What Do You Call a Balloon Made of Peeps? EEP!
Based on one of the lasting images of Pixar's Up, the Oscar-winning movie about a retired balloon salesman and his journey to South America with a Boy Scout named Russell, it's this year's winning entry in the Washington Post's fourth annual Peeps Show contest.
The diorama titled "EEP" was produced by Michael Chirlin and Veronica Ettle, a couple from Arlington, Va. The scene, where the house in Up first lifts off from the ground, had a painstakingly-crafted quality about it, with details so tiny and exquisite it beat out 1,100 other models made with Peeps candies to take the top prize.
The couple spent two weeks actively building their project, but had been thinking about their subject for nearly a year; in last year's Peeps Show contest, they were finalists with a Wall-E diorama and wanted to outdo themselves.
Chirlin, an engineering type who works professionally with 3-D modeling, built the structure virtually, then spent five hours each night after work cutting plywood and popsicle sticks to construct the Victorian house.
Ettle, who works with the Girl Scouts Council, was in charge of the Peep-covered balloon and the characters (Russell was a chick Peep, and Carl was a bunny Peep).
"We work very differently," Ettle tells PEOPLEPets.com. "Michael likes to plan things out ahead of time, I kind of organically do things."
Neither of them particularly enjoys eating Peeps, and had to throw most of their mountain of leftovers away. And weeks after they completed their project, the marshmallow has gotten hard and crusty.
The couple, still excited by their win, has yet to decide whether they will compete in next year's contest.
"We're toying around with some ideas, but we're not sure yet," Ettle says. They might just have to wait until Pixar's next film comes out.