Disney. I once loved you. You brought me a whole new world under the sea and helped me escape, for a moment, this provincial life in this provincial town. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, let’s talk one of my favorite Disney films of all time, Hocus Pocus. Released when I was but a wee child, I adored this film. I thought it was hilarious. The dialogue was sharp for a kids movie, and even now, many years later, it’s still a genuinely funny and delightful film.
The Craft also came out around this time, and I spent many years walking around saying “We are the weirdos mister.”
Needless to say, I was a big fan of witches, and still am. So picture this, I hear we are getting a sequel to Hocus Pocus. Of course I was delighted, and then I was told it was going to be a book. Still delighted, maybe a bit less so, but overall still excited.
Then I bought it…for Christmas…and started reading…and…WHAT? What is this? The first half of the book was fantastic because it was just a retelling of the original story which I can get down with. You may remember from my Buffy review, I love a good novelization. They may not be the best books in the world, but they’re fun, and I can appreciate that.
Then the second part of the book just had to happen. I was thrilled about a continuation of the story for the modern era, but that’s not what I got. I got a haphazardly written demonization of the original story. Positives included a queer relationship, adult versions of my favorite characters, and the return of the Sanderson Sisters. But that’s also where it went wrong…so so so so so so so so so so so so so wrong.
See, continuity is a thing, and most people respect the concept of continuity. I can appreciate that sometimes when you revisit a world, you might leave out some minor details, the world might be ever so slightly different, and I am fine with that. I’m not one of those people that go to a con for Twin Peaks and say “Well…actually.” Not me. I don’t like those people. But here’s the thing. Adding an entirely new Sanderson Sister to push your plot along isn’t a minor change. This is a world changing event.
So besides the new Sanderson Sister that I’ve taken to calling Brenda (not her name…just she’s a Brenda to me) the plot kind of ambles along, confused. I appreciated that Disney included a same sex relationship unlike many 1 star reviewers on Amazon that clearly think that including gay people makes a book rated R. So bravo for that one Disney (Now could we just get a mainstream latinx princess at some point?) But overall, Hocus Pocus the sequel felt like a cheap money grab meant to prey on nostalgia-ridden millennials. I mean hey…it worked…guilty as charged. Should you read it? Yeh…go ahead. It’s not the worst book ever written, but don’t expect to escape without a little of your nostalgia killed.
4.0 out of 5.0 Rainbows for First Half of Book
3.0 out of 5.0 Rainbows for Second Half of Book