Image source: Everett Collection

If you are about to view “Hocus Pocus 2,” Hannah Waddingham’s cameo is more than enough reason to hit play. a Disney sequel as the Witch Mother, the silver-haired sorceress who gives the Sanderson sisters their spellbook. Despite her a key role in the origin story of the trio of villains “I mean, who would they be without the Bookmaker?” — Waddingham’s witch mother has a criminally limited screen time of less than five minutes. (It appears for about three minutes and 24 seconds for anyone planning to write a formal letter of complaint.)

Running issues aside, let’s unpack and appreciate Waddingham’s stage masterpiece, shall we? When young Winifred, Sarah and Mary Sanderson (starring Taylor Paige Henderson, Juju Journey Brenner and Nina Kitchen, respectively) fleeing Salem, Massachusetts to the Forbidden Forest, they encounter a bird with red and black feathers that flies from a tree branch and transforms into the Mother Witch. With sparkling eyes, curly hair and silver jewels on her face, she is a mesmerizing sight in the joyless forest.

After getting a good sniff of the girls and realizing that they were different from the children she normally snacks on, the Mother Witch sheds her menacing appearance and summons a leather book of spells with a nonchalant movement of her shoulder. “Happy 16th birthday, baby,” she tells Winnie as she hands her a present, before adding bluntly, “I’m a witch, I know things.” The last line isn’t the only Mother Witch utterance the Mother Witch utters during her brief screen time; her explanation of eating children is equally significant:

Hannah Waddingham as the witch mother

Image source: Giphy via Disney

The Mother Witch disappears as quickly as she appears, leaving behind only a flurry of dead leaves, never to appear in the film again. I thought maybe she’d come back at the end when Becca (Whitney Peake), Izzy (Belisa Escobedo) and Cassie (Lilia Buckingham) run into the Sanderson sisters in the woods, but alas, she’s nowhere to be seen* . (*Most likely not to eat children keep her youthful appearance.)

Perhaps the most criminal part of the short-lived Mother Witch cameo is that it doesn’t have a musical number. The Sanderson sisters sing not once, but twice (three times if you count their closing credits performance!) during the film, but Waddingham’s powerful voice takes a back seat. A a seasoned theater star who has graced the stage in numerous West End and Broadway productions, Waddingham deserves to show film audiences her singing, as she does from time to time on Apple TV+.”Ted Lasso.”

However, on the plus side, Mother Witch is one of the There are many nostalgic easter eggs hidden in Focus Pocus 2. As many viewers noticed on social media, her costume — a black fringed cloak draped over a blood-red dress — is very similar to the witch costume worn by Danny Dennison (Thora Burch). Halloween in the original”Hocus Pocus.” It’s unclear if this was an intentional move by the costume designer, but either way, the similarities are pretty hard to ignore.

Left: Hannah Waddingham as the Witch Mother

Image credit: Disney / Everett Collection

Hocus Pocus 2″ is still a fun watch despite Waddingham’s lack of screen time – it’s sweet, nostalgic and just what the doctor ordered for me to get into the fall spirit – but it would have been even better if the Mother Witch and her bad energy played a bigger role the third Hocus Pocus movie ever comes to fruition, consider this my personal plea to Disney for more Mother Witches.