- Hocus Pocus 2's flashback provides insight into the origin story of the Sanderson Sisters, but it leaves out details about their parents' fate.
- Despite being a box office dud, Hocus Pocus grew into one of Disney's surprising success stories due to nostalgic annual airings.
- The cut details about the Sanderson Sisters' parents in the original Hocus Pocus film could have explained why they look and act differently.
Hocus Pocus 2's flashbacks provided a thrilling look into the Sanderson Sisters' origin story, but it left out key details into a mystery nearly three decades old. The returns of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson were a long time coming. However, it took Disney 29 years to release a sequel to their beloved Halloween hit. Despite being a box office dud when released in 1993, Hocus Pocus grew into one of Disney's most surprising success stories, garnering a loyal fanbase in the years that followed due to nostalgic annual airings.
After being stuck in development for almost a decade, Hocus Pocus 2 finally came to Disney+, bringing back the Sanderson Sisters for another chance at taking over Salem. Though decades had passed since the characters were last resurrected by the Black Flame Candle, Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker seamlessly jumped back into their witch roles. In addition to the trio being the highlight of Hocus Pocus 2's cast, the long-awaited sequel also provided some insight into the witches' background and origins. Still, the flashback at the start of Hocus Pocus 2 left out some crucial details.
Hocus Pocus 2's Flashback Doesn't Reveal What Happened To The Sanderson Sisters' Parents
Flashbacks aren't necessarily new to the Hocus Pocus movies, but the flashback at the start of Hocus Pocus 2 provided critical insight into how the Sanderson Sisters became witches who preyed on children with a vendetta against Salem. After a 16-year-old Winifred refused the arraigned marriage with John Pritchett, she ended up accused of being a witch. On the run with her sister, they encountered the Mother Witch, who gifted Winifred her prized spellbook, setting them down the path of being the villains introduced in the original movie. Despite the fun look at the sisters as very young witches, Hocus Pocus 2 still failed to reveal anything regarding the Sanderson Sisters' parents.
Even though the Mother Witch made it a point to say Winifred was turning 16, the sisters were relatively young in Hocus Pocus 2's flashbacks. Considering the lengths Winifred went to in an effort to prevent her sisters from being taken away from her, it was made clear that she was their sole protector at that point. Whatever happened to the sisters' parents would have occurred before Winifred became a teenager. Even then, the rest of Salem surely wasn't looking out for the girls since nobody else stood up when Winifred was accused of witchcraft, making their backstory even more tragic.
Hocus Pocus Originally Cut The Reveal Of The Sanderson Sisters' Parents
Interestingly, the Sanderson Sisters' parents aren't complete mysteries in the Hocus Pocus movies. According to behind-the-scenes details (via Looper) for 1993's Hocus Pocus, Allison talked about the fathers of the Sanderson Sisters, but the dialogue was cut from the film. In the scene in the witches' home, Allison was supposedly meant to reveal that Winifred's dad was a warlock, Mary's was a bloodhound, and Sarah Jessica Parker later claimed that the father of Sarah was the "village idiot." Therefore, in that version of their backstory, the sisters had the same mother but very different fathers.
The cut details involving the parents of the Sanderson Sisters didn't come into play in Hocus Pocus 2, but there was a mention of a father and the fact that he operated an apothecary in town, so the full backstories never seemed set in stone. If Hocus Pocus 3 does happen in the future, the franchise could dive even deeper into the past lives of Winifred, Mary, and Sarah Sanderson. Having different fathers would explain why they all look and act so differently, but revealing more about their mother could be even more interesting, especially if she was linked to their fate as witches.