Hocus Pocus fans were thrilled to hear the return of “Come Little Children” in the 2022 sequel. The song is credited to John Debney, an American songwriter and composer known for composing dozens of hit movies, including Elf and iron man 2. Here’s a look at Debney’s career and some interesting facts about the beloved song from Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2.
John Debney produced the soundtracks for the 1993 Disney film and the 2022 sequel
Debney is the musical mind behind the Hocus Pocus and Hocus Pocus 2 soundtracks. The American composer began his career in the early 80s by writing music for various series and films, including several Disney projects.
His notable works of the decade include the Notoriety series, the police academy franchise, A puppy named Scooby-Doo, and Young Riders. The latter earned him a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition in a Series.
In the 90s, Debney produced music for dozens of television projects, including Star Trek: The Next Generation and The Cape, which earned him another Emmy win. He has also worked on films like Liar Liar, I will be home for Christmasand Inspector Gadget.
But Debney produced some of his most famous work in the 2000s. He scored blockbusters like spy on kids, The Diary of a Princess, The Scorpion Kingand Almighty Bruce. In 2004, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for The passion of Christ.
Additionally, Debney has worked with Sam Raimi on the soundtracks of Spiderman 2 and Spiderman 3. And he collaborated with Jon Favreau on four films: Elf, Zathura: A Space Adventure, iron man 2and The jungle Book. Some of Debney’s more recent projects include Young Sheldon, The Orvilleand Marry me.
Who Really Wrote the “Hocus Pocus” Song “Come Little Children”?
Debney is credited with producing the score for Hocus Pocus, including the song “Come Little Children”. But he didn’t write that song.
According to writer D. Melhoff, when he tried to find the songwriter and composer of “Come Little Children” so he could reference him in a book, he discovered that the song was written by Brock Walsh and composed by James Horner.
“In fact, I first contacted John Debney because he is credited with the music for Hocus Pocus“, recalls Melhoff on his website. “Alas, I was informed that he only came on the project after ‘Sarah’s Theme’ was written.”
“The original composer was James Horner,” he continues. “But when I tried to contact him, his agent said that since Debney was the one who got the final musical credit, it was best that I talk to the studio attached to the film.”
Horner was an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe-winning American composer. His notable scores include field of dreams, Brave heart, a beautiful spirit, Troyand Avatar. He also composed Celine Dion’s iconic “My Heart Will Go On” Titanic. The famous musician died in a plane crash in 2015.
“Come Little Children” appears in “Hocus Pocus” and “Hocus Pocus 2”
1993 Hocus Pocus featured Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker as Winifred, Mary and Sarah Sanderson – three witches resurrected after hundreds of years. The following, Hocus Pocus 2, brings the Sanderson sisters back to Salem. And as before, they hope to secure immortality and eternal youth through the souls of innocent children.
Over the past 30 years, Hocus Pocus has become a Halloween classic. And some of his beloved music and style returned for the sequel.
In the first film, Parker’s character Sarah sings “Come Little Children” – also known as “Sarah’s Theme” – to lure the children into the witches’ evil plan. In Hocus Pocus 2the song is sung by Hannah Waddingham’s character, Mother Witch, as she recruits the younger Sanderson sisters.
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