Hocus Pocus Binx Puppet Restoration

Restoration of an original Binx puppet animatronic skin from Disney’s Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus

Hocus Pocus is the story of a trio of crazy witches played by Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker. 300 years ago they turned Thackery Binx into a black cat and as a cat (portrayed on screen by both real cat and animatronic puppet), Binx has made it his mission to foil their evil plans.

When this Binx puppet skin arrived to our studio it immediately looked like the poor kitty needed quite a bit of help. That said, while the Binx was missing any type of internal support, including his eyes and his teeth, the skin was in decent condition and most of the original material was intact. The puppet head had a little bit fabric stuffing which helped to keep some of his shape over the years. Once in our care, we knew it would be very important to create an internal structure to help get him back to his original shape, and support the delicate material over time.

Once the skin was properly supported, our team worked on gently reshaping the ears. Over the years the delicate foam had folded and some areas had flaked away. They were able to gently coax the foam back into a more natural shape and then seal the foam to help provide additional stability. Then they could go in and patch any of the missing areas of foam. They followed the same process with his nose. When all the missing areas were patched they painted only those patches, leaving as much of the original material as possible.

To replicate his missing elements, we customized a taxidermy teeth and tongue set to ensure a proper fit and look. The eyes were custom-made for this project. They were carefully mounted into the head, and blended into his eyelids and lips for a virtually seamless transition. Once restored, the cat puppet was quite realistic! To finish off the display we added a simple black base to keep all of the focus on the original Binx puppet and beautifully display this newly restored piece of Halloween movie history!


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Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy star as the outlandish Sanderson witches in this Halloween classic.

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