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Air New Zealand's genius 'Hobbit' safety video
That hairy footed seatmate next to you could just save your life -- or at least make the safety video fun to watch
Jumping on the pre-release "Hobbit" hypewagon, Air New Zealand (ANZ) has produced another hilarious in-flight safety demonstration video.
Branding itself “Airline of the Middle-Earth,” the company proves yet again that those monotonous (if important) safety videos can actually be entertaining.
At least upon first viewing.
Inspired by the upcoming movie, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the video features a party of hobbits, elves, wizards, dwarfs and cameos from Gollum and native New Zealander, director Sir Peter Jackson.
It's the latest in a series of creative ANZ safety videos that have included fitness guru Richard Simmons replete in a sequin tank top, and a Rugby World Cup themed video starring a cast of All Blacks players.
“Passengers appreciate the lighthearted and entertaining approach we take to delivering important safety information,” said Jodi Williams, ANZ's head of international marketing.
“It’s noticeable that on an ANZ flight they sit up and take notice during the pre-flight briefing -- expectations of this part of the airline journey have certainly been heightened.”
In addition to Jackson’s cameo, fellow Kiwi Dean O’Gorman (who plays Dwarf Fili in the film) and two great-grandsons of "The Hobbit" author J.R.R Tolkien -- Mike and Royd Tolkien (the one with hairy hobbit feet) -- make appearances in the video.
The four-minute video took three days to shoot and is a collaboration between the airline and Academy Award-winning Weta Workshop and Weta Digital, the production company behind the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
The result is perhaps the most well-produced safety video ever. It certainly thumps those uninspiring computer-generated efforts.
Passengers who pay (very) close attention to the video and manage to spot the Elvish codes hidden within will get a chance to win a trip for two to New Zealand, including tours to the Hobbiton movie set, Weta Cave in Wellington and passes to the red carpet global premiere of the new movie (November 28).
The video marks the start of ANZ's two-year global marketing program dedicated to "The Hobbit" trilogy.
A hobbit-themed aircraft is due to be rolled out prior to the movie’s global premiere, according to ANZ’s official statement.