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Air New Zealand finds magic in hobbit safety video

| Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, 12:36 p.m.
Reuters
Passengers dressed as characters from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic 'The Hobbit' are seen in this still image taken from a safety video November 2, 2012. Fight a hobbit for an aisle seat? Get life jacket instructions from a beautiful female elf? Only on a plane to Middle Earth - or in an Air New Zealand safety video. The company's latest in a series of variations on the usual dull pre-flight safety instructions has lifted a page from 'The Hobbit' in the run-up to the world premiere of the film later this month, a bid to attract visitors to the nation where much of the film was shot. Reuters | Air New Zealand
Reuters
A flight attendant dressed as a female elf holds a life jacket in this still image taken from a safety video November 2, 2012. Fight a hobbit for an aisle seat? Get life jacket instructions from a beautiful female elf? Only on a plane to Middle Earth - or in an Air New Zealand safety video. The company's latest in a series of variations on the usual dull pre-flight safety instructions has lifted a page from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic 'The Hobbit' in the run-up to the world premiere of the film later this month, a bid to attract visitors to the nation where much of the film was shot. REUTERS/Air New Zealand via Reuters TV (NEW ZEALAND - Tags: TRANSPORT ENTERTAINMENT MEDIA SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

Perhaps hairy-footed hobbits can teach us all something about safety.

Most regular travelers pay little attention to those snooze-inducing inflight safety videos. But Air New Zealand has found some magic by celebrating the upcoming premiere of the first in the “Hobbit” movie trilogy.

The airline's four-minute safety video featuring the character Gollum and film director Peter Jackson got more than 2 million hits on YouTube within a day of being posted Thursday. The carrier calls itself “the airline of Middle-earth” and cabin staff appear in the clip as film characters.

The hobbits themselves would be proud. After all, author J.R.R. Tolkien created the mythical creatures as risk-averse.

Two of the author's great-grandsons even make cameos. Royd Tolkien appears wearing prosthetic feet.

Big and hairy, of course.

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