October 27, 2014

Air New Zealand releases Hobbit-themed safety video, complete with Peter Jackson cameo


New Zealand continues to use The Hobbit to lure tourists. ©Aleksandar Mijatovic / via Shutterstock

New Zealand continues to use The Hobbit to lure tourists.
©Aleksandar Mijatovic / via Shutterstock

In what might be an attempt to convince people that they can actually travel to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth, Air New Zealand has released a safety video featuring the scenery and actors from Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of the book. Graeme McMillan writes for the Hollywood Reporter that the airline will use The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made, as it’s aptly titled, onboard flights in the near future.

Directed by Taika Waititi, this is actually Air New Zealand’s second attempt to cash in on Jackson’s popular movies in the usually-dull medium of safety videos. In 2012, they used one called An Unexpected Briefing, which—despite being aptly named after the first installment in the Hobbit trilogy—is not a great name for an in-flight safety briefing. Pop culture references be damned; I don’t want the word “unexpected” making an appearance anywhere near discussion of what could go wrong with an airplane.

The Most Epic Safety Video… hits all the usual (and legally required, I’m sure) beats about flotation devices, emergency exits, and so forth, along with sweeping vistas of New Zealand/Middle-earth, and cameos from the likes of Elijah Wood and Peter Jackson. You can see the whole thing here:

Jackson says that he’s thrilled with the result, and that he “had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board.” Jodi Williams, Head of Global Development for Air New Zealand, is also pleased with how the video turned out, and that she’s “confident our final Hobbit-inspired on-board safety video will delight fans as much as the first one and inspire even more people to consider a visit to Middle-earth.”

With the third and last Hobbit movie, The Battle of the Five Armies, coming out in December, this is probably New Zealand’s last chance to cash in on Tolkien notoriety for a while, so it’s not surprising that the airline is getting in there while they can.


Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.