There are many holiday fans out there for whom October 1st marks the beginning of Halloween season. And aside from the candy and costumes, this includes plenty of annual TV and movie watching. For many cinephiles, there is no Halloween movie quite as beloved Hocus Pocus. The 1993 Disney classic has gained a cult fandom in the years since its release, with every line of dialogue becoming a quotable part of the autumnal experience. American Beauty actress Thora Birch played young Dani Dennison, who was often seen looking out for magical cat Binx. But the actress actually didn’t get along with her feline co-star, both machine and real. As she tells it,
It looks like Thora Birch was never able to truly relax with Binx, despite sharing so many scenes with the talking cat. Instead, she had to either worry about the technology of the robots, or hope that she got along with the myriad live cats on set. Binx really did have nine lives.
Thora Birch’s help to paint a more realistic picture of Hocus Pocus. Because its been playing on TV annually for years, the Kenny Ortega classic has a special place in viewer’s hearts. The nostalgic feels and childhood memories make Hocus Pocus exciting every single Halloween, and it’s hard to imagine what it was like on set. Birch was just a young girl at the time, but her memories regarding Binx seem to be clear.
Thackery Binx served as the provider of exposition for Hocus Pocus, after living as a black cat in Salem since 1693. And because it was the 90’s and everyone loves talking animals, Binx was able to retain his ability to speak in cat form. Binx instantly formed a bond with Thora Birch’s Dani, protecting her from the Sandersons as he couldn’t with his sister Emily. But he wasn’t so well put together IRL, and Thora Birch had a hard time with her cat-focused scenes in Hocus Pocus.
In her same conversation with ABC, Thora Birch also expressed how much she still loves Hocus Pocus, and cherishes her time on set as a young actress. While she went on to star in projects like American Beauty, she claims Hocus Pocus was the most fun she ever had on set. But what’s not to love? There’s Bette Midler, special affects, and musical numbers. And while Dani didn’t end up keeping Binx as her house cat, her relationship with her brother Max ended up stronger by the film’s end.
Hocus Pocus will get some new love this year, as Freeform is celebrating its 25th anniversary with the Hocus Pocus 25th Anniversary Halloween Bash. The special will air October 20th, featuring interviews with the cast, including Thora Birch. In the meantime, check out our 2018 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.