Inside Hocus Pocus – Leonardo DiCaprio link, Friends fountain and moth horror

"I put a spell on you and now you're mine", sang Bette Midler as Winnifred Sanderson in 1993's Hocus Pocus, and it is a film that has certainly enchanted generations of viewers – but there's so much fans probably don't know about it.

Since its release almost 30 years ago, fans have been dazzled by the spooky Disney classic that brought us iconic characters including The Sanderson Sisters, Billy Butcherson and Binx the Cat.

A Halloween classic, eagle-eyed viewers have noticed links between the film and other Hollywood productions in recent years, while actors and the makers of the film have revealed some behind the scenes secrets.

Here we look at some of the things you might not have known about Hocus Pocus.

Real moths flew out of Billy Butcherson's mouth

Yes, as disgusting as it sounds, the film's special effects team placed real live moths in the mouth of actor Doug Jones, to make the scene where Billy talks for the first time in 300 years more effective.

Tony Gardner, who worked as a special effects advisor for the film, told Bloody Disgusting they they built "a rig inside [actor Doug Jones's] mouth to house some moths and dust for him to cough up on command".

Two actors played Thackery Binx

Actor Sean Murray opens Hocus Pocus as Thackery Binx, the older brother of Emily who is taken away by the Sanderson Sisters.

He is later transformed into a cat, before re-appearing at the end of the film in his human form after the Sanderson sisters are defeated.

However, despite human Binx and Cat Binx's voices being very similar, they were actually played by two different people.

Voice actor James Marsden, who was also friends with co-star Omri Katz who played Max after starring alongside him in 90's children's TV series Eerie Indiana, provided the voice for Cat Binx.

The Friends fountain makes an appearance

When Max, Danni and Alison think they have destroyed the Sanderson sisters, the trio can be seen walking through a park.

Eagle-eyed viewers have noticed in recent years that the fountain in the park is none other than the same fountain the Friends cast dance around in the TV show's opening credits.

That's not the only location that has been used in other films though – the house behind Max and Binx was also used in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

Binx dies by his sister Emily's grave

Binx never forgave himself for letting the Sanderson sisters take Emily, and spent his entire life trying to stop them if they ever returned from the dead.

During the dramatic final scenes in the graveyard between the daring trio and the Sanderson Sisters, Binx is hurt and falls by the gravestones.

When the Sanderson Sisters are finally defeated, Binx dies now that his soul is free, beside his sister Emily's grave.

Leonardo DiCaprio auditioned for the role of Max

Hollywood A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio rose to fame in films including Romeo and Juliet and Titanic, but before this, he auditioned for the role of Max in Hocus Pocus.

However, he turned down the role to appear in What's Eating Gilbert Grape, opposite Johnny Depp and Juliette Lewis.

Talking about turning down the role, Leonardo told Variety: "I don't know where the hell I got the nerve," with the role going to actor Omri Katz.

However, Leonardo's performance in What's Eating Gilbert Grape was critically acclaimed, launching him to stardom.

Sarah's song was written by one of Celine Dion's songwriters

When you mention Hocus Pocus and Sarah Jessica Parker, one of the first things fans mention is her iconic song Come Little Children, which she sings to bring the local children to the Sanderson house.

The song was written by James Horner, who not only composed the music and lyrics for Come Little Children, but also another very famous song by singer Celine Dion.

In another Titanic related link (the first being Leonardo DiCaprio auditioning), Sarah Sanderson's memorable song was written by the same composer who wrote My Heart Will Go On.

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