If you have ever seen the beginning of the movie Up, and it didn’t make you cry, you’re not human. The song that plays during this emotional scene is “Married Life” and it has so much special meaning to me; that song was playing on Main Street USA in Disneyland when my husband proposed to me. I love everything about that song and everything about the movie Up, and I was so excited to share this film with my daughter.
Up tells the story of Carl Frederickson, a 78-year old balloon salesman who wants to fulfill his lifelong dream of traveling to South America. He ties thousands of balloons to his house, the house lifts and floats away, and he sets sail to Paradise Falls. Along the way, he discovers a stowaway aboard his home, a young Wilderness Explorer Scout named Russell, and the two of them find adventure together. It is such a heartwarming film (and one that will make you cry multiple times).
When planning for our night, I knew we needed two things: balloons and grape soda. Balloons play such an essential part in the movie, and I knew they would make our night extra special. Grape soda, well, a grape soda cap, also plays an important part in the film. At the beginning of the movie, Carl’s future wife pins a grape soda cap to his shirt as a badge, and this badge stays with him until he gives it away to Russell. I feel like you can’t watch Up without balloons and grape soda! Spoiler alert, grape soda is gross.
So we gathered our balloons and grape soda and sat down as a family to watch this movie. Dinner is obviously an important part of our night and I wanted to do something a little out of the box. I played around with a few ideas but ultimately decided that we should have a meal inspired by South America because that’s where Carl wants to go so badly. I wanted to eat empanadas, which are delicious. First, I was going to make them from scratch, but then I realized that our local grocery store has fresh empanadas that you can warm up in the oven (thanks, HEB!). I grabbed beef empanadas and bean and cheese empanadas for our entree and added some rice and beans on the side. Such a yummy and very easy dinner.
For dessert, I wanted to make some “Wilderness Explorer S’mores” inspired by Russell. We used graham crackers, marshmallows, regular Hershey’s Chocolate bars, and Hershey’s Cookies and Cream bars. These s’mores were super messy, so not the best idea for a two-year-old, but such a great treat. After the movie, my daughter was covered in marshmallow and chocolate, but they were 100% worth it. My friend Lin shared a great way to make less messy s’mores (where you make them in the oven, almost like nachos) I think I’ll try that next time.
My daughter happily sat through this entire movie, which came as no surprise because she seems to be obsessed with Pixar movies. She would much rather watch Cars, Finding Nemo, or Toy Story over any princess movie and seems to get bored through some of the Classic Disney Animation movies. I can’t wait to see what she thinks about The Incredibles! I hope this movie night inspires you to make magic at home.
P.S. The bonus magic of the night for my daughter, was running through the yard with her balloons.
Sending love and magic.