Hocus Pocus’ Dani Dennison is all grown up, with actress Thora Birch still enjoying an exciting film and TV career in the horror genre today. While the Sanderson Sisters were portrayed by notable actresses Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi, Disney’s 1993 fantasy comedy horror film recruited relative newcomers for their child foes. The young Hocus Pocus cast featured Omri Katz as teenager Max Dennison, Thora Birch as his Halloween-loving 8-year-old sister Dani Dennison, and Vinessa Shaw as his classmate and crush Allison.
While Thora Birch was only ten years old when she filmed Hocus Pocus, the actress was undoubtedly the breakout star of the iconic Halloween movie. With Dani being so closely associated with Hocus Pocus’ core story, Birch was even asked to reprise her role for the 2022 Disney+ sequel, Hocus Pocus 2. While Birch had to decline due to scheduling issues, Hocus Pocus‘ Dani actress would have been perfect in the role reprisal due to her recent return to the horror scene.
Dani from Hocus Pocus still looks back fondly on her breakout Hocus Pocus role today. In a 2019 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Thora Birch explained that working on Hocus Pocus as Dani was one of the most exciting projects of her career, but she was disappointed that “nobody really liked it and nobody went to see it” when the movie was initially released. Thankfully, Hocus Pocus has been given a new life over the past 30 years as it annually plays around Halloween, with its constant availability on Disney+ also introducing the cult classic movie and character of Dani Dennison to new generations. Although Birch was disappointed that she wouldn’t be playing Dani again in the Hocus Pocus sequel, she surprisingly revealed in 2022 that she would rather play Winifred Sanderson (originated by Bette Midler) if she returned to the franchise (via Comicbook.com). At 40 years old, Thora Birch is now only a few years younger than Midler was when she first played Hocus Pocus‘ villain Winifred. Here’s a look at what Dani from Hocus Pocus looks like now.
Following Hocus Pocus, Dani Dennison’s actress was seen in the Harvey Keitel comedy Monkey Trouble (1994), Clear and Present Danger (1994), and Now and Then (1995) as the younger version of Melanie Griffith’s character. However, Birch’s most notable subsequent role came in 1999 when she starred in the Best Picture-winning movie American Beauty as Jane Burnham, the teenage daughter of Kevin Spacey and Annette Benning’s characters. The actress who played Dani in Hocus Pocus then went on to star in the 2001 cult classic Ghost World, 2003’s Homeless to Harvard: The Liz Murray Story, and 2019’s Above Suspicion.
In 2022, Dani from Hocus Pocus looks remarkably similar to how she did in 1993 despite the beloved movie releasing nearly 30 years ago. Since Thora Birch is still primarily associated with Dani Dennison, it’s not surprising that she’s been featured in similar horror roles in recent years. For her notable return to horror in 2019/2020, Birch starred in The Walking Dead season 10 as Gamma/Mary. Birch was also originally slated to star in a main role for Tim Burton’s 2022 Netflix series Wednesday, an adaption of the character from The Addams Family, but the Hocus Pocus actress departed the project early.
Next: How Thora Birch’s Gamma Left The Walking Dead