Since its initial release some 30 years ago, Hocus Pocus has steadily built up an impressive fan base. As seen by the availability of Hocus Pocus 2 on Disney+, Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy will not be departing their roles as the Sanderson sisters anytime soon.
Winnie is played by Midler, while Sarah and Mary are played by Parker and Najimy.
Nobody makes as many homosexual people laugh as hard as the three of villains in the movie Hocus Pocus, even though Hocus Pocus is a staple of the yearly Halloween viewing tradition for practically everyone.
But what precisely is it about these well-known sisters that makes them the undisputed monarchs of Halloween for gay fans?
The Sanderson Sisters’ Campy Representation
First off, there is no denying that the Sandersons’ portrayal and the performances that give them life are campy.
Although it is occasionally credited to numerous pieces of popular culture, the camp sensibility is a distinctively queer aesthetic that can be traced to gay men’s interactions with classic Hollywood cinema.
Camp is exaggerated over-the-topness that draws on the theatrics of exaggeration and is frequently communicated through performative, funny artifice.
The Sanderson sisters’ appeal to LGBT fans might therefore be partially attributed to their larger-than-life characteristics if one describes them as campy.
The Sanderson sisters’ outfits, makeup, and hair are a few of the most over-the-top ways they are expressed, as with many other traditional camp characters.
Each sister is attired in a 1600s gown and cloak, which sets them apart from the other characters who are dressed in contemporary attire.
Even though they are dressed in this manner for narrative reasons (the Sandersons are brought back to life after 300 years), the costumes are outrageous not only because they stand out, but also because they have modernized silhouettes that make them appear both traditional and contemporary.
The way that each character expresses their personality through their attire is also important.
Winnie’s attire in shades of green, purple, and heavy cloth conveys both her extreme vileness and her regal status among the sisters.
Mary stands out from and is subordinate to Winnie because of her contrasting reds and checkered skirt that resembles an apron.
The subdued pinks and reds of Sarah’s low-cut corset express her confused, sensual femininity.
Their distinctive hair and makeup complement the characteristics their costume design aims to convey.
Of the three, Winnie’s bunched, bright red bouffant and heart-shaped lipstick are the most recognizable.
Their outfits, make-up, and hair, which are impractical and inconsistent with the movie’s logic (the witches never style themselves), let the film’s campy sensibility come through.
Hocus Pocus Delighting Scenes
Due in part to the actors’ exaggerated acting techniques, some of the characters’ most defining characteristics also serve to highlight their campiness.
Each sister is deliciously imaginative rather than giving their characters a sense of “reality.”
The crooked lip that Najimy manages to distort for humorous effect throughout the movie represents Mary’s cautious temperament and her fear of Winnie’s fury.
Screams and frantic motions are used to convey Sarah’s hyperactive vitality.
Parker’s passionate excitement performs a whimsical quality befitting a little child.
Winnie’s shifting postures and swirling hand motions reveal her cunning nature.
The renowned example of Midler’s humorous delivery of Winnie’s biting wit is her pause and punctuation of the line, “Oh look, another wonderful morning… makes me feel ill!
Because there is no attempt to give these people any credibility, they come off as absolutely extraordinary, even in a fantasy movie.
Of course, Winnie’s “I Put a Spell on You” musical act is the most ridiculous sequence in the movie and, hence, the one that most illustrates the Sandersons’ allure to gay people.
Although the musical genre is frequently the campiest, the mere inclusion of a musical number in an otherwise non-musical film is enough to qualify as camp; nonetheless, the sequence cranks the camp up through its wonderfully nonsensical presentation.
The song in the performance is one that Winnie, for some reason, knows perfectly, has been updated to speak to their revival, is ideal for the instruments on stage, calls for an unrehearsed set of backing vocals from Sarah and Mary that they execute flawlessly, and is danced in-sync without any pre-performance choreography.
Nevertheless, the story’s lack of narrative coherence is immaterial because it essentially serves only to sustain the spectacle of these cartoonish characters.
At the Periphery of Society
Third, from an analytical standpoint, it should come as no surprise that LGBT viewers may relate to and enjoy characters who are marginalized in society.
The Sandersons are virtually cut off from the neighbourhood because they live in a cottage.
The Sandersons’ lives are textually resonant with those of some gay viewers because they create a family in an unconventional kinship formation (three sisters who intend to live together forever) with a particular disdain for conventional family structure (evidenced by their eating of children’s souls).
Gay viewers are much more inclined to root for the movie’s antagonists, whose experiences may mirror their own than they are for the protagonists.
The Sanderson sisters have endured as homosexual legends because of their campy portrayal, the gay admiration for the women that play them, and their capacity for empathic identification.
The Sandersons’ participation in drag culture is possibly the clearest indication of their uptake in the LGBT community.
At the neighbourhood drag brunch, Winnies, Sarahs, Marys, and more Winnies are a regular sight during the Halloween season.
The Sanderson sisters are so well-known in the drag community that Hocus Pocus 2 includes popular queens Ginger Minj, Kahmora Hall, and Cornbread as Sanderson’s sister impersonators.
Even the verified gayTM author of this article has dressed up for Halloween by sporting a red bouffant and a heart-shaped lip.
Halloween is frequently referred to as the homosexual version of Christmas.
If true, the Sanderson sisters, who were played by homosexual legends in campy roles, are the gay version of Santa Claus.
Who was the witch in Hocus Pocus 2?
The young Sanderson Sisters get the spell book from a strange and evil witch played by Hannah Waddingham, known as the Mother Witch.
Cassie Trask, portrayed by Lilia Buckingham, is a well-liked student and an alienated friend of Becca and Izzy.
She assists in stopping the Sanderson Sisters and is the mayor’s daughter.
Are the Witches in Hocus Pocus 2 the Same Ones?
Kamora Hall, Ginger Minj, and Cornbread as the Sanderson Sisters from “Hocus Pocus 2” in their drag incarnations.
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Without addressing the extratextual relevance for LGBT fans found in seeing Midler sing and dance, it is impossible to discuss the camp appeal of “I Put a Spell on You” and its attraction.
The women who play the Sanderson sisters are ingrained in homosexual pop culture, which brings us to the second factor contributing to the movie’s appeal to LGBT viewers.
Midler is renowned for becoming a gay icon after developing a fan base singing at gay bathhouses.
Midler evolved into an all-around performer of stage and screen, starring in several LGBT classics (Beaches continues to be a particularly beloved example), and she is still a supporter of the community.
In the numerous variations of Sex and the City, including in the most recent sequel series And Just Like That, Parker played one of the most renowned figures in the LGBT pop cultural canon, Carrie Bradshaw.
Throughout her career, Najimy has attracted LGBT fans as well, from her appearances in the Sister Act movies to the most recent gay holiday flick Single All the Way.
Due to the actors’ frequent appearances in gay-appreciated or oriented media, some of their most well-known roles have also maintained their popularity throughout time.