By Clarkisha Kent
September 13, 2019 at 05:13 PM EDT
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  • Movie

Many a Pixar fan knows how much of a tearjerker famed film Up can be, particularly with its themes about life, grief, and never losing touch with your inner child. And recently, Colorado-based photographer Rachel Perman decided to apply those themes to real-life.

Disney/Pixar

The mom and photographer promised five-year-old son, Elijah, and his twin sister, Emilee, that they could do special photoshoots for their birthday. The latter chose to have a magical princess and unicorn shoot, while Elijah decided to go with an Up theme for his. Not only did Perman love the idea, but she made it an even bigger family affair, enlisting Elijah’s great-grandparents Richard and Caroline Bain to cosplay characters Carl and Ellie respectively — with Elijah cosplaying Russell.

Which had surprisingly viral results.

According to Perman, Elijah’s great-grandparents have never seen Up but took their responsibilities as the characters seriously.

“They were thrilled to participate and loved that I asked them. Grandpa even went to the thrift store to get the jacket and hose. He said, ‘I noticed in a photo Carl had a hose over his shoulder,'” Perman explained in a Facebook post.

It was an adorable occasion that also functioned as a double celebration. In addition to Elijah and Emilee’s birthdays, Perman told a local CBS station that she was also celebrating a milestone of her own, having been diagnosed five years ago with thyroid cancer (she’s currently in remission).

“The twins are turning [five] and Mikayla [her eldest child] is turning 10. But it’s an even bigger milestone to me. Mikayla was five when the twins were born and I was diagnosed with cancer,” she explained. “I remember thinking ‘I got five years with Mikayla, what if this gets bad and I don’t even get five years with the twins?’ The pain of that idea still puts my stomach in knots. But, here we are! We have come full circle! So it’s time to celebrate.”

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