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Air New Zealand finds magic in hobbit safety video

Published November 6, 2012 10:56 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Wellington, New Zealand • Perhaps hairy-footed hobbits can teach us all something about safety.

Most regular travelers pay little attention to those snooze-inducing in-flight 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.