You can finally watch Hocus Pocus 2 online. So, light your black candles and welcome Sanderson sisters back into your life. This sequel shoves the trio into modern times, and even shows a bit more of their past. It's also one of the new movies and shows to watch this weekend.
Release date and time: Hocus Pocus 2 went live on on Disney Plus today (Friday, Sept. 30) at 3 a.m. ET.
Cast: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, Doug Jones, Whitney Peak, Lilia Buckingham, Belissa Escobedo, Hannah Waddingham, Tony Hale, Sam Richardson
Director: Anne Fletcher
Running time: 1 hour and 43 minutes
Hocus Pocus 2 finds Sanderson sisters Winnie (Bette Middler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker) and Mary (Kathy Najimy) back in our plane of reality for the first time in 29 years. Hopefully they avoid Reddit and Instagram, but we're not sure if they can stay offline, as they're pulled back into our current moment thanks to high school teens Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo).
We're not sure which of those two sparked the Black Flame Candle, but now that the flame is lit, Salem's worst nightmares are back to wreak havoc. Outside of the teens that drive the main story, the only real magic expert who may be able to help stop the sisters is shopkeep (Sam Richardson).
Richardson, whose comedic chops have recently been showcased in The Afterparty and I Think You Should Leave, may wind up stealing parts of the movie from its iconic stars. Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) and Tony Hale (Arrested Development) also appear.
To see what we thought of it, check out our spoiler-free Hocus Pocus 2 review. Oh, and for those who want to see how their favorite witches looked at the premiere, check out this photo:
Here's everything to know about how and when to watch Hocus Pocus 2 online.
How to watch Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney Plus
No need to wait for Halloween candy to be put out. Hocus Pocus 2 arrives on Disney Plus on Friday (Sept. 30). It releases at 3 a.m. ET. Disney Plus is available on all the best streaming devices, and the new Chromecast with Google TV HD.
Disney Plus gives you access to the entire Disney vault of classics like Frozen, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast as well as newer hits like The Mandalorian, Loki and more. Get the most value with the $13.99 bundle that throws in Hulu and ESPN Plus before it turns into a much higher-priced pumpkin.
How to watch Hocus Pocus 2 internationally
Disney Plus is available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mauritius, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, so it's not going to be tough to get access.
Hocus Pocus 2 trailer
At D23 2022, we got the first trailer for Hocus Pocus 2. Not only does it deliver the returning Sanderson sisters, but the supporting cast looks great as well. Especially Sam Richardson as Gilbert, the shopkeep who helps unlock the return of the sisters. Hannah Waddingham can be seen early on as The Witch, who got the sisters into the witching business in the first place.
Hocus Pocus 2 reviews: What the critics think
In our Hocus Pocus 2 review, I celebrated the returns of Middler, Najimy and SJP, who are clearly having fun working on the movie, as well as Sam Richardson's performance. Some of the best scenes included a costume contest, and whenever a certain case of not-mistaken identity happens. That said, I thought wanna-be witches Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo) were a tad under-written.
At the New York Times, Claire Shaffer wrote that Hocus Pocus 2 "manages to capture the same hokey magic of the original while creatively updating its humor."
Brian Truitt of USA Today writes "The witches are done dirty, yet the youth movement also isn't well served. There are so many Easter eggs and callbacks to the original “Hocus Pocus” piled on that the teens don’t have the focus they need to be fleshed-out heroes of the story. Placing the sisters front and center in the sequel takes away from the younger characters' development." He also agreed with me about how Richardson is a boon to the movie, noting "Richardson usually makes everything he’s in better, but he can save only so much of this travesty."
Lovia Gyarkye at The Hollywood Reporter writes that "Hocus Pocus 2 ... honors its history without knowing quite how to move beyond it." And echoes my sentiment about the teens, writing "It’s a struggle to muster the same enthusiasm for Becca, Izzy and Cassie’s sororal bond because their friendship doesn’t get enough screen time to make us care. Even as those girls move into focus, occupying more of the narrative, the Sanderson sisters remain the crown jewels."
Hocus Pocus 2 cast and crew
Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker are confirmed to return as Winifred 'Winnie' Sanderson, Mary Sanderson, and Sara Sanderson. Midler shared the news on her Instagram account, with Najimy following suit with a post paying homage to her character's famous "I smell children" line. Parker also got in on the fun with an Instagram post of her own that harks back to her "amok! amok! amok!" line from the first movie.
On Nov. 1, Disney confirmed via press release that Doug Jones is back (likely reprising his role as reprise his role as Winnie's ex-lover and zombie William 'Billy' Butcherson), and that Tony Hale (Arrested Development, Veep), Sam Richardson (Veep, Detroiters), Hannah Waddingham (Ted Lasso) and Froy Gutierrez (Teen Wolf) are joining the cast.
Thora Birch tweeted a GIF from the original film, with the caption "2022 will be 'Mah-velous!'" which makes us wonder if she'll be in the film as well.
Adam Shankman (Hairspray, Step Up) was pegged to direct, but due to conflicting schedules with his directing duties on Disenchanted, he'll be stepping into the role of executive producer instead. Anne Fletcher (27 Dresses, The Proposal) will be picking up the directorial mantle instead. Shankman will be joined by fellow executive producers Ralph Winter (Adrift) and David Kirschner (Curse of Chucky), and Steven Haft (Tigerland) as co-producer.
"As heartbroken as I am that I won’t be able to direct my friends Bette, Sarah Jessica and Kathy in what is sure to be nothing short of a major event for Disney+ due to scheduling conflicts, I couldn’t be more pleased to be handing over the reins to Anne, who has brought so much laughter and joy into people’s lives with her previous work," Shankman says.
"I am still grateful and proud to help shepherd this ingenious project as executive producer alongside producer Lynn Harris, whom I have loved and admired as a colleague and friend since she helped get me the job choreographing ‘Boogie Nights.’”
Anne Fletcher adds: "Now more than ever, people need to laugh. We should be laughing every day, and there is so much fun to be had with these three unbelievable women playing delicious characters from such a beloved film.
"I am so grateful to be able to play a part in bringing these witches back to life, and to be working with my friends at Disney again makes it all the more special. This is a movie for everyone, from the fans who grew up with the first film to the next generation of viewers, and I can’t wait to get started."
Hocus Pocus 2 plot
According to the press release "three young women accidentally bring the Sanderson Sisters back to modern day Salem and must figure out how to stop the child-hungry witches from wreaking a new kind of havoc on the world."
But, aside from that plot point, details are scarce. The Illuminerdi, which doesn't have a great track record, is claiming that sources have revealed a plot about a loner named Becca, an aspiring witch, who summons the Sanderson Sisters with classmate Izzy. What about the third girl? Well, the report also mentions a popular girl named Cassie who gets tied up in all of this, but isn't a part of the summoning?
The 1993 movie saw the sisters resurrected thanks to a spell that Midler's character cast before the witches were hung in 1693 for kidnapping kids and draining them of their life force, which had the unfortunate side effect of killing them.
Next: BREAKING: ESPN ripped from Sling TV in Disney dispute — what to do now. Plus, tensions explode on House of the Dragon episode 7 and everything you need to watch SNL 2022 online.
Get the BEST of Tom’s Guide daily right in your inbox: Sign up now!
Upgrade your life with the Tom’s Guide newsletter. Subscribe now for a daily dose of the biggest tech news, lifestyle hacks and hottest deals. Elevate your everyday with our curated analysis and be the first to know about cutting-edge gadgets.
Henry is a managing editor at Tom’s Guide covering streaming media, laptops and all things Apple, reviewing devices and services for the past seven years. Prior to joining Tom's Guide, he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. He's also covered the wild world of professional wrestling for Cageside Seats, interviewing athletes and other industry veterans.