Curious About the Will O’The Wisps in the Movie, Brave? #1 at the Box Office This Weekend!

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“It is said—though by whom is a bit of a mystery—that on certain days for certain travelers in certain parts of the world, little lights dance on the horizon, whispering tempting invitations… pledging the answers to lifelong questions, the realization of dreams, a key to secret treasures—a change of fate.”


My daughter was fascinated by the little, laughing lights in the movie, Brave.  (It was #1 at the box office this weekend!)  They were called will o’the wisps and led Merida, when she didn’t know where to turn.  They made an unusual noise, almost human, child-like.  They almost seemed to giggle.  When Merida got close enough to a will o’the wisp to reach out to touch it, *pouf*!, it disappeared.

“The will o’ the wisps are in a lot of Scottish folktales,” says “Brave” director Mark Andrews. “They were said to lead you to treasure or doom—to change your fate—but they’re an actual phenomenon of swamp and bog gas seeping up through the earth and interacting with the natural resources to create the blue flames. People would follow these lights thinking they were little fairies, and basically drown or get sucked down into the bogs.”

“We made the wisps like actual little spirits,” Andrews continues. “They’re almost like Marley’s ghost in a way, because Marley’s ghost isn’t an evil spirit—even though he’s frightening, he’s trying to warn Ebenezer to change his ways. That’s what the wisps are doing. There’s a duality to them, because they’re either good or evil—they lead Merida into more and more trouble, but in the end, they’ve led her exactly where she needs to go.”

Here’s a clip about the will o’the wisps!

Rosie was walking out of swimming lessons today with her best friend, Ruthie and said, “I think we should have nicknames.  Call me Merida.  Or maybe Queen Elinor.”  I think she loved the movie!  I know I did.  It’s a great movie for anyone but especially mothers and daughters.

Craig Ferguson and Kevin McKidd (voices in the film, Brave)

I’m watching Craig Ferguson, who voices the role of Lord McIntosh, on late night television as I type this.  He is so funny!  He said, “It proves what I’ve suspected for years.  People love my work when they don’t have to look at me.  It’s possible to draw better than I can act.”

Have you seen Brave?  What did your children think?  I think we’ll be seeing it for a second time soon!  The will o’the wisps are leading me…

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