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How ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Weaves Disney History into the Sanderson Sisters’ New Costumes

Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2, the long-awaited sequel to the perennial Halloween classic, debuts today exclusively on Disney+.

The live-action comedy follows the wonderfully wicked Sanderson sisters—Winifred (Disney Legend Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy)—as they run amuck, amuck, amuck in modern-day Salem. Twenty-nine years have passed since someone last lit the Black Flame Candle, bringing the witches back to life—and now the sisters are back for more than revenge.

At first glance, it may appear as if the witches look exactly the same as they did when Hocus Pocus was released in 1993. For the sequel, however, the filmmakers wanted their costumes to look similar to the originals, but not be actual replicas. “We wanted to refresh their looks,” says costume designer Salvador Perez. “Plus, the witches disintegrated at the end of the first film, so they would need new costumes anyway.”

Perez and his team wanted to study the original costumes and conduct a detailed assessment of each outfit before they could reimagine and update them for the sequel. At that time, the costumes were on display at the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle as part of the Walt Disney Archives’ Heroes & Villains: The Art of the Disney Costume exhibition. “The original costumes are in the Disney archives,” explains Perez, “but there was only one costume for each actor.”

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