Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson
Source: Matt Kennedy/Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Is 'Hocus Pocus 2' Based on a Book? What to Know About the Witchy Sequel

Katherine Stinson - Author
By

Sep. 30 2022, Published 7:08 p.m. ET

It's the most wonderful time of the year — spooky season is upon us, and we have been blessed with a Hocus Pocus sequel on Disney Plus.

Twenty-nine years ago, the world was changed when Max Dennison (Omri Katz) lit the black flame candle, reviving the iconic Sanderson Sisters for one legendary night.

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Given the iconic cult status of the original 1993 film, we wanted to know how on earth the writers were able to conjure up a new story that was worthy of the original. Was Hocus Pocus 2 a completely original plot concept, or was Hocus Pocus 2 based on a book?

Here's what we know.

(L-R): Sarah Jessica Parker as Sarah Sanderson, Bette Midler as Winifred Sanderson, and Kathy Najimy as Mary Sanderson
Source: Matt Kennedy/Disney Enterprises, Inc.

It's simply not spooky season without the Sanderson sisters.

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Was 'Hocus Pocus 2' based on a book?

The answer? Sort of. In 2018 Disney-Hyperion released the first-ever two-part Hocus Pocus book sequel, aptly titled Hocus Pocus & the All-New Sequel by author A.W. Jantha.

Essentially the first part of the book was a novelization of the original 1993 film, with the second part telling the story of Max and Allison's daughter (yes, they had a daughter, it's canon!) Poppy.

The sequel story was set 25 years after the events of the original film, and dealt with Poppy's own encounter with the Sanderson sisters on Halloween.

According to a spoiler-free review of the Hocus Pocus sequel from Bustle, the novelization does in fact feature Max, Allison, the Sanderson Sisters (obviously), and even Thackery Binx and his little sister Emily!

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'Hocus Pocus 2' was not a direct adaptation of the sequel novel.

It looks like Disney decided to go in an entirely different direction than the Hocus Pocus 2 book sequel story. Instead of centering the film sequel around Allison and Max's daughter Poppy, Hocus Pocus 2 features three new protagonists — Becca (Whitney Peak), Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo).

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Becca and Izzy unintentionally make Becca's sweet 16 a spooky 16 instead by summoning the Sanderson Sisters once again. (To be fair, they didn't realize the candle they had was another black flame candle!)

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But is there another talking cat in 'Hocus Pocus 2'? Any original cast cameos?

To say that Thackery Binx the talking black cat made the original Hocus Pocus a million times better would be an understatement. The tragic tale of a big brother cursed in a cat's body for hundreds of years was a beautiful parallel to Max's own bond with his little sister Dani (Thora Birch).

Unfortunately, we're sad to confirm that Hocus Pocus 2 is sadly lacking in a cute talking black cat. In a way though that's probably for the best — after all, Thackery was total talking cat goals.

As for cameos from original cast members? We won't spoil the magic for you — you can watch Hocus Pocus 2 now for yourself and find out! The highly anticipated sequel is now available to stream on Disney Plus.

Will the sequel put a spell on you? To be determined!

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