Hocus Pocus 2 Parent Guide
Far better than the original, this sequel sparkles thanks to a brilliant cast and good writing.
Parent Movie Review
Almost 30 years after their last escapades, the Sanderson sisters (Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy) are accidently brought back to life by a group of friends just trying to have some spooky fun on Halloween. Having learned from their last experience, the three witches immediately set out to make a potion that will restore them to the land of the living forever…and hopefully find some tasty children to eat along the way.
I have no nostalgia for the original Hocus Pocus. Yes, I’m aware that makes me a bad Millennial. I never saw it as a kid and when I saw it as an adult, I just didn’t get the hype. Imagine my surprise when I loved the sequel! It’s much better than the original in my opinion, in multiple ways. First, the story is tighter and more kid appropriate. It doesn’t meander as much as the original and is less obsessed with virginity. Second, the child actors are far more tolerable than those in the original, who were distractingly bad. The main trio of teen girl actors are perfectly acceptable, but the real standouts are the child versions of the Sanderson sisters, who absolutely hit the characterizations out of the ballpark.
It goes without saying that Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy are fantastic. They were the best part of the original, and they bring that same spark to the sequel. It’s obvious that they are having a blast making this movie, and that joy seeps through the entire production. Tony Hale, a new addition to the cast, is clearly having the absolute time of his life and is hilarious to watch. Everyone involved knows exactly what movie they are making: a silly, campy riot for the whole family.
Another plus for Hocus Pocus 2 is that it’s much more child appropriate than the original. There’s no sexual innuendo, less swearing, and the whole “child sacrifice” angle has been toned down. There is still some slapstick magical violence and a surprising number of terms of deity, but other than that the film doesn’t have much else to worry about. It’s also a little less scary than the original. My five-year-old has watched both, and he was far less freaked out by the sequel.
If you’re looking for some laughs rather than scares for Halloween (and you would love to see Bette Midler sing a Blondie song) Disney has managed to conjure up some real magic with Hocus Pocus 2.Directed by Anne Fletcher . Starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release September 30, 2022. Updated September 29, 2022
Watch the trailer for Hocus Pocus 2
Hocus Pocus 2
Rating & Content Info
Why is Hocus Pocus 2 rated PG? Hocus Pocus 2 is rated PG by the MPAA for action, macabre/suggestive humor and some language.
Violence: There is some slapstick Halloween violence. The witches use magic and talk about killing children. A character smacks another character in the face. A character is hit on the head and knocked out.
Sexual Content: There is a single joke about virgins.
Profanity: The script contains one mild profanity and approximately 20 terms of deity. There are some mild insults.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None.
Page last updated September 29, 2022
Hocus Pocus 2 Parents' Guide
Why does Winifred give up her powers in the end? What does she realize is most important to her?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
A novelized version of this film is available for YA readers as Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha and Matt Griffin.
Young readers who want to scare themselves with witchy tales can begin with Roald Dahl’s classic The Witches. The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill goes into the fictional world ofThe Protectorate where the townsfolk leave a baby for the witch every year – unaware that the witch is actually kind and determined to provide loving homes for the infants.
Elementary school aged readers will appreciate Anna Elizabeth Bennett’s gentle novel, Little Witch. The Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy is also a surefire hit with this age group.
Parents looking for classics can always dive into the Narnia series by CS Lewis or the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. Both deliver plenty of adventure with solid messages about loyalty, sacrifice, and making moral choices.
Related home video titles:
This is a sequel to the original – and inferior – Hocus Pocus. More witchy fun can be found in Stardust, in which three witches want to find a star who fell to earth so they can eat her heart and become immortal. Roald Dahl’s The Witches stars Anne Hathaway as a child-hating witch who wants to turn children into animals. The House with a Clock in Its Walls is a gothic horror movie for kids (yes, it’s very scary) and it features Cate Blanchett as the witch next door. An orphan named Earwig is thrilled to be adopted until she learns the real identity of her new mother in Earwig and the Witch. The White Witch traps the kingdom of Narnia in a perpetual winter until she is challenged by four human children and a powerful lion in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The stop-motion animated movie Coraline features an alternate universe with a terrifying “other mother” that will scare kids spitless.