We are Halloween people. We love the orange-y purple of everything. Cute pumpkin faces and not-so-spooky parties. And as a tradition, we watch Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas. The Sanderson Sisters, Jack, Sally and Zero are well known in our home this time of year. No Halloween would be complete without these holiday staples. But what makes these 25th anniversary editions so special?
I’m not going to lie – both of these blu-rays are the same movie you know and love. Nothing different. It’s really the bonus features you are after, so let’s chat about those features for each movie.
We were really excited to see the bonus features for this movie, and unfortunately, there was not much to choose from. The bonus features listed are : Original 1993 Production Featurette and the We ♥︎ “Hocus Pocus”: Trivia and Treats Edition.
The original 1993 production featurette is exactly what it says it is. It is a great vintage clip from 1993 featuring the stars 25 years ago talking about how phenomenal it was to animate Binx and how the witches flew. This particular feature was less than 5 minutes long, and a fun tidbit to watch.
We ♥︎ “Hocus Pocus”: Trivia and Treats Edition was the only other bonus feature available to watch. It is the length of the movie, and the trivia and treats are overlaid on top of the movie. While the trivia was fun, and enjoyed by all of us, I can’t help but wish that the actors and directors had regrouped for a reunion, of sorts. Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, Sarah Jessica Parker(with short hair!), and Kenny Ortega share a lot of behind the scenes and how they felt, but this commentary is very dated. Deleted scenes and extra footage is shown, but as a picture-in-picture layout while the movie is going on. It can get confusing if you are not paying careful attention. We did have to rewind a few times to fully catch what we saw. The spell-a-long was fun, as the words to the sisters’ famous spells are displayed. There was also a “countdown to our favorite lines” part, a Dani Insult-o-Meter and a virgin counter.
These bonus features are totally worth watching, but they are not the same as watching the movie. We usually like to watch the featured movie, and then watch bonus features afterwards. Luckily, we did not do that this time or we would have watched the movie twice. I do recommend the anniversary edition, just be prepared to watch the bonus features separately.
There are two versions of this movie – you can choose the full-length theatrical version or the new Sing-Along version with the lyrics on the screen. We chose the sing-a-long version, because who doesn’t want to sing along with Jack and Oogie Boogie? It’s just fun. Don’t want to watch the sing-along version but still want to enjoy the music? No problem! All eleven songs featured in the film are able to viewed with the play-all feature, or individually.
Classic bonus feature material is also featured. Look for the making of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, an option for audio commentary from Tim Burton, director Henry Selick and music designer Danny Elfman. Deleted scenes and storyboards are also available, featuring an alternate identity for everyone’s favorite villain, Oogie Boogie.
If you are a Tim Burton fan, you will love the added bonus of Tim’s early films. Vincent, from 1982, stars Vincent Price himself narrating this stop-motion tale of little Vincent Malloy and his fascination with the macabre. “Frankenweenie” the uncut version, was an electrifying short film that replaces Frankenstein’s monster with a dog.
My favorite bonus feature of all is the tour of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion. We are able to take a ride through Jack’s Haunted Mansion Holiday and see how Disney Imagineers transformed an iconic Disneyland attraction.
Now, these are all bonus features that have been available before. The only new addition is the sing-along version. This is still fun, and great for family get-togethers.
Disclosure: I received both Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas for review purposes. All opinions are my own. No other compensation was received.