A behind-the-scenes video from the Hocus Pocus 2 set reveals Bette Midler’s Winifred flight test, achieved with a very practical effect.
A behind-the-scenes video from Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2 shows Bette Midler’s all-practical Winifred Sanderson flight test. The star reprises her witchy role alongside Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy in Hocus Pocus 2, which was released on Disney+ on September 30. Set nearly three decades after the original flick, the sequel follows a new set of Salem high school students as they inadvertently light the Black Flame Candle and conjure up the Sanderson sisters.
Helmed by Anne Fletcher, Hocus Pocus 2 brims with nostalgia. Not only do all three original Sanderson sisters return, but audiences get to see zombie Billy Butcherson (Doug Jones) make a comeback as well. The followup film features several callbacks to its predecessor and even goes as far as to include footage from the original. Of course, one of the greatest joys for diehard Hocus Pocus lovers is to see Midler, Parker and Najimy soaring through the air on broomsticks, and other cleaning supplies.
Now, Hocus Pocus 2 costume designer Salvador Perez shares a behind-the-scenes clip of Midler’s first flying test on set. Regaled in her full Winnie wardrobe, the star is harnessed up and flown through the air using all practical effects. The Instagram post also includes a couple images featuring Midler and Najimy in full makeup, the first time their ensembles were fully assembled for the sequel.
How do the Hocus Pocus 2 flying scenes compare to the original?
Made nearly three decades later, the Hocus 2 production team clearly had way more technology at their disposal than during the 1993 version. While they opted to update certain effects – like the Black Flame Candle and Winnie’s lightening magic – the sequel kept many practical effects in. The witch’s flying seems to be the number one example of this, with Midler, Parker and Najimy being harnessed up once again and pulled through the sky on cranes.
If anything, the way Hocus Pocus 2 married practical effects with visual effects made the flying sequences all the more magical than they were in the first. The team seems to have mixed up the perfect potion, utilizing not only flying rigs, but blue screen technology to make the Sandersons soar. While the original Hocus Pocus will always be the most spellbinding film across the board, setting the Sandersons’ magic to 2022 special effects is certainly more captivating. Audience members are mainly looking for escapism not realism when they watch the franchise, but the more believable the special effects are, the more they can escape. Hocus Pocus 2 definitely provides that.
Source: Salvador Perez/Instagram