Weird world: ‘One safety jacket to rule them all’ – Air New Zealand bring to life in-flight safety video with The Hobbit cast

By Kim Richards

‘And if you look out of the windows to the left, you can see we are passing Mordor…’

It may sound slightly more scary than passing over the Atlantic, but one airliner have found a new way to assure you watch the usually boring pre-flight safety video – by using hobbits.

Air New Zealand have brought in a whole range of Middle-Earth characters to create their spoof safety video, in the run-up to The Hobbit’s hotly-anticipated release later this year.

The video, An Unexpected Briefing, is a play on the movie’s title The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and has been a surprise hit on YouTube reaching over three million hits since going online.

Cabin crew from the airline mixed with CGI special effects create the video, including Orcs and elves packing the seats.

‘THIS WAY, MY PRECIOUSSS’: Gollum follows the safety lights

The video features special effects from director Peter Jackson’s Weta workshop, and even a cameo performance from the Academy Award winner, acting as a passenger squeezing between pointy-eared elves to find a seat.

Other famous faces from the Trilogy also get involved including Gollum, who points towards his ‘precious’ safety lights, and Gandalf being pointedly warned by an elf against smoking his pipe on board.

AN UNEXPECTED BRIEFING: An elfen maiden makes for an unusual host

Mike Tod, Air New Zealand General marketing manager, said that the video ties into a global promotion linked to the film to make viewers more aware of where large parts of the movie were shot.

“To have Gollum step off the movie screen for the first time and into an Air New Zealand aircraft is incredibly special,” he said.

The idea of the spoof video is to attract more visitors to New Zealand, and this isn’t the first time the airline has taken to unique ways to bring tourists in.

Other videos from the crew include flight staff wearing nothing but body paint, and imitating the famous All-Blacks.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is released in UK cinemas on December 13.

SITTING COMFORTABLY? Your elfen host is all smiles

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