Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Lore of the Willow Wisps


I'm such a sucker for fairytales and folklore, especially if it deals with other countries and cultures. Disney and Pixar's newest animated movie, Brave, features a wonderful addition to their storyline: the folklore of the Willow 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. 




“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.”





Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for the above post. All opinions expressed above are 100% mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated. This post was written strictly for the enjoyment and benefit of my readers. 




4 comments:

Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

I love hearing little folk tales like that, and I love that it's incorporated into the movie. :)

becca said...

i want to see this movie and i love hearing grand stories and fairy tales

JamericanSpice said...

I love the learning too about folklore and other countries.

I think I remember willow wisps as a form of bush...

Crocheted Little Things said...

I know they sounds scary, but I'm fascinated by them!