
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
Personaly i don't usually enjoy films rated lower than 12 but this is an exception. I mean what a classic! Winnie, you rock my socks! If you don't see this i am afraid i will have to kill you.

thanks :D
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY..., 13 Feb 2003
By 
Lawyeraau (Balmoral Castle) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker,and Kathy Najimy play witches called the Sanderson sisters. They give three, very funny, over the top performances in this over looked comedy.
Three centuries ago in colonial America, the Sanderson sisters practiced witchcraft, much to the consternation of their neighbors who apparently gave them wide berth. Unfortunately, growing old and haggard, they needed to rejuvenate themselves by inhaling the life force of a child. So, they lured Emily Binx, a neighboring child, into their cottage. She is followed by her brother, Zachery, who tries to save her, but is unable to do so before he is discovered and turned into a black cat for all eternity. The three witches breathe in Emily's life force, with dire consequences for Emily, but the witches themselves turn more youthful thanks to Emily's life force. The townsfolk convene upon the cottage and capture the witches, whom they arrange to hang, but not before the witches cast a spell that is to have future ramifications.
Cut to present day America. It is Halloween. Two teens and one of the teen's little sister break into the witches cottage, which is still standing as a sort of historical museum. One of the teens does something that brings the witches back, and all hell breaks loose. Just sit back and let the laughs begin. What happens is quite funny, as the witches are hilarious. This is entertainment, pure and simple. What you see, is what you get.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars US Blu-ray Review, 1 Nov 2012
By 
Pantheon (Boston, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
As my title suggests this is a review of the US Import Blu-ray release.
First, and most importantly, for UK buyers....this disc is REGION FREE!!! The back of the box states this and my region-locked player plays it fine. (To the person who gave this release 1 star before even knowing if it was region locked...check blu-ray.com for this sort of thing!!!)
There are lots of review for the actual film, so in this review I'm only going to focus on the blu-ray release.

The biggest question: Is this worth replacing on Blu-ray. Answer: A resounding YES!!
The picture on the DVD has always been dreadful, but I personally think this release looks incredible. Colours are bright and vivid and the blacks are deep. On occasion the film is a little blurred around the edges; but this is nothing to do with this release and is merely part of the filming style. This is the best this film has ever looked.
Overall, if you're a fan this is a must-own and I'm very pleased I bought it.
My only gripe: No extras to speak of. Surely Disney have something in their vaults they could have put on this release. But, given that next year is the 20th anniversary I wouldn't be surprised to find this is re-released then. Personally, I just couldn't wait.

UK buyers...be aware that import charges apply to anything over £15; so make sure you buy this from a seller under that price like I did.

Technical Specs:
1.85.1 Widescreen.
Audio: English DTS-HD Master 5.1, French DD 5.1, Spanish 2.0 Stereo.
Subtitles: English, French, Portuguese, Spanish.
Extras: Bonus Trailers and a DVD Copy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Halloween!, 10 Nov 2007
By 
This review is from: Hocus Pocus [DVD] [1993] (DVD)
If your one of those people who wants to watch a film on Halloween but dosn't want it to be too scary? This is a great film for the whole family. Even though it is quite an old film, the special effects aren't half bad and there are some parts of it where you'll be laughing your head off. I would recommend this film to anybody.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hocus Pocus [1993] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 31 July 2014
Hocus Pocus [1993] [Blu-ray] [US Import] Conjure up a cauldron of laughs with HOCUS POCUS, a fiendishly fun movie now on Blu-ray for the first time, featuring an all-new digital restoration with enhanced picture and sound. Academy Award® nominee Bette Midler (Best Actress: 1991, FOR THE BOYS), Sarah Jessica Parker (SEX IN THE CITY) and Kathy Najimy (THE WEDDING PLANNER) star in a wild and wacky comedy for the entire family.

When three 17th century Salem witches are accidentally summoned by modern-day pranksters, the 300-year-old trio sets out to cast a spell on the town and reclaim their youth, but first they must outwit three kids and a talking cat. Get ready for a night of zany fun in this bewitching comedy classic – now even better on Blu-ray!

Cast: Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker, Omri Katz, Thora Birch, Vinessa Shaw, Sean Murray, Doug Jones, Charles Rocket, Stephanie Faracy, Jodie Rivera, Larry Bagby, Tobias Jelinek, Steve Voboril, Norbert Weisser, Kathleen Freeman, Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall

Director: Kenny Ortega

Producer: David Kirschner and Steven Haft

Screenplay: Mick Garris and Neil Cuthbert

Composer: John Debney

Cinematography: Hiro Narita

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese

Running Time: 96 minutes

Region: All Regions and NTSC

Number of discs: 2

Studio: Walt Disney Home Video

Andrew’s Blu-ray Review – "It's just a bunch of hocus pocus," but what's wrong with that, absolutely nothing. Sure, this film is aimed at children, but adults should not be excluded also and the tale is about three evil witches terrorising children is a little rough around the edges, but the spooky spirit of the flick is strong, and it remains a decent example of family entertainment that doesn't completely talk down to its audience. The cast is very solid, and while pretty thin, the plot offers a fair assortment of thrills and laughs.

While cocky teenager Max Dennison [Omri Katz] takes his little sister out for trick-or-treating, the pair run into Allison [Vinessa Shaw], a pretty girl that Max has a crush on. Wanting to impress her, he accidentally resurrects a trio of three hundred year old witches on Halloween night (it's a very common mistake). Out to drain the city's children of their life force, the three witches [Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy] first target Max's young sister, Dani [Thora Birch]. After momentarily thwarting their spell, the kids all make a run for it, and are soon joined by an immortal talking cat (proving that all movies are made better by the inclusion of an immortal talking cat). Together they try to escape the witches' pursuit and find a way to stop them once and for all.

The script follows a predictable and thin path that sees the kids deal with various spooky obstacles and magic spells. Though very basic, to the writers' credit, they do a nice job of balancing family friendly thrills with a silly, a kind of eccentric sense of humour. Also, despite the intended audience, the movie doesn't shy away from some potentially scary content. Why, in the opening scene alone, a little girl is drained of her life force and three witches are hung. Of course, it's all done with a comparatively light tone, but the writers resist the urge to tone down the content too much.

A lot of the humour is derived from the witches' fish-out-of-water predicament, and watching the trio grow accustomed to modern life is entertaining. The three sisters have distinct personalities and the actresses appear to have a lot of fun on screen (the way they walk together is quite amusing). Their reactions to the modern world can be pretty funny (even a paved road freaks them out), and their terrified shock at the sight of a little girl dressed up like an angel is priceless.

Bette Midler, in particular, seems to relish every second she's on screen, vamping up her presence as Winifred with an appropriately villainous persona. On the other hand, Sarah Jessica Parker plays a ditzy, spider eating witch named Sarah that sings to children in order to lure them under her spell. So, in other words, she plays herself.

The child actors are also pretty good in their roles. Omri Katz is fairly one-note but appropriately confident, and does a decent job of carrying the forward momentum of the story. Vinessa Shaw is also good (though her role is underwritten) and Thora Birch is quite adorable as Max's little sister. Together, their relationship forms the heart of the flick, and the brother/sister dynamic is actually kind of sweet. Speaking of brothers and sisters, siblings Garry and Penny Marshall make a cameo appearance. In a fun little scene, the witches actually mistake Garry for the devil himself, but after having to sit through this, I'm not so sure they were mistaken at all.

Some of the film's special effects definitely show signs of age, but a lot of the makeup and even some of the CGI work hold up really well. I was expecting to be distracted by the talking cat, but for the most part, the feline character remains convincing enough (and just as awesome as ever). The witches' resurrection scene is particularly fun, with some supernatural effects, and a sequence that involves a zombie pursuing the kids through a graveyard is also full of family friendly scares.

As surprisingly well as the film holds up, there are still some glaring issues with the script. It often feels like there are pieces missing in the plot, and a lot of the developments are very convenient (how did the kids know the witches would meet them at the school?). The characters could have been fleshed out more and the drama feels like it needs an extra beat or set piece here and there. Of course, it's kind of silly to hold a children's film under such scrutiny, but these issues do damper the films appeal to some adults.

'Hocus Pocus' has oddly grown in popularity since its release, and remains a Halloween staple on TV every year. It's not exactly a children's movie classic, but I've always been quite fond of the film. Before reviewing this disc, I hadn't seen the movie since I was a kid, and while a lot of the script's shortcomings are much more apparent now, I actually still had some fun with the flick. Fellow adults who grew up in the nineties might want to check this out for the sheer nostalgia factor, and parents looking for a silly, family friendly "horror" movie to show their kids should definitely give it a shot. If nothing else, the film taught me to never let virgins light.

Blu-ray Video Quality – The movie is provided with a 1080p transfer in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. Though decent overall, the picture is uneven and features a predominantly drab appearance.

The source is in great shape with no signs of damage. Grain is visible throughout and has a natural but slightly fuzzy look. Detail is solid, but clarity is a little inconsistent. Close-ups reveal nice texture, but most shots are soft and the picture is quite flat throughout. Outside of some sporadic splashes of vibrant greens and reds, colours are also surprisingly dull and contrast can be a tad low. Blacks are slightly elevated in a few shots and shadow detail can crush. With all that said, there are a few scenes that exhibit nice depth, pop, and vibrancy, especially an early sequence set outside Max's school which features beautiful autumn colours. Thankfully, the transfer is free of artefacts like edge enhancement and noise. 'Hocus Pocus' can look a little fuzzy and dull at times, but there are a few vibrant scenes scattered throughout. As far as I can tell, the shortcomings of the picture are simply inherent to the source, and while not especially impressive the movie looks fine for what it is.

Blu-ray Audio Quality – The film is provided with an English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track and additional French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks. English SDH, Spanish, and French subtitles are also available. Though mostly basic, the mix suits the material well without any major problems. Speech is clean but sounds a hair thin in a few scenes. The rousing score is nicely spaced around the room, but outside of music, surround activity is limited. Some appropriate effects do make their way to the surrounds (booming thunder, blowing wind, swooping brooms) and there is decent imaging when appropriate. Unfortunately, the track has a comparatively flat sound lacking the range of contemporary releases. A few of the livelier scenes (the opening and the witches' resurrection, for example) offer a solid soundscape, but for the most part the track has a fairly small scope. There aren't any major technical issues, but outside of the enveloping score and a few isolated scenes, the audio isn't particularly immersive. Still, the witches' cackles come through well enough, and fans should be satisfied.

Finally, 'Hocus Pocus' isn't exactly a family film classic, but it offers a fair amount of kid friendly thrills and laughs. The plot is very basic and thin, but Midler, Parker, and Najimy are memorable in their roles, and the child actors are very solid as well. The video transfer is underwhelming but authentic, and the audio mix is decent but not terribly immersive. With no supplements, this is a release that will only appeal to huge fans and that is why I purchased the Blu-ray because of Bette Midler and the only reason and it is a sort of alright film and I do now and again dip into the film, as it has its moments now and again.

Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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