This is a record of our Willy Wonka birthday party last week and in particular, the media, food and games we created for it in the few hours before the party. Maybe it will be helpful to others doing the same thing.
Thats me on the left, dressed up as Willy Wonka. I welcomed people at the front door with a rolled out red carpet. This was the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory themed birthday party for our daughter Elizabeth, who turned 15. It was a great time and exceeded expectations. It was done on a budget and done quite well. So . . . I thought I would blog some of the links that were helpful, the games we invented, and, for non-geeks, some of the hacks I used to get Willy Wonka media like fonts, .mp3 and video into our home. I use a Mac, btw and cant really recommend the best tools and programs to PC users.
There are plenty of Willy Wonka video clips out there (youtube, etc) but importing and reusing can be a challenge. I download them with the Video Downloader 2.0 which is an add on to my Firefox browser. Then I open them up with MPEG Streamclip as a Quick Time movie, or, as DV footage for iMovie. If you can find some movies in .mov or .mpg format, (I search for them on Google) then you can download them directly as QT movies and use them as fodder for your video wallpaper. Some of my downloads needed editing to get the credits and words out of them which i did in Quicktime Pro (costs a little but its worth it). When you are all done, make sure the movie is in “loop” mode and play it on your TV or, if you have a projector, shoot it on the ceiling or a wall.
Technorati Tags: willy wonka
Technorati Tags: willy wonka
Thats Elizabeth. She dressed up as Veruca.
Music. We needed Willy Wonka theme music played in the various rooms through iTunes. After doing a search for “willy wonka .mp3” i found some oompa loompa music ready to download free of charge here. For the rest of it, I had to download movies from youtube and extract the audio. Just like the video, I used an add-on program for Firefox browser called Video Download Helper. Just a click of a button and the video is yours. Unfortunately, the video is in .flv format. So I open it with another free program called MPEG Streamclip. With this program, you can export the video as .dv to use in a looping movie for Willy Wonka wallpaper on your TV, as I just mentioned above, and also export the audio as AIFF. Drag that AIFF file into iTunes and you can start building your party playlist of music.
What we did was make up 5 games based around the 5 kids who made it into the Chocolate Factory.
We blindfolded the kids, spun them 5 times, and let them stick a piece of bubblegum (with a touch of bluetac) on the poster of Violet. We found the poster online and had it printed off down the road at twice the size.
We made some donuts (Crispy Creme recipe is best) and had a donut eating context. The first to finish their donut, stand up, stick their tongue out and say “Augustus Gloop” won a prize. If we didnt do donuts, I would have used marshmellows which is always fun. Stand the kids in a line and stuff marshmellows in their mouth, having them say “Augustus Gloop” before each new marshmellow. The one who can still pronounce his name without loosing their load or bursting out laughing is the winner.
This was a little like musical chairs. I had the kids walk around the carpet, listening to my Willy Wonka music mix that I told you about earlier. When the music went off (my son pushing “mute” on the iPod) the first person to grab the squirrel in the middle and yell “I want a squirrel NOW!” got a point. After 15 rounds, we had a winner.
Mike TeaVee:Willy Wonka quiz
We found a great quiz. I think we used this 15 question quiz here. We got ourselves another winner, award another prize, and then watched the old version (1971) of the movie. The quiz made the movie more fun. So did knowing a few bloopers to watch out for.
And there was one more but i cant remember it right now.
We had cabbage soup, in honor or poor Charlie. And later on, especially during the movie, we brought out the chocolate fountain and all kinds of edible . . I mean eatible . . kinds of cakes and yummy things.
We stuck sweeties onto plates and bowls using a sugar mixture.
We also made a sweetie tree, with licorice straps and lollies hanging off them. This is Hannah, dressed as an Oompa Loompa.
We hardly got through the sweeties at all and there was lots of leftovers. The chocolate from the fountain went into jars for future reference and the sweetie tree went to church this morning for people to eat afterwards.
I was thinking of telling a story about how Willy Wonka handed over the factory to Charlie because, as Willy Wonka said, adults want to change everything and only a child could be trusted. That part of the story reminded me of when Jesus told his disciples “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Well, I was going to tell the story, but in the end we just ate the tree. (Matthew 18:3)
I was pretty worn out and the movie gave us a breather. We played the original version which was more fun, especially when you have to watch out for the bloopers and mistakes. Funniest one is when one of the Oompa Loompas doesnt know the words to the song.
Hope that was of some help and that your party will go as well for you as it did for us.
And may I just say how fantastically fabulous this sounds? Wish I’d been there as Monk-In-Residence to celebrate in all the festivities with you as Charlie’s eccentric relatives (I s’pose I could try multiple parts). The Joneses are known for their creativity, from James and the Giant Peach ‘heaven room’ to this way-cool Wonkalicious party (Happy B-day, Elizabeth@). You ALL totally rock …
Sounds like a great party!
The marshmellow thing amuses me, we use to play that game at church until our state made it illegal due to some kid choking to death.
Anyways, possibly the greatest birthday party I’ve ever seen (err… read about).
matt, we called that “chubby bunnies” downunder.
Yup- thats what we call it too.
Still played in some circles by the risqué 🙂
I don’t know whether to congratulate your daughter on her birthday (congrats elizabeth), tell you what a great job it looks like you all did, or say this is the best easy media blog post I have ever seen.
So go on all three.
That sounds wonderful! I find that movie (the original version) enormously thought-provoking (because I see Wonka as a God figure, constructed from a damaged human point of view) and the end line always makes me cry. So good job.
another way to get clips of youtube, and which automatically converts from flv to mpeg (or quicktime – whatever you want)
is to use the very good site
My daughter loves Willy Wonka- and I bet she would love if I’d through her a party like that! Thanks a bunch for the great idea- I hope you don’t mind me recycling it 🙂