Disney/Pixar Brave “Will O’ The Wisps”

In Disney/Pixar’s “Brave,” Merida encounters the wisps that lead her to a place to change her fate.  Walt Disney Studios provided additional information about the beautiful and mysterious wisps and their role in Scottish folklore.  Continue reading for a clip and more information highlighting the wisps.  For all the news, clips, press releases and features leading up to the release of Disney/Pixar Brave, click here.  Also, check out George Gensler’s spoiler-free review of Brave if you’re on the fence about seeing the film, or if you have seen the film let us know if you agree with George’s assessment.

From Walt Disney Studios Press Release:

THE LORE: Will O’ The Wisps

Travelers—particularly those who venture out after sunset on unfamiliar pathways—beware of the will o’ the wisps.

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.

Charmed and curious, unsuspecting travelers follow the floating lights, mesmerized by their whispers, their promises. Yet no matter how long or how fervently they follow, they never quite touch the beautiful beacons whose flickering lights eventually fade and disappear… leaving the inquisitors, the dreamers and the treasure seekers lost… and alone.

Merida following a Wisp. © 2012 Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.


In Disney/Pixar Brave, Merida spies tiny blue lights after escaping into the forest in search of a change of fate.   Forming a path that dares her to follow, the lights lead Merida to a mysterious location that holds the power to change her destiny—just not in the way she imagines.

“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.”

Disney/Pixar’s “Brave” is now playing in theaters.  For more adventure movie news, family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.